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.
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.
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 millionmusical.
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.