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'Spider-Man' musical preview nets mixed reaction

Expected technical glitches and a wildly mixed audience reaction marked the first public preview lastnight of the $60- million-plus Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" at the Foxwoods (formerly Hilton) Theatre in Times Square.

"I thought it was good," said Fred Margulies of Floral Park after the show ended at about 10:15 p.m. "As far as tech problems, there were about four during the first half, one during the second. They made announcements - one was a wardrobe problem, the rest technical. One idiot yelled out in the second half, 'I feel like I'm at a dress rehearsal!' and the audience booed her."

"Absolutely terrific," enthused Jim Neuwirth during the intermission at 8:20 p.m., nearly two hours after the show's scheduled 6:30 curtain. "The set designs were amazing," added the former Long Islander now living in San Francisco.

"Horrible music," countered Pinank Patel of Edison, N.J. "And I love U2," he noted of the band that composed the songs, for which Bono and The Edge wrote the lyrics.

One woman from Great Neck left with her husband before intermission. "It was like a circus," she said. "Totally overdone."

Director and impresario Julie Taymor's effects-laden extravaganza, starring Reeve Carney as the web-slinging Marvel Comics superhero, did stop at least four times for technical adjustments, said several members of the sold-out 1,900-seat house.

"They have a lot of kinks to work out," said Laura Evans of Savannah, Ga., who nonetheless enjoyed the show and marveled at how Spider-Man and archfoe the Green Goblin "were flying all over above the audience."

During one stunt a rope fell into orchestra row E, said Patel, who showed Newsday his $99 ticket for the row ahead. No one was hurt, he said.

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