There was a swirl of rumors not long ago that the lavish plans to bring Spider-Man to Broadway as a $30-million-plus musical were, well, trapped in a web of problems. But today the plan appears to be in full swing as producers of "Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark" announced an opening night of Feb. 18, 2010, at the Hilton Theatre (213 W. 42nd Street).
There’s a website, spidermanonbroadway.com/, but no cast announcement yet, although we told you earlier that Evan Rachel Wood is reportedly locked in for the role of Mary Jane Watson. The somewhat odd creative team is led by Tony-winning director Julie Taymor, who excelled with the tricky venture of bringing Disney’s "The Lion King" to the stage. Playwright Glen Berger is writing the show with Taymor, and Broadway virgins Bono and Edge of U2, of all people, are creating new music and lyrics for the superhero spectacle.
Preview performances will begin Jan. 16, 2010, so circle the date … if for some reason you actually already own a 2010 calendar.
What do we know about the show itself? Does that title suggest that Venom will be the black-suit bad guy? Or maybe it’s Electro, who will bring some crackling juice to the lights of Broadway?
Here’s a blurb from the producers:
Drawing from over forty years of Marvel comic books for inspiration, SPIDER-MAN spins a new take on the mythic tale of a young man propelled from a modest rowhouse in Queens to the sky-scraping spire of the Chrysler Building, the bustling offices of the Daily Bugle, through the dizzying canyons of Manhattan, to new vistas never before seen. The musical follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down — literally — when he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek — suddenly endowed with astonishing powers — soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains test not only his physical strength but also his strength of character. Spider-Man’s battles will hurtle the audience through an origin story both recognizable and unexpected — yielding new characters as well as familiar faces — until a final surprising confrontation casts a startling new light on this hero’s journey.
The principal creative and design team for SPIDER-MAN includes Daniel Ezralow, Choreographer ("Across the Universe," "The Green Bird"); George Tsypin, Sets ("The Magic Flute," "The Little Mermaid"); Eiko Ishioka, Costumes (Academy Award for "Bram Stoker’s Dracula," Tony Award nomination for "M. Butterfly," the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics); Donald Holder, Lighting (Tony® Awards for "The Lion King," "South Pacific"); Jonathan Deans, Sound ("Fosse," The Beatles "LOVE" by Cirque du Soleil, "Young Frankenstein," "Ragtime"); and Teese Gohl, Musical Supervisor ("Across the Universe," "Frida"). Additional members of the SPIDER-MAN creative team will be announced at a later date.
— Geoff Boucher
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