On Jan. 5 Bill de Blasio, public advocate for the City of New York, had raised legal questions about the advertising of the new Julie Taymor musical, which has been in previews since Nov. 28 at the Foxwoods Theatre.
Newsday reported that the public advocate had sent a letter to commissioner Jonathan Mintz of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs saying that the new musical "may be in violation of consumer protection laws."
"Theatergoers deserve to know what they are buying," de Blasio said in a statement to Newsday. "The industry must be forthright with its consumers. Make no mistake, there is a difference between a finished product and a preview performance that could be stopped at any time to iron out new material."
Kay Sarlin, a spokeswoman for the department, said in a statement, "Current advertisements now more clearly indicate preview status, and our talks with the Broadway League, the industry’s association, reassures us that the League has been and will continue to be proactive in notifying its members that previews for all productions must be so advertised."
De Blasio said in his statement that he was "heartened the producers of Spider-Man and the Broadway League are taking steps to ensure theatergoers know what they’re buying when they purchase tickets for a ‘preview’ performance." Visitors to the official Spider-Man website will notice that the words "Now In Previews On Broadway Opens March 15th" are printed in large block letters.