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More fixes, delayed preview for Broadway's 'Spider-Man'

The show - or at least the work on the show - must go on. After the most scrutinized, most fraught, most technologically complex and most delayed first preview in Broadway history, "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" is heading back for fixes before its official opening Jan. 11 at the Foxwoods Theatre.

"We'll go over an analysis of what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening next time," producer Michael Cohl told Entertainment Weekly. "We'll keep working on it and working on it. It's probably a little more difficult than the average show people do, and in order to make it work, that's why we're here so early and why we're not going to have our official opening until Jan. 11." The show's next preview is Wednesday.

"As far as the show is concerned, I'm ecstatic," he added. "We came within just inches of getting through the entire second half without a stop. In your first preview, I think that's quite extraordinary. It is a preview. It is a look inside the process of creating what will be the final live show . . . Last night was by no means an opening."

Still, after Sunday's preview was forced to stop five times to fix technical problems - Natalie Mendoza, who plays an evil spider, and Reeve Carney, who portrays "Spider-Man," were stuck suspended over the crowd at different times - rumors circulated that the $60-million-plus show might not be able to run long enough at the specially rebuilt theater to pay off the record-setting investment.

Erich Jungwirth, Foxwoods' new general manager, denied reports that he has asked other producers about shows that might fit in the 1,932-seat theater. "I am new in this job," he says, "Of course, I've been talking to people in the industry. But there is no truth that I am fishing for future tenants. We are incredibly positive about the prospects and are optimistic that the show is going to have a fantastic run at the Foxwoods Theatre for many years to come."

The problem-plagued show, conceived by Julie Taymor ("The Lion King") with music by U2's Bono and The Edge, has been nine years in the planning and has been delayed twice in the past year.

The cast and creative team had Monday off, but will return to work Tuesday. "Julie and her collaborators are going to continue to work throughout the preview process," said Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the production.

There are 39 previews before opening night. Although figures for advance sales are not divulged, a source close to the production said that $14 million

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