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Opening of Spider-Man musical delayed once again

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

The opening of the $65-million musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been delayed for a fifth time, to March 15, the show’s lead producers announced late today. Opening night previously had been set for Feb. 7.

According to The New York Times and other outlets, producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said the opening was pushed back to allow more time to fine-tune parts of the show, “including a new ending.” The announcement came hours after it was reported that Grammy-winning record producer Steve Lillywhite had been brought in by Bono and director Julie Taymor to work with the performers on the music.

Preview performances scheduled for Jan. 18 and Jan. 25 also have been canceled outright.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is ten times more complicated to tech than anything else,” Cohl said in a statement, “and the preview schedule allows for only very limited rehearsal time (twelve hours per week). We simply need more time to fully execute the creative team’s vision before freezing the show. I picked a date in March that allows me to ensure that this will be the final postponement.”

The delay is just the latest in a series of setbacks for the musical, which in addition to be the most expensive and technically complex in Broadway history now holds the record for most previews (they began on Nov. 28). Spider-Man has been plagued with troubles that date back to at least back to August 2009, when cash-flow obstacles forced the production to shut down, seemingly beginning a domino effect that led to repeated delays, the loss of two stars and a ballooning budget.

Safety concerns first emerged in October, around the time dancer Kevin Aubin broke both wrists in an aerial stunt gone wrong. During the coverage of that incident it was discovered that another performer had broken a foot during rehearsals. Then came November’s problem-filled first preview, during which actress Natalie Mendoza suffered a concussion, resulting in a two-week absence and, eventually, her departure. That was followed on Dec. 20 by the show’s worst mishap, when aerialist Christopher Tierney suffered extensive injuries after his harness snapped, sending him falling 30 feet.

Despite those problems, Spider-Man still managed to top last week’s Broadway box office, narrowly beating out the long-running musical Wicked.

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6 Comments

This is a joke. Four months in previews is ridiculous. After this, I really doubt whether they’ll ever open it officially, or just keep postponing the opening. People have the right to know what they’re paying for; let the critics in!

But hey, apparently, Glenn Beck LOVES IT.

Just more proof this is insanely wrong and bad.

The phrase ‘Turn off the Dark’ is going to become a popculture metaphor for clusterfuck awful like ‘Jumping the Shark’ or ‘Ishtar’. 20 years from now people will be asking ‘how bad is fill-in-the-blank?’ And the response will be ‘oh epic failure. It was Turn off the dark bad.’
And people will know and understand what that means.

this is just another sign that Marvel and the producers behind this thing should finaly accept and turn off the dark for real for the spider man musical for it has had nothing but bad luck and karma time to cut their losses and let it go dark for good.

Demoncat, I don’t think Marvel has any say in the matter. Sony secured the license for the musical and, reportedly, was granted an extension last year in exchange for returning the Spider-Man TV/animation rights to Marvel.

On the other hand, if it had spent three months or so in LA, Chicago, and Boston, no one would think that odd. This went straight to NY, and all the problems that many musicals face working out their story problems have been held under the microscope of the NYC press.

“Wicked” got hammered by critics during its LA run. It’s now going on its tenth year.

If the additional month actually fixes the second act problems so that the show is then able to enjoy a healthy run, who’s going to give a damn years down the road about when the show actually opened?

PAD

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