Suck On This Broadway, Scenes From ‘The Spidey Project’

See, this is what happens when you not only waste six years and 70 million dollars but hold back your opening night time and time again. A second Spider-man production comes out of nowhere and with literally nothing but volunteers makes a better production then the now fired Julie Taymor and her Spider-man: Turn off the dark. I hate being the one to break out the obvious but this is what happens when you get sick of waiting for the real thing. After all the accidents, set backs and re-scheduled openings New York finally gets its comic book musical and it didn’t cost a dime. If you weren’t there for the first Spider-man musical ever, that beat out the actual budgeted play, then we’ve got you covered.

Does whatever a spider does (without Bono on it’s ass)

The Spidey Project, made good on it’s promise: it was constructed, rehearsed and debuted all in one month. Getting beat to your debut night is pretty bad;getting beat by 71 months, 70 million dollars and still having your ENTIRE original cast is just humiliating. Here’s parts 1-4 in their entirety, now let’s see if these fantastic people can beat that Batman world tour by the end of the year.

Parts 2, 3 and 4 AFTER THE JUMP



What’s the saying, more money, more problems? Yeah, I feel that sums up Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark‘s issues nicely. Imagine if you will this Spider-Man train wreck being made for a fraction of the mind-boggling millions, chances are it wouldn’t have been analyzed intently under the crushing media microscope and we might not have been aware of the show’s every misstep. But we probably would have of anyway, it’s fate must have been sealed long ago. Like when they announced a Spider-Man musical, what? I love Spider-Man and I love musical theatre, but that doesn’t guarantee the two together are awesome.

New York’s NY1 is reporting Julie Taymor has left the Broadway production but the means of her exit are still unknown. She might have left or been fired, or she might have left with the threat of being fired. Either way it’s a huge blow to her career and the problematic production. Just yesterday we mentioned heavy changes were to come to the show’s story and it was unknown whether Taymor would be on board for those adjustments or not. Guess what, she won’t.

NY1’s “On Stage” producer Frank Dillela said,

…this is a huge blow for her reputation. She’s an incredible talent, well known both here on Broadway and on film, as well as in the opera world, so she’s a significant presence for the art community and for her to be removed from a production is a very big deal.

While I was never thrilled by the idea of a singing web-slinger I am a fan of Taymor’s work and I’m sorry to see her leave a big name production under so much scrutiny. Her body of work speaks for itself, she’s an amazing visionary and director. The Broadway production of The Lion King, films Titus and Across the Universe, these are all favorites of mine and wouldn’t be as excellent with someone else in charge. Comics Alliance even points out, “Turn Off the Dark’s aesthetics and unusually spectacular stunts (when they work) are among the very few things about which audiences and critics have expressed anything positive.” Which makes a lot of sense since these areas Taymor’s strongest. I just don’t think Taymor was the best choice for a Spider-Man musical, if there should even be one at all. I wrote last week about the writing talent being tapped for the new Batman Live arena show and they’re all writers with experience writing for comics and other comic based mediums. DC is making the smart choice of picking people who are very, very familiar with the characters and their world. And Batman won’t be singing, another very smart move.

Are you sad to see Taymor go or do you think she’s ruined what could have been Spider-Man’s musical spectacular? The opening night has been pushed back, again, to June. Meaning it’s completely out of the running for the Tony’s (like anyone thought it would win). Will this be the final delay? Who knows? I’m more excited for The Spidey Project anyhow.

source: NY1 via Comics Alliance

Spider-man Musical to Open March 14th


No, not Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark, that will probably never open and will languish in previews hell for the rest of it’s life. I’m talking about the Spider-man Smackdown, known now as The Spidey Project. This show is a $0 budget, guerrila theatre production which will officially be the first Spider-man musical to open in New York City. Beginning on February 21st the  show has been written, cast, choreographed, composed, rehearsed, and starting on March 14th will be performed all before TOtD opens. Talk about devotion to your comic book hero, or more likely the chance to say a big ‘fuck you’ to the colossal disaster that is the $65 million musical.

Interestingly enough, there are more problems facing TOtD, I know right, more. Seems show producers have given Julie Taymor an ultimatum, either help in making the necessary changes to the musical or you’re fired. The Hollywood Reporters states,

The producers are talking to Taymor along with the U2’s Bono and the Edge— who composed the music — about making changes to the script and music, hiring outside consultants and possibly once again pushing back opening night, which is currently scheduled for March 15.

Taymor has already acknowledged publicly the show has problems, but will she be willing to make the major changes needed if the musical is ever going to open? Currently TOtD has had five opening night delays, yes five. And the real kicker is it will most likely not be opening on March 15th either. Word is the opening will be pushed to June. Not that it really matters, most publications ran their opening night reviews on February 7th, the original opening night date. To no surprise, they were scathing.

Which brings us back to the eagerly anticipated opening of The Spidey Project on March 14th. Not only will they be the first Spider-man musical in NYC, hell, they might be the only Spider-man musical ever in NYC. All tickets for all scheduled showings have sold out, but if they release more tickets or schedule more shows you can purchase them here. Also, if you want to know what the production of The Spidey Project was like check out their blog where all their struggles are documented.

So the Spidey rumble continues. Two shows, one web-slinging subject, which show will premiere to raving reviews and have fans craving more? Yeah,  I can’t even fake the suspense, here’s hoping The Spidey Project becomes a hit an tours because I want tickets to that show.

source: THR, Topless Robot

‘Spider-man: Turn off the dark’. After all the scathing reviews, accidents and pushing back the opening fives times -grand opening is March 5th- you would think they would just throw in the webbing and call it quits. Alas, there is far too much money invested in the show to not try to rework anything and everything they can. They priced themselves out of being able to quit or close for the forseeable future . Really, you just can’t keep a good spider down.

So, the 65 million dollar Broadway show is reworking it’s book. Originally written by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger, now being reworked by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. How very telling. Taymor, Bono & the Edge can’t create a good show on their own – they need someone to help them do a good job. Will this be another wire snapping flop or is Roberto the true wall crawling hero of New York city?

Writer’s senses tingling

Deadline confirmed that Aguirre-Sacasa will indeed be reworking the original story after reviews from critics claimed the story lacks an insider’s voice about the spandex hero. Most recently writing a new book to the Charles Strouse and Lee Adams musical It’s A Plane, It’s SUPERMAN!, a hit at the Dallas Theatre Center, he also knows what he’s writing about. Having written Spider-Man comics for Marvel, Roberto knows his Spidey trivia and history. He also writes for the HBO series Big Love and  Aguirre-Sacasa is repped by WME, this play may finally having the saving grace it actually needs.

Via: Deadline

‘The Pee-wee Herman Show’ Coming Back to HBO

This is what I imagine prostate exams are like

This is what I imagine prostate exams are like

Mecka-leck-hi-mecka-hiney-ho! “The Luckiest Boy in The World,” Pee Wee Herman will be on HBO! Paul Reubens brought back his famous Pee-wee character in 2010 for on Broadway, which premiered last January in Los Angeles and will conclude its New York Broadway run on January 2. HBO announced Tuesday that, immediately following the end of the run, they’ll shoot the production to air sometime in 2011.

Here’s what Nancy Geller, senior vice president of HBO Original Programming, said in a press release:

Before his hit series and movies, HBO introduced Paul Reubens’ Pee-wee Herman to a national audience in the ‘Young Comedians’ series, followed by the groundbreaking 1981 special. It’s thrilling to have Paul back on the network, and it will be a blast to return to Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

I can only sum up my joy with one word -which is culturally dead-, AWESOMESAUCE! Honestly, it’s about time! Let’s fact it, the word needs more Pee-Wee Herman!

The show runs 90 minutes and is based on both the original Pee Wee stage show, , and the classic Saturday morning TV show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse. It tells the story of Pee-wee wanting to fly and what he chooses to do when he gets one wish that could make it happen.

Also, don’t forget that, due to Pee-wee’s resurgence thanks in part to this live show, Judd Apatow announced that he and Paul Reubens would begin developing a new movie starring Pee-wee.

source: NYTTIMES

Spider-Man Musical is Seemingly Screwed


When something has such as long string of bad luck, it is not uncommon to believe that it is cursed.

And, the upcoming Spider-Man musical, entitled “Spider-Man: Alone in the Dark,” fits that description to the letter.

The play, directed by Julie Taymor with music written by U2‘s Bono and The Edge, has been delayed yet again. Not only that, last week two stuntmen broke some bones during the practice of a stunt.

According to the New York Times:

It’s supposed to be the biggest, costliest, splashiest show of the Broadway season, but so far it’s just the most troubled. Executives with “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” said Thursday that the opening of the oft-delayed, $60 million musical would be set back once again, this time by three weeks, meaning it will miss lucrative Thanksgiving week, forgo an attention-getting bow over Christmas, and open during the box office doldrums of January.

The first performance was supposed to be in nine days, on Nov. 14, but this is a show that its famous creators — the director Julie Taymor and U2‘s Bono and the Edge — are laboring to finish. The two-dozen flying sequences are being worked out and still require safety approval from the state Department of Labor. The music, marking the Broadway debut of the U2 frontmen, still isn’t synchronized with special effects, plot and dialogue. Scene-to-scene transitions, essential for rhythm and safety, aren’t complete. Two actors have been injured hurtling through acrobatic rehearsal sequences.

No one can even say for sure if the musical will be two and a half hours long, as expected, until run-throughs start.

With all the problems the play is suffering from (the stunts, dialogue, music, scene-to-scene transitions, etc…) really makes you wonder. Will anything go right for this show?

Or more importantly – Will it be as good as Spider-Man 2, or as awful as Spider-Man 3?