Thor Envy? Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Turned Back On

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As Thor continues to wield his box office hammer at cineplexes from Asbury Park to Asgard, down here on Broadway another Marvel hero is swinging back into action. After what we're told was a substantial reworking, which involved the firing of original director Julie Taymor, a revamped plot, and music changes, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (whatever that means) has turned back on. And just like the Norse god of thunder, the web-slinger is all glittery with box office gold.

Audiences seem more than willing to fork over their spidey cents, as the show hauled in over $800,000 for the five preview performances that began on Thursday, according to statistics from the Broadway League.

Previews will continue until an official opening, scheduled for June 14. The original version, critically panned and dangerous to the actors, though highly remunerative, never actually opened. (Critics broke with tradition and went to see it anyway). It staggered through a record-breaking number of previews before temporarily closing in April for the big refresh. So we won't be holding our breaths for that June 14 date.

Still, if a show with so many problems could do so well with audiences, what heights might it scale in its new-and-improved iteration? One thing's quite likely: Spidey will be slinging his webs through the Foxwoods Theater long after Thor has thundered off the big screen.

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Jon Sobel is a freelance writer, web editor, theater and music critic, marketing writer, and musician. His newest project is the blog Park Odyssey, where he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City - over a thousand of them.

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