Can focus groups fix ‘Turn Off the Dark’?

Though the critics chose to review the new “Spider-Man” musical after a record 10 weeks of preview performances, the creative team — led by writer/director Julie Taymor and songsmiths Bono and the Edge of U2 — continues to tinker with the tuner in advance of the official March 15 opening.

To that end, they have ramped up the number of focus groups attending either the first or second act of the show and then weighing in with their opinions. Their reward, besides helping to fix the most expensive musical in Broadway history, is a bag filled with $60 worth of show souvenirs. Press rep Rick Miramontez says: “In an effort to gather as much audience feedback as possible the production is continuing to hold focus groups and surveys, just as it has throughout most of its preview period.”

The notices that came out earlier this week were among some of the harshest of recent rialto seasons. None of the critics from outlets like the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times thought much of this new musical. The financial and production woes that have plagued this show from the outset were all for nought according to the reviews.

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