"Spider-Man" Sings But There's No Swing Yet.
Injured cast members, strong criticism, an unfinished script under a seemingly everlasting rewriting process and a still not so convincing final scene are just some of the problems Julie Taymor, director of the new Broadway play Spider-man: Turn off the dark, has had to deal with ever since she embarked on the this project, to date Broadway's most expensive one. And if that wasn't enough, the play's first official performance was postponed for the third time; and was rescheduled to open tentatively on March 15.
“Listen, this is a very different kind of Broadway show: a rock ’n’ roll circus drama, a piece of action theater,” said Michael Cohl, producer of the play, defending the delays. The play, based on marvel's fictional superhero; undoubtedly stands out from the rest of Broadway's catalog. With a budget of $65 million, plus one million per week of operating costs, “Spider-Man” is the most expensive Broadway play ever produced. This has created a lot of expectation among musical fans; and even those who are not so keen on musicals and move more towards – and feel moved by – rock can still find solace that the music and lyrics were written & composed by Bono and the Edge from U2. The reaction of the public was as expected, and ticket sales are strong for a show that hasn't opened.
Not everything has been a bed of roses for the director and producers of the show though. Christopher Tierney, one of the several cast members who plays Spider-Man; fell more than 20 feet while rehearsing, after his cable detached from the harness, and had to go to the hospital with broken ribs, back injuries and internal bleeding; not to mention Natalie Mendoza , who had to leave the cast due to a head injury caused by the equipment she was wearing.
Other producers like Jeffrey Seller have also criticized the ongoing postponement of the show's opening, accusing Cohl and the production team of taking advantage of the publicity that the show has already generated and thus making money of it without having any bad review yet. The show was originally scheduled to open on December 21, and then had subsequent postponed opening dates of January 11, February 7, and now March 15. If the show does open in March 15 it would have 110 previews, breaking the record for most previews in Broadway.
“Spider-Man” has certainly been an odyssey for Julie Taymor, and nothing but time will tell if this goes on as a Broadway classic, or just as another expensive blunder.