The creators behind the revised version of “Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark,” the bedeviled Broadway show that officially opened last month after a surgical shutdown, took its title too seriously. They turned off the dark, all right — the show that once had a magnificent, raggedy dark side has been cheered up, smoothed out and essentially steamrollered into an experience as flat as its cardboard cutout sets.
In the effort to streamline an overlong and complicated story, much of the raw, exhilarating and even violent physical power of the show was drained off. When I saw it in mid-April, when it still belonged to the original team headed by director Julie Taymor, I had a different reaction from critics who panned it. I found it energizing: mythological maidens on swings, teenagers rampaging on testosterone, athletes whizzing by on wires right overhead so you had to swivel around in your seat to follow their eagles’ path from corner to corner of the cavernous Foxwoods Theatre. No circus had ever swooped its performers so close or dared to clash them in an aerial battle such as the one between Spidey and his mutant nemesis, the Green Goblin.