'Spider-Man' Musical Jokes Reach Saturation Point

'Sesame Street' parody brings mockery of the troubled show to the pre-school set

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The retooled version of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark officially opens on Broadway tomorrow night, but jokes about the over-budget, actor-dropping musical may have reached a their saturation point Monday. No demographic, it would seem, is unaware of the tortured production now that Sesame Street got in its shot with a parody of an ill-fated show called SpiderMonster.

If anything, we're surprised it took Sesame Street this long to introduce the show's struggle to the pre-schoolers. Coupled with Neil Patrick Harris's one-stop, 30-second Spiderman joke block at last night's Tony awards, this seems like the death rattle for poking fun at the production.

Show producers have embargoed reviews for the revamped production until tomorrow, but two out-of-town critics have gone ahead and posted anyway. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Hedy Weiss panned the "crushingly weak and puerile writing" and "almost total lack of storytelling momentum." Kansas City Star critic Robert Trussell was more generous. He called the production "vastly entertaining" and praised the creators for harboring "serious artistic ambitions while dishing up spectacle designed to get the same sort of response if you woke up one morning." That's at least an improvement over the near-universal scorn critics heaped on Julie Taymor's version back in February.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.