Julie Taymor

After the shows very rocky accident filled start, she was fired. This lead to the previously reported suit and counter suit between her and the shows producers. Now former Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark director Julie Taymor can finally put the ugly mess behind her. The New York Times is reporting that the lawsuit has been settled and to sooth Taymor’s tortured soul, she will be paid $10,000, per week, every week that the multi-million dollar show runs and seeing as the show is still selling out week after week, that’s going to be awhile.

Let’s do some math. On average the show earns around $1 million per week, making it the most profitable show on Broadway right now. Popular shows stay on Broadway for years, so when it’s all said and done, Taymor could easily rake in a million or more. Not to shabby for getting fired after a few weeks of work.

How do the producers, Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris, feeling about signing all those checks?

 “We are very happy to have reached an amicable compromise with the SDC that will allow us all to move on,” the pair said in a joint statement reported by The New York Times. “Now we can focus our energies on providing an amazing entertainment experience for our audiences, who have come to see the show in record numbers and made it a tremendous hit.”

So, if anyone has any connections on Broadway, I am totally willing to mess up and almost derail a $75 Million dollar production. For the record I would also be totally willing to settle for just $5 grand a week.

Think of the money you’d save Broadway!

Source: Blastr

It’s no surprise that the Broadway adaptation Spider-man: Turn off the Dark was going to be a success. Even with their delays in production, going several million dollars over budget and the removal and replacement of former director Julie Taymor the production has been successful enough for a Tony nomination for Julie Taymor. Wait…my spider-sense is tingling.

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


With every delay, every technical difficulty and every time Spidey gets stuck upside down in the air it becomes apparent that the creators of Spiderman: Turn off the Dark seem to have bitten off more than they can chew.  Well, it finally seems that Producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris are tingling because they are making some EPIC changes to the production.  With the production not being ready now until Summer rather this month due to rearranging everything from musical number to added new music, original director Julie Taymor will be unable to devote all of her time to the project after this month comes to a close.

A press release just came out stating that we will have to wait just a little longer for our Spidey who is not only high flying but sings and dances too!  The musical has been set back numerous times so this comes as no surprise.  The bummer of it all is that this thing seemed like it has so much potential when the news was first released ,but after a wind of bad press it has lost a lot of it’s mojo.

So in order to help Spidey “get his groove back”  producer have brought musical consultant Paul Bogaev (Tarzan, Bombay Dreams, Aida, Sunset Boulevard) and sound designer Peter Hylenski (Elf, Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages, Shrek) to it’s creative team.  No doubt these are impressive additions but will it be enough to bring this musical out of the mess it’s in?  It’ll be interesting to see if the new plan of attack works.

Both the producers and Bono and The Edge who are doing the music for the show support Taymor’s vision and her work thus far, but neither seem unhappy about the delay or expanding creative team.  With the producers commenting,

Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team. Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so. Julie’s previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening. We cannot exaggerate how technically difficult it is to make such changes to a show of this complexity, so it’s with great pride that we announce that Phil McKinley is joining the creative team. Phil is hugely experienced with productions of this scale and is exactly what SPIDER-MAN Turn off the Dark needs right now.”

and Bono and The Edge tagging onto to that adding,

“Julie is a truly gifted and imaginative director. This is an epic ride, and the standing ovations we have seen from the preview audiences have confirmed our absolute faith in the project. We are listening and learning and, as a result, we have a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix. All of us on the creative team are committed to taking SPIDER-MAN to the next level. We are confident it will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open.”

So what do you guys think, will the new additions to Spidey’s team get the musical out of this sticky situation??

Source: ComicBookMovie


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


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.



Ah . . . the glory of seeing something you didn’t really care much about implode in a $65 million dollar boondoggle. The gloriously disastrous musical that is Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, now the butt of every Broadway joke, has decided to drop back and punt by bringing in  Broadway veteran Paul Bogaev. Hired to “help improve the performance, vocal and orchestration arrangements,” Bogaev has his hands full. Bono and the Edge are currently writing new music and the musicals producers are talking to, but have not signed, Spider-Man comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to re-work some of the book (That’s Broadway for “script” . . . Now you know as much as I do about Broadway). Contrary to blog reports, the production has not hired a new director. Three weeks to go before the show’s fifth scheduled opening on March 15.

Fifth times the charm! I’m sure of it!
Just click those ruby red shoes and say,
“There’s no musical like Spiderman,
There’s no musical like Spiderman!”


Now for the salt that’s gonna get rubbed into Julie Taymor’s and Bono’s $65 million dollar wounds. Justin Moran, humorist and playwright, has launched “Spider-man Smackdown”, a guerrilla theater project to write, compose, choreograph, cast, rehearse, and perform a complete musical based on the character Spiderman in New York City before the March 15th opening date of the fifth attempt to open Spiderman: Turn of the Dark on Broadway.

You can check out Moran’s blog for updates and videos about the project like the one below.

“How important is $65 Million in making good theatre?” jokes Moran. “We’re going to develop a story, write a complete musical score and script, design sets and costumes, cast, rehearse, advertise and ultimately mount the production on March 14th, 2011 at the The People’s Improv Theatre in NYC.”

That $65 million is very important, without that you can’t buy enough doughnuts to keep the Unions happy. There are many theatre unions, Actors Equity Association (for actors and stage managers), the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE, for designers and technicians). Many theatres require that their staff be members of these organizations.

New York City
Two Musicals Enter
One Musical Leaves
Welcome to Musical Thunderdome!
sources: slashfilmtoplessrobot


‘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 over-the-top musical production by Julie Taymor and company, Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, may just be over.  Taymor’s musical has come to a screeching halt after the events of last night’s showing.  Stuntman Christopher Tierney, who doubles for Spidey as well as two of the villains for the production, fell thirty feet after one of his cables snapped.  In a statement released to Broadway World it is said that,

“Actors’ Equity Association is working with management and the Department of Labor to ensure that performances will not resume until back-up safety measures are in place.”

The events of putting the Spidey musical together almost read like  a comic itself.  And surprisingly, the villains aren’t Bono and the Edge.  The villains have come in the form of an outrageous budget, constant delays of the production and faulty equipment.  If anything should be the last straw and end this production, this should be it!  I think Taymor, despite how good she is at what she does, has unfortunately bitten off a little more than she can chew this time.  I just hope this guy is gonna be alright.

Source: ToplessRobot