Reports are that helmer Julie Taymor could see her vision for the new tuner “Turn Off the Dark” clouded with the addition of more creative types or, even worse, she could be asked to leave the show she has shepherded through development hell. The two-time Tony winner for “The Lion King” is oft-lauded as a theatrical genius. Indeed, U2‘s Bono and The Edge were so smitten with her that they insisted she be brought in to direct their first-ever Broadway musical.
However, that was almost a decade ago, and the road to the rialto has been a rocky one. Producers came and went, financial woes caused endless delays, and the ambitious staging of the musical about the webbed crusader has injured four of the performers. The show has already set two dubious rialto records: most expensive (the budget is already an estimated $65 million) and previews (topping 100 and still counting) and
While the opening night is still set for March 15 — after four previous premieres were scrubbed — the critics already reviewed the show last month. They decided to weigh in with their opinions on Feb. 7, the most recent of the announced openings. As a group, they were dismissive, finding little to like in this mammoth production.
Washington Post scribe Peter Marks thought, “The 8-year-old boys in the audience might be able to key on the Cirque du Soleil-style stunts on wires and video-game graphic elements, and probably not worry too much that ‘Spider-Man’ is a tangle of disjointed concepts, scenes and musical sequences that suggests its more appropriate home would be off a highway in Orlando.” And Ben Brantley of the New York Times said, “this was not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway, it may also rank among the worst.”