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Producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have decided to move the opening of the $65-million Broadway musical from Jan. 11 to sometime in February, The New York Times confirms. That’s nearly a year after it was originally set to open.
This latest delay is intended to provide more time for creators to stage a new closing number, further rewrite dialogue, consider adding and removing scenes, and possibly insert new music from Bono and the Edge.
The musical, which is the most expensive and technically complex in Broadway history, has been plagued by problems, dating back to at least August 2009, when cash-flow obstacles forced production to shut down. Amid delays that led to the loss of stars Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming, the show’s budget ballooned from $35 million to $50 million to $65 million. Just as director Julie Taymor’s ambitious show appeared back on track, reports emerged of safety concerns triggered by two injuries — one was serious — during rehearsals. Then came last month’s glitch-filled first preview, during which actress Natalie Mendoza received a concussion (she returned to the production on Wednesday night after a nearly two-week absence).
However, despite those problems — heck, maybe it’s because of — ticket sales for Spider-Man‘s previews have been impressive, with the 1,932-seat Foxwoods Theatre at 98.2 percent capacity. Unfortunately, producers will have to maintain those numbers if they hope to recoup their initial investment in less than four years.