While the cast of “Spider-Man” worked hard this week to promote the problem-ridden $65 million musical to the general public on both “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Early Show,” its producers have been tossing and turning over whether to postpone opening night — which is set for March 15 — for the sixth time despite lead producer Michael Cohl vowing that the fifth delay would be the last.
On Tuesday night, Bono attended the show for the first time since late January so that he could weigh in on whether it was ready to open. Many have speculated that the producers might wait as long as June to open the show, which would render it ineligible for this year’s Tony Awards. Even if it did open on time, it is unlikely to receive a nomination for Best Musical.
Julie Taymor, speaking at a conference on Wednesday in California, admitted publicly that the show is “not quite there,” as reported by The New York Times. She went so far as to compare working on “Spider-Man” to her experience climbing a volcano in Indonesia. “I am in the crucible right now,” she said. “It is my trial by fire.” She then invoked the title of a song from the show, “Rise Above,” and predicted that “Spider-Man” will do just that.
As of press time, critics still had not received invites to review the show. Interestingly, even if it does not open, an opening-night party apparently will still be held on March 15 at the Grand Hyatt. It’ll just be called something else — never-opening night?
In any event, if major cosmetic surgery has not been performed on the show since it received its first round of reviews last month, it will undoubtedly get panned again. In all seriousness, it’s time for the show’s producers to just bite the bullet, open the show and move on with their lives.
Tickets for Thursday night’s performance were released earlier in the day at the TKTS booth at a 30 percent discount. As far I know, this is the first time tix for “Spider-Man” have been made available there. It’s another indication that demand to see the show is starting to fade.
As hard as it is to get “Spider-Man” to officially open, it’s managed to inspire countless Off-Off-Broadway parodies to open in its place. Last week we reported how both “Spidermann” and “The Spidey Project” would open before “Spider-Man” on March 13 and 14 respectively.
You can also add “Spidermusical” to the list. Tim Drucker, its director, optimistically described “Spidermusical” to us as not a parody of “Spider-Man” but an original, legitimate book musical that just happens to be about a nerd who is bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a superhero.
Inspired by these brave individuals, I am considering mounting my own Spider-Man musical. I could call it “Spider-Man: Please Let Me In.” It would take place outside the Foxwoods Theatre and begin with me waiting to be invited to finally review the damn show. The real plot would start when Spider-Man calls upon me to rescue him from the evil forces of Bono and Julie Taymor, who are out to destroy his good name.
I’m estimating the budget to be roughly $65, most of which will go towards buying a Spider-Man Halloween costume.