After $75 million, a rewrite and a re-score, the curtain has raised on the second launch of the "Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark" musical by Bono and The Edge. The verdict: It still sucks.
The new premiere on Tuesday might have attracted A-list celebrities including Matt Damon, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson - but the reviews don't fare much better than the first failed show.
Ben Brantley of the New York Times: "(The show) has become a straightforward children's entertainment with a mildly suspenseful story, two-dimensional characters, unapologetically bad jokes and the kind of melodious rock tunes that those under 12 might be familiar with from listening to their parents' salad-day favourites of the 1980s and '90s."
The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout: "The score sounds like a double album of B-sides. Not only are the songs forgettable, but they never succeed in generating any dramatic momentum - all they do is get louder."
Charles Spencer from the Daily Telegraph: "The show never soars into greatness, or leaves the audience in a state of disbelieving wonder. Indeed, despite all the time and money that has have been lavished on it, Spidey actually turns out to be a bit of a bore."
Bono and The Edge presented an award at the Tonys at the weekend (a ceremony akin to the Oscars but for theatre), and made light of the fact that the show has not been the success they hoped. Introducing themselves, Bono said "We used to be famous for being in U2", prompting a friendly laugh from the audience.
Bono's jokes continued: "When I saw the Tonys on our schedule, I just assumed we had been nominated." He later admitted he was still "10 per cent away" from being happy with the musical.
Thanks for the report to ContactMusic.com.