‘Spider-Man’ musical, framed by Annie Leibovitz and Vogue

Nov. 15, 2010 | 4:56 p.m.
spiderman musical Spider Man musical, framed by Annie Leibovitz and Vogue

Captive Audience (Annie Leibovitz/Vogue)

You don’t see a lot of superhero scoops in the pages of  Vogue, but writer Adam Green and photographer Annie Leibovitz have gone behind the scenes of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the Broadway musical from Julie Taymor that, by all early appearances, will challenge “Catwoman” and “Howard the Duck” for the title of most calamitous comic-book adaptation of all time. You can find the story right here and the Leibovitz photo gallery right here. Here’s a quick excerpt from the article:

It’s not difficult to see why Taymor, with her penchant for folk tales and fascination with the cycles of life, would be attracted to the epic tale of an ordinary boy who must cross the thresholds of death and rebirth to claim the mantle of hero. “Spider-Man is a genuine American myth with a dark, primal power,” Taymor says. “But it’s also got this great superhero, and — hey! — he can fly through the theater at 40 miles an hour. It’s got villains, it’s got skyscrapers, it’s colorful, it’s Manhattan. I knew it would be a challenge, but I saw the inherent theatricality in it, and I couldn’t resist.”

Taymor and her co-writer, Glen Berger, have taken the basic contours of the familiar story and added elements of their own, including a geek chorus that comments on the action and a new super villain drawn from Greek mythology. And Taymor will be using all the weapons in her theatrical arsenal, from the low-tech (shadow puppets depict the death of Peter’s uncle Ben) to the high (giant LED screens project mutant ne’er-do-wells wreaking havoc on world capitals). “To me, where theater has it all over film is that it’s in the moment, it’s tactile, you feel it,” she says. “You’re completely immersed in it — right here and right now.”

The production has been delayed and its budget makes it the most expensive in Broadway history. Our spider-sense is tingling…

— Geoff Boucher


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One Response to ‘Spider-Man’ musical, framed by Annie Leibovitz and Vogue

  1. Gary4362 says:

    I understand Julie Taymor's status as an artist – and that of U2 band members Bono and Edge – but this whole project seems ill-conceived and horribly over done. Spectacle for spectacle's sake is a waste of everyone's time and effort. I think all of the delays and cast changes, as well as the issues regarding the safety of the fly rigging, are all signs that someone should have called it quits on this show a long time ago. There may be a possible musical in the Spider-Man myth, but this is not it.

    Or maybe they want to be this decade's Starlight Express? Seen that one get revived lately?

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