Julie Taymor, the director of Broadway’s modern version of the voyage of the Titanic, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, spoke out for the first time about the train wreck $65 million musical, admitting that she is “in the crucible and the fire of transformation” as she and others desperately try to improve the accident prone show.
She recently attended the TED2011 event as a speaker, I’m guessing that she was booked by the organizers of TED with the hopes that Julie would speak as the director of the hugely successful musical Spiderman Turn off the Dark. No such luck. All I got out of this is a lot of creative gobbledygook double speak. Julie seems to want to dazzle you with what’s in her left hand while selling you the crap that’s in her right.
Click through the jump to read her thoughts and some more of mine.
The Hollywood Reporter: She (Julie Taymor) made the remarks as a speaker at TED2011 conference in Long Beach, Calif.
“Anyone who creates knows — when it’s not quite there,” Taymor said, according to the New York Times. “Where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char. And I am right there”
Taylor compared her Spider-Man experience to a trip she once took to Indonesia when her friend disappeared as they were scaling the side of twin volcanoes. “I am on the precipice looking down into a dead volcano on my left, on the right it is sheer shale,” she recalled. “I am in thongs and sarong and no hiking boots. I realize I can’t go back the way I have come. I can’t. So I throw away my camera. I throw away thongs and I look at the line straight in front of me. And I got down on all fours like a cat. And I held with my knees to either side of this line in front of me — 30 yards or 30 feet, I don’t know. The wind was massively blowing and the only way I could get to the either side was to look at the line straight in front of me.
“I know you have been there,” she went on. “I am in the crucible right now. It is my trial by fire. It’s my company’s trial by fire.”
She then referenced a song from the musical, “Rise Above,” and how it mirrored her experience working on Spider-Man.
“It’s right there in the palm of my hands,” Taymor said of the musical. “In all of my company’s hands. I have beautiful collaborators. We as collaborators only get there all together. I know you understand that. You stay there going forward and you see this extraordinary thing right in front of your eyes.”
The cast of Spiderman musical sang the song “Rise Above” on David Letterman the other night. I just didn’t feel it. I have been reading Spiderman for over 30 years and if I can’t feel this song, it doesn’t make me hopeful for any rework making this train wreck roll.
One of the major concerns of critics is that the music doesn’t move the story like it does in popular musicals. Take a listen and give me your thoughts in the comments section below. Can this musical be saved? Should it be saved or just written off?