The troubled tuner “Turn Off the Dark” has cancelled performances from April 19 to May 11 and is now set to officially open on June 14. The show was to have debuted on Tuesday, its fifth rescheduled premiere during a record-breaking preview run. This new opening night means that it won’t qualify for this year’s Tony Awards.
However, unlike other Broadway shows, which need rave reviews to pack them in, “Turn Off the Dark” has weathered some of the harshest notices from the critical community but still played to full houses. Frustrated by the ever-shifting opening date, the press attended performances back in early February and pronounced the musical as one of the worst ever on the rialto.
Until this three-week long hiatus, the show will continue to attract curiosity seekers to the Foxwood Theater, hoping to see some of the work of writer-director Julie Taymor which is likely headed for the scrap heap. The two-time Tony champ (“The Lion King”) is exiting the show. Going with her may be some of the more technically-difficult moments in the musical, which have resulted in both injuries and delays in performances.
Directing duties fall to Philip William McKinley, who helmed “The Boy From Oz” which won Hugh Jackman the Best Musical Actor Tony back in 2004. The book, which was the scourge of the critics, will be rewritten by off-Broadway playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa who is also a key creator of Spider-Man comic books. And the show’s neophyte songwriting team, Bono and The Edge of U2, are reported to be working on new material for the musical.