Home Theater Broadway Spider Man: Show May Avoid Tony Awards, Open in June

That March 15th opening for “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark”? It’s now called a “Hope-ening.” It will not be the official opening night, according to sources.

One source says every time the show doesn’t open they call it a “Faux-pening.”

Anyway, what I’m told is that “Spider Man” will simply not deal with the Tony Awards and their April 28th deadline. Instead, work is being done to rewrite the show as much as possible within its mechanical parameters.

“Bono and Edge are writing new songs,” says my source. They do, contrary to rumors, have some good songs already in “Rise Above,” “Say Now,” “Boy Falls From the Sky” and a couple of others. But between the songs and the story fixes, the show will not open officially until June–right around Tony time. This would be the fourth or fifth postponement, depending on who’s counting.

I am told that the feeling is that week to week the show is selling well enough ($1.55 mil last week.) that opening now, getting panned again, and then getting snubbed by the Tonys–which is likely–is worse than just staying the course and continuing to make improvements. I wrote on Saturday that the show has improved tremendously. Audiences enjoy it, and the aerial stuff is spectacular. (Now that it’s all working, it looks like fun.)  Some changes have been made for the better, but my source says “many, many more” are coming.

PS Without “Spider Man,” the bumper crop of original musicals competing for the Tony would include “Catch Me If You Can,” “Baby It’s You,” “The People in the Picture,” “The Book of Mormon” and “Sister Act”–all opening between now and April 28th.

6 replies to this post
  1. Mr. Friedman,

    This is so strange. I had mentioned something like this scenario in the New York Times “comments box” back on Feb. 22. How odd that this fanciful thought (so it seemed at the time) may be what’s rumored to be happening after all! I still think that if they’re turning around the quality the way they seem to be already, they could arbitrarily pick an opening night before April 28 almost at whim and still qualify. The Box Office remains the wild card.

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/spider-man-producers-hire-help-more-delays-possible/?permid=18#comment18

    18.
    Freddie
    New York, NY
    February 22nd, 2011
    9:50 am
    If they’re somehow expecting to come away empty-handed in all but technical nominations, if the mood is such that it is what it is, maybe it’s better and less embarrassing to open after the cut-off and simply not be eligible. (They’d probably still end up on the Tony telecast this year.) That is, unless the show really gets to a point where they expect better reviews after the changes, in which case they could just decide even on April-whatever to call some performance the official opening, Assuming the box office allows them to do that, it almost seems that they CAN play the opening date by ear, just leave enough time to get Chris Tierney into that opening performance and get the attendant publicity.

  2. The Spider-Man team have never claimed to be using the typical Broadway template for their show. It’s an “event” and does it really matter if it ever opens? The critics have already had their say and I think it’s admirable that they keep working to improve it. Obviously they are in it for the long haul, not just the Foxwood engagement. Years from now when it’s playing in Vegas, Berlin, Tokyo, London and Dubai, no one’s going to care whether it ever opened on Broadway or won any Tony Awards. I saw it in early January and thought it was kind of a mess but there were certainly things to recommend it, even back then. (It certainly looked like a lot more than the circus acts I’ve seen, Barklet.) No, it will never be CAROUSEL or GYPSY but that’s not what they’re going for.

  3. Can you confess now that it makes sense for the show to be reviewed?

    November to June is a preview??? Meanwhile they still charge full price Broadway tickets for what is little more than a circus act.

What do you think?