Spiderman musical in peril? (1 Viewer)

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Broadway's most expensive musical ever, with a $65 million budget, and music by Bono & The Edge, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, is supposed to be the show that brings a new audience (such as . . . men) back to Broadway, but things ain't going so smoothly:

First 'Spider-Man' preview filled with problems
'Guinea pig' audience rips show

Michael Riedel | New York Post | November 29, 2010


Not even Spider-Man could avert this disaster.

Last night's opening pre view of Broadway's most expensive production ever, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," was an epic flop as the $65 million show's high-tech gadgetry went completely awry amid a dull score and baffling script, theatergoers griped. Stunned audience members were left scratching their heads over the confusing plot -- when they weren't ducking for cover from falling equipment and dangling actors at the Foxwoods Theatre on West 42nd Street, some said. At various points, overhead stage wires dropped on the audience, scenery appeared on stage missing pieces -- and the show's star was even left swaying helplessly over them midair during what was supposed to be the climatic end to the first act.

****

The production -- directed by Julie Taymor of "Lion King" fame and with a score by U2's Bono and The Edge -- appeared cursed from the start, audience members said. It opened with Taymor's personal creation, the eight-legged female character Arachne, taking the stage. The spider is the radioactive arachnid that bites Peter Parker, giving the photographer his superhuman Spider-Man powers. As the character, played by actress Natalie Mendoza, finished her big number "Rise Above" while suspended over the crowd, an apparent wire malfunction left her stopped in midair -- where she remained for an embarrassing seven or eight minutes as stagehands worked feverishly to figure out the problem. The stage manager finally said over the loudspeaker, "Give it up for Natalie Mendoza, who's hanging in the air!"

****

The production dragged on for nearly 3½ hours. In its last 10 minutes, the show was completely stopped for at least half that time to work out kinks. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like a guinea pig tonight!" one woman angrily shouted out from her orchestra seat during the down time. "I feel this was a dress rehearsal!"

Taymor was at the preview, as was producer Michael Cohl, although Bono and The Edge were in Australia on tour with U2.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/...on_stage_NfctVtDnuFc5Lv0XNc8f0J#ixzz16n1QXDLG

. . . what would you estimate is the duration of a multiple car crash at the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway? Try six weeks. That's how long the preview period is for the notoriously troubled megamusical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Unless the entire cast ends up in hospital from aerial-stunt mishaps, the producer pulls the plug, or the infrastructure of Foxwoods theatre collapses under the weight of impossibly inflated expectations, this bloated behemoth, currently priced at $65m (£42m), will open properly – it's currently in previews – on 11 January.

However, to judge by the online torrent of commentary to the first preview on 28 November, you would think the show had already begun. The premature appraisals have taken a number of forms: mischievous muckraking from vicious gossip columnist Michael Riedel; a scrupulous news report in the New York Times; and then there's All That Chat, a ****** Broadway-centric message board that should, for the next month, be renamed All That Spidey. Every technical delay in the first preview has been clocked and documented. Every weakness in the book and score (by U2's Bono and The Edge) has been singled out and clucked over. The overweening ambition of the project's director-sorceress Julie Taymor has been wondered at with mixed disgust and consternation. A producer I met the night after the first preview had been there, and frankly perplexed. "I literally didn't understand what was going on," he admitted. "Sixty-five million for a budget? I didn't see it up there." I couldn't resist suggesting that maybe it was going on band-aids and aspirin.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2010/nov/30/spiderman-musical-web-critics-broadway

Could ‘Spider-Man’ Be a Short-Timer at the Foxwoods Theater?
By PATRICK HEALY | The New York Times | November 29, 2010

. . . the “Spider-Man” team is hoping for a years-long run at the Foxwoods — at least a few years, to turn a profit. Yet some Broadway producers said in interviews over the weekend and on Monday that the theater itself was sending signals that the show might not be around that long.

Three veteran producers, all of whom have major commercial musicals running on Broadway or planned in the next year or so, said they were contacted over the last two weeks by the new general manager of the Foxwoods Theater, Erich Jungwirth, who wanted to introduce himself and talk business. Specifically, each of the producers said in separate interviews, Mr. Jungwirth asked if they had productions in the works that might be a future fit for the Foxwoods Theater and asked them to keep the 1,932-seat theater in mind as they developed or optioned productions for Broadway.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2...-man-be-a-short-timer-at-the-foxwoods-theater
 

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producers.jpg
 
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Yes indeed. Now that was a successful musical. Gregg Easterbrook also invoked the spirit of Max Bialystock in his TMQ column today.

Comic-Book Characters, Having Ruined Hollywood, Are Now About to Ruin Broadway: The Spider-Man musical, complete with music by U2, began previews Sunday. Eight years and $65 million in the making, it sounds like the dumbest idea ever for a Broadway show . . . TMQ conservatively estimates that for investors to earn back the $65 million plus opportunity cost, then realize a profit, the show will need to run for 970 years. Perhaps Max Bialystock arranged the financing.
 

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I'm still waiting for The Exorcist, The Musical.....
 

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From what i've read they switched lead actors like 6 times.

They've been trying to get this thing going since like 2006
 

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Yes indeed. Now that was a successful musical. Gregg Easterbrook also invoked the spirit of Max Bialystock in his TMQ column today.

Very unrelated, but from the link...this gave me a chuckle.

pg2_a_weaselts_200.jpg

AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Karen Nichols
Gene Chizik prepares to address the press corps.
 
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More angst:

Concussion Sidelines ‘Spider-Man’ Actress
By PATRICK HEALY | The New York Times | December 3, 2010

A lead actress in the new Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” suffered a concussion at the first preview performance on Sunday night when, standing offstage, she was struck in the head by a rope holding a piece of equipment, a spokesman for the actress said on Friday. The actress, Natalie Mendoza, who plays the villainess Arachne, did not perform on Thursday night and is not expected to return before Tuesday.

****

Ms. Mendoza is the third actor in “Spider-Man” to be hurt working on the production; during rehearsals this fall, one dancer broke his wrists after landing incorrectly during a flying stunt, while another actor injured his feet doing the same stunt.

I wonder if Actors' Equity will talk to the NFLPA about concussion guidelines for this show?
 

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The only response I deem worthy to this entire story:

:covri:
 

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I would definitely go see it if they hire Erin Andrews to randomly prance around the stage in her birthday suit. That would sell some tickets.
 
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And another injury:

Theatergoers who attended Monday’s performance of “Spider-Man,” a $65 million musical laden with complicated aerial stunts, said they saw a performer playing the title hero fall about eight to ten feet into a pit during the closing minutes of the show, and that some equipment fell into the audience when this occurred. A video of the performance showed a line holding the performer apparently snap.

A police spokesman confirmed that a male actor was injured at about 10:42 p.m. and taken to Bellevue Hospital Center. No other information was immediately released.
* * * *
[An audience member] said he saw the actor playing Spider-Man appear to trip and fall from the bridge, into an open pit at the end of the stage. “You heard screams,” Mr. Tartick said. “You heard a woman screaming and sobbing.”

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/performer-is-injured-during-spider-man-performance
 

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