Monday, June 17, 2024

Exclusive: Spider Man on Broadway Creator Julie Taymor Speaks to Showbiz411


Julie Taymor is partially amused and semi outraged by the coverage of “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark.”

So what if it’s been postponed for two weeks? Even Norton Herrick, the main money guy behind the $55 million musical, told me this morning he’s fine with it.

When shows are postponed, it’s because the book, music, and lyrics don’t work, or an actor is having problems. Not so with “Spider Man.”

“There are no changes coming to the actual show,” Taymor told me. “All the changes have to do with technical things. The flying, of course. But also all the wires, and the changes between scenes. We may need a little bit of an underscore to cover a move, or a small transition that needs to be smoothed. These are the things that you would work out on the road. We’re doing them here.”

Taymor is not naive, but she’s surprised by the venom being spewed toward the show. “This is a time of terrible unemployment. We have around 200 people involved in this, being paid every week. Do we really want to see them lose their jobs? It’s unbelievable.”

“Spider Man” is a complex show. Taymor points out that she’s putting on a musical and a circus–and something that will have influences of Cirque du Soleil. “What they do for $200 million, we’re doing for $55 million.” She has a chief coordinator from Cirque du Soleil working on “Spider Man,” too.

“This is an ambitious production,” Taymor conceded. “But I have enthusiastic, talented supporters here who want to be here. It’s not like I’m one person doing this. I can’t force intelligent, experienced people to do something they don’t want to do.”

She’s of course not happy to be insulted in the pages of the New York Post as a wacky chick. I’ve known Taymor and her Oscar winning composer husband Elliot Goldenthal a long time. They are serious artists who are up to any challenge. It’s belittling and stupid of the Post to describe her that way, frankly.

“It’s not valid to start tearing down people,” Taymor said.

For the record, “Spider Man” has about 15-16 full songs from Bono and The Edge. The first act alone has 16-17 acts. “We’ve seen the whole show except the finale,” Taymor said. “And that’s because we’re waiting for a piece from the set to arrive. With the flying, it’s all about wire management.  And that’s all coming together.”

“Spider Man” should run around two hours, forty minutes. And Herrick told me that he’s satisfied with the box office advance. “I have several shows and movies running, and all anyone asks me is can they have tickets to Spider Man,” he laughed.

So hold on. We’ll be hearing more from all these people shortly. “And we love 1-1-11,” Taymor said. “We could have opened earlier, but the holidays were in the way. This is the perfect date.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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