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Producers to Revamp 'Spider-Man,' Delay Opening to Summer

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ticket holders planning on seeing "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" will have to wait a little bit longer to catch Peter Parker flying over Broadway. The musical's producers announced on Wednesday night that opening night for the $65 million production will be pushed back to an unspecified date this summer to allow time for significant revisions to the show.

The delay marks the sixth time the show's opening has been rescheduled. Until Wednesday, the show was scheduled to open at the Foxwoods Theatre on Tuesday, March 15.

Producers say that Julie Taymor, who won a Tony award for directing "The Lion King" on Broadway, will continue to direct "Spider-Man," but she will play a less hands-on role. "Julie's previous commitments mean that past March 15, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening," the show's lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said in a statement.

Cohl and Harris said that Philip William McKinley would join the show's creative team to help Taymor out, and specifically to work on new staging. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who has written comic books featuring Spider-Man, will come on board to do book rewrites. Under the new team, which also includes U2's Bono and the Edge who composed the score, the "Spider-Man" script will go through significant revisions.

“This is an epic ride, and the standing ovations we have seen from the preview audiences have confirmed our absolute faith in the project," Bono and the Edge said in a statement. "We are listening and learning and, as a result, we have a couple of new songs we are very, very excited about putting into the mix. All of us on the creative team are committed to taking 'Spider-Man' to the next level. We are confident it will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open.”

Until it does, ticket holders can head to a number of "Spider-Man" spoofs playing in New York City to get their Spidey fix, including "The Spidey Project" and "Spidermann."

John Osebold, the director of the latter production, says the delay will allow his cast to put on another show between now and the opening. "I guess it opens the door for another remount of 'Spidermann,'" John Osebold told WNYC in an e-mail. "But in order to follow our trajectory, I think we'd have to perform it in the bathrooms at the Foxwoods Theatre."

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