(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/17.)

Have Julie Taymor and the rest of the team for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” taken a look at what’s happening right next door to their beleaguered extravaganza? At the tiny New Victory Theater — which sits baby cheek by giant’s jowl to the Foxwoods Theater (lair to the opulent Spider) — a plucky little (and I mean little) troupe is addressing and breezily overcoming many of the same problems that appear to be plaguing Ms. Taymor and company.

Credibly portraying incredible feats of derring-do; bringing elaborate battle scenes to life in ways in which you can tell who’s on what side and who’s winning; organically blending music into the action and fluidly evoking shifts of time and scene: with a cast of exactly six and a budget that (I feel safe in assuming) is the merest fraction of the $65 million lavished on “Spider-Man,” the Fiasco Theater makes such accomplishments seem like child’s play in its charming production of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline.” True, unlike the aerially acrobatic “Spider-Man,” this show offers nothing that flies — unless you count the spirits of the actors and the audience watching them.

via theater.nytimes.com

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