Will the initial round of arachnophobia among the nations' theater critics bring down 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,' director Julie Taymor's $65 million production set to open March 15? A slew of reviews were published earlier this week and the overall consensus was clear: the show is not exactly a critical darling, with reviewers calling it "a shrill, insipid mess," (Washington Post) "underbaked, terrifying, confusing," (New York Magazine) and "so grievously broken in every respect that it is beyond repair." (New York Times).

Many critics traditionally hold off on writing about a performance until it is "frozen," meaning no further changes are made to the show. Yet given four delayed opening dates and a preview period that has run longer than the entire length of some shows, a number of critics broke protocol and reviewed the preview performance, adding disclaimers at the beginning of the piece, but not holding back on their widely vitriolic opinions.

It was an unusual move, but nothing about 'Spider-Man,' whose budget blows away the previous high of $18-22 million set by 'Shrek The Musical,' has been business as usual.