The music for the Broadway show was conceived by U2 stars Bono and the Edge and it underwent a complete makeover after drastic critical reviews when it was in previews.
It is now said to have cost $75 million, a record for Broadway.
It finally opened on Tuesday night.
The new improved version, however, did not enchant the notoriously hard to please Brantley .
" First seen and deplored by critics several months ago — when impatient journalists (including me) broke the media embargo for reviews as the show’s opening date kept sliding into a misty future — this singing comic book is no longer the ungodly, indecipherable mess it was in February. It’s just a bore.
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"So is this ascent from jaw-dropping badness to mere mediocrity a step upward? Well, until last weekend, when I caught a performance of this show’s latest incarnation, I would have recommended “Spider-Man” only to carrion-feasting theater vultures. Now, if I knew a less-than-precocious child of 10 or so, and had several hundred dollars to throw away, I would consider taking him or her to the new and improved “Spider-Man.”
"The first time I saw the show, it was like watching the Hindenburg burn and crash. This time “Spider-Man” — which was originally conceived by the (since departed) visionary director Julie Taymor with the rock musicians Bono and the Edge (of U2) — stirred foggy, not unpleasant childhood memories of second-tier sci-fi TV in the 1960s, with blatantly artificial sets and actors in unconvincing alien masks.
Brantley also wrote;
“Spider-Man” now bears only a scant resemblance to the muddled fever dream that was. It is instead not unlike one of those perky, tongue-in-cheek genre-spoof musicals (“Dames at Sea,” “Little Shop of Horrors”) that used to sprout like mushrooms in Greenwich Village, with witty cutout scenery and dialogue bristling with arch quotation marks."
The future of the show is up in the air. Bono and The Edge agreed they would never have become involved if they could have foreseen how long it would take to bring the production to opening night