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February 25, 2009 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Only 325 days until Broadway's Hilton Theater hosts the first preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a $40 million musical directed by Juliet Taymor with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2. Investors hope it will fare better than another big-budget pulp adaptation.
posted by Joe Beese (35 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Best of the web.
posted by gman at 11:10 AM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Julie Taymor also has a movie based on The Tempest coming out, with Helen Mirren cast as Prospero. Sorry, Prospera.
posted by hermitosis at 11:20 AM on February 25, 2009


Actually, you mean the incredibly talented Julie Taymor of 'Lion King' fame. Her 2008 TED talk: 'Theater and the Imagination.'
posted by ericb at 11:20 AM on February 25, 2009


Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, I Want To Get Off!

The Hulk: Can I Borrow A Feeling

Avengers Go Crazy Broadway Style!
posted by fleetmouse at 11:23 AM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Julie Taymor talks about Spider-Man: The Musical..

Evan Rachel Wood on Spider-Man: The Musical.
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on February 25, 2009


I prefer: Spidey!
posted by Joe Beese at 11:30 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oedipus, the Lion King, and now Spiderman? Julie Taymor truly has commanded all the heights of our culture.
psss her Oedipus was amazing; I think you can get it on video
posted by grobstein at 11:30 AM on February 25, 2009


History repeats itself in very strange ways.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:32 AM on February 25, 2009


Why?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:35 AM on February 25, 2009


Oedipus Rex dvd
posted by grobstein at 11:35 AM on February 25, 2009


Tickets to this thing are going to be $137 for every performance.

I give it two months.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:40 AM on February 25, 2009


A musical about Spiderman written by U2? No way this could be a huge trainwreck, right?
posted by Electrius at 11:41 AM on February 25, 2009


her designs for the Magic Flute at the Met were pretty good, but (to my surprise) I didn't feel like the source material was suited to her stylized, symbolic aesthetic
posted by grobstein at 11:43 AM on February 25, 2009


I'm saving my excitement for ROM: Spaceknights on Ice.
posted by brain_drain at 11:45 AM on February 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm still mad I never got to sing and dance next to Captain America.
posted by joelhunt at 11:46 AM on February 25, 2009


So, it's like RENT but he's been bitten by a spider instead of a heroin addiction?
It's gonna seem like you've been sitting in that seat for 525,600 minutes.

Disclaimer: I really liked RENT, and I like U2, but can't help but view this as a train wreck of epic proportions.
posted by willmize at 11:51 AM on February 25, 2009


Ahhh, the self-inflicted shotgun wound that finally ended Broadway.
the title puns are fun though, how about:
Spider, Spiderman
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:58 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't believe nobody has thought of Kiss of the Spiderman yet.
posted by Bromius at 12:02 PM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I swear I checked my calendar to make sure it wasn't April.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:10 PM on February 25, 2009


I think Helen Mirren playing Prospero will be ace, personally.

U2 kind of need to go away for a while, I'm thinking. And I even like a lot of their stuff.
posted by jokeefe at 1:10 PM on February 25, 2009


If Bono is not contracturally obligated to write "Is he strong? Listen, bud / He's got radioactive blood" into one of the songs, then I want nothing to do with this musical.
posted by Spatch at 1:25 PM on February 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm saving my excitement for ROM: Spaceknights on Ice.

I picture that one being a lot like Starlight Express, honestly.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:58 PM on February 25, 2009


“I’m sick of Bono and I am him,” the singer admitted of his persona recently.
posted by benzenedream at 2:52 PM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I give it two months.

You sure about that? Young Frankenstein lasted a year and two months.
posted by oaf at 2:53 PM on February 25, 2009


Link for the Superman musical on Spotify

It's super-nice.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:05 PM on February 25, 2009


I thought doing a live version of "The Lion King" was a spectacularly bad idea until I saw Ms. Taymor's version of it. Her theatrical work has consistently been a visual and aural delight. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one - though I'll be waiting until the ticket prices drop to less-than-my-mortgage levels to see it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:25 PM on February 25, 2009


I knew there was a reason I hated New York.
posted by jeffkramer at 4:45 PM on February 25, 2009


If you are going to try to photograph this performance, be ready for the "thwip" of Spidey's web as he webs you all up in a big cocoon!

Then Dr. Octopus will yell at you.
posted by orme at 5:08 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Julie Taymor either turned out to be way more awesome or way less awesome than I thought ten years ago.
posted by theefixedstars at 5:11 PM on February 25, 2009


Tickets to this thing are going to be $137 for every performance.

I give it two months.


You realize that's...$17 less than the ticket prices for most Broadway shows, right? Not that you can't get deals at TKTS, websites, schools, group sales etc., (I really wonder why anyone outside of first-time tourists would pay full price for any show but the most popular) but $120 is pretty standard. I hope that this one won't have the hubris to charge $450 for "Premium" seats like Young Frankenstein. Not only did that hurt the industry as a whole (some people thinking that Broadway costs $450 a pop from the news stories) but it was a major part of the show's failure (I mean, aside from the lackluster show itself).

The group sales promos went out today...all I can say is that I'm vastly amused that, as usual, all the days without performances are listed as "DARK." (Spiderman turns off the dark, except for Monday nights and occasional holidays!)

In any case, the budget is a monstrosity that desperately needs to be cut back, because I can't see any way the producers are ever going to recoup on this one, even if it runs for years. You know you've got a damaged business model when a healthy run will still produce a financial flop.

/New York theatre grad student rant
posted by ilana at 7:29 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Er, and by "$17 less," I meant "$17 more." Carry on.

Maybe Spiderman can edit my comment.
posted by ilana at 8:47 PM on February 25, 2009


I'm so there.

One of my long-time buddies, Mike Chodzin, 64, is a huge Spiderman fan. He is such a Spiderman fan than an entire room in of he and his girlfriend's home of eight-years is dedicated to Spiderman. I mean the entire room. He has every even halfway-interesting Spiderman toy or accessory ever made. Plus every issue of every Spiderman comic up until around 1995. (Occupies a small storage.) Plus the very first Amazing Spiderman comic. Plus Amazing Fanatasy #15.

And here's why. He's of Eastern European descent, his mom's a concentration camp survivor, growing up in Chicago he used to have to fight every day to survive. His parents had nothing, he lived by street wits, and even has his actual hand-embroidered gang jacket from being in a street gang in Chicago in the '50s. He says comics were a way out. They let him escape how grim life was.

I mean, he's the real deal.

On top of being an original hard-living, hard-playing tough guy, he's an eight-year cancer survivor. Then last week, his doctor's found a cancerous tumor in his throat, and he has to have his vocal cords operated on in Miami next week in an eight-hour surgery. He may never talk again, which is strange because he already has a voice like walking on a gravel driveway. Chodzin says he'll be fine, he's a survivor and he's "going to live a long time, [he's] just meant to suffer." (True quote, said it to me yesterday.)

Here in Key West, everyone knows Chodzin because he was the island's main roofing guy for 30 years. His slogan, "Chodzin Roofing is smarter than the water." He's proud of that slogan, "it fucks with people's minds," real intese-like. On his sleeve is a cast-silver wristband bracelet, huge really, that reads CHODZIN ROOFING. I'm telling you, he's an iconoclast.

Anyhow, this is exactly the kind of thing that will really charge him up. In fact, he lives for this kind of stuff. So heck yeah, this is a must. The great thing about Mike is that even though he's been through the mill, his outlook is always like a kid's: Looks for the bright side, always helping people, not someone you'd want to mistake for "a mark" but a good friend to have when the going gets tough.

Besides, from the looks of things it will be pretty good, and for a couple of hours he'll have his mind off reality (which when it comes down to it is precisely what Broadway is for in the first place).

$250 for a pair of tickets for some high-quality pure escapism? These days, that's a bargain!

But seeing Spiderman—on Broadway—with one-of-a-kind, smarter-than-the-water, friendly neighborhood Key West living legend and ever-lovin' true believer Michael Chodzin and his best girl?

That's worth a whole lot more than money to me.
posted by humannaire at 8:56 PM on February 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Okay, this is some kind of scam a-la "The Producers" right? They've oversold the show, set it up so that it has a ridiculous budget that cannot possibly turn a profit and are going to retire to the Caribbean right?
posted by Grimgrin at 10:01 PM on February 25, 2009


If Bono is not contracturally obligated to write "Is he strong? Listen, bud / He's got radioactive blood" into one of the songs, then I want nothing to do with this musical.

Exactly. It's not that I'm against the idea of a Spider-Man musical per se ... but this is so the wrong genre. Spidey's swingin' jazz, guys, everyone knows that. Erm. Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero aside. Good god, now that would be a SUBLIME musical, if by sublime you mean ... brain-rendering. I speak with the love of a fan willing to sit through all two minutes and thirty-five seconds of the caterwauling love ballad "Gwendolyn."
posted by bettafish at 10:23 PM on February 25, 2009


The way Marvel's been going these days, by the time this musical opens the whole damn thing will be about Norman Osborne.

Also: Kenneth Branagh may direct the Thor movie.

WTF?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:11 AM on February 26, 2009


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