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Star-studded premiere for Spidey

Ali Hewson and Bono of U2 attend

Ali Hewson and Bono of U2 attend "Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark" Broadway opening night at Foxwoods Theatre. (June 14, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Despite a drizzle, Tuesday night's private red-carpet premiere of the much-anticipated Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" had the star-studded crowd feeling sunny.

"Oh, I take everything from Spider-Man! He's my only source of inspiration," joked ebullient author Salman Rushdie, one of a Whitman's Sampler of celebrities that included Matt Damon, Spike Lee, Steve Martin, Ben Vereen, Gina Gershon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Amy Irving, John McEnroe, Lesley Stahl, Barbara Walters, Diane von Fürstenberg, and singers Glen Hansard and Deborah Cox. (Invitees Robert De Niro and Bill Clinton didn't walk the carpet. Word was that they had slipped quietly inside.)

They were among those massed at the Foxwoods Theatre in Times Square, where the theater world will finally get to see if "Spider-Man" can do whatever a spider can: spin a web, theater-sized, to capture audiences just like flies.

"The show is fabulous," enthused movie producer Harvey Weinstein. "I saw it six months ago and it's amazing now. It's gonna be a giant hit."

"It was good -- everything, especially the flying," Stahl said.

Among civilians, dad David Villanueva of Valley Stream liked the second half best because "everything comes alive over the audience." His 10-year-old son Brandon agreed. "All I wanted was the fighting."

Co-writer and ousted director Julie Taymor was also there, prompting famously acerbic fellow invitee Fran Lebowitz to say, "What a good sport!"

"I'm fine," a smiling and upbeat Taymor stressed. "I'm good. I'm thrilled to be here." In answer to a question she replied, "It's not bittersweet. It's an opening. It's my opening."

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