“Turn Off the Dark” won’t be seeing the light with Broadway theater critcs till Feb. 7. That is almost four weeks later than had been most recently scheduled with “unforseeable setbacks” cited as the reason. in a statement, lead producer Michael Cohl said, “It has become clear that we need to give the team more time to fully execute their vision.”
The production has been plagued with problems from the outset. Bono and the Edge of U2 penned the tunes almost a decade ago but it has taken this long to go from page to stage. The original producer died on the day the contracts were signed. The money dried up during the pre-production phase and delays meant that Golden Globe nominee Evan Rachel Wood (“Thirteen”) and Tony champ Alan Cumming (“Cabaret”) had to bow out of playing the love interest and villain.
Tony-winning director Julie Taymor‘s vision for the show has become blurred by technical constraints. During the first preview on Nov. 28, leading man Reeve Carney was left hanging from the rafters as the flying harnesses jammed. And Natalie Mendoza, who plays the newly-created villainess Arachne suffered a concussion.
At $65 million, “Turn Off the Dark” is the most expensive musical in the history of the rialto. It has a cast of 41 with 18 in the orchestra. The sets are some of the most complicated ever built and there are more than two dozen flying sequences to stage.
Image: “Turn Off the Dark” poster (Foxwoods Theater)