It’s almost a year since “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” started previews on Broadway. Flashback if you will to November 21st, no, 28th to that fateful, postponed performance. The show didn’t “open” officially until June 14th, after closing down for three weeks. That’s when director and creator Julie Taymor was forced out. Taymor retained her credit. Philip Wm. McKinley, formerly the director of the low brow “Boy from Oz,” was brought in as “creative consultant.” And while the show’s script was rearranged, the basics of the show remained — and they were Taymor’s. So it’s instructive to point out two things: Taymor has still not been paid for her work beyond
$200,000 $125,000 salary. She worked on the show for 9 years.
And, even more curiously, McKinley is now listed as the show’s director on the musical’s website. Taymor has been re-dubbed with the rubic: “Original Direction by.” She also gets credit for the masks.
The credit change, which has turned up in other places lately, happened surreptitiously. Even though McKinley was brought in to do “fine tuning,” and didn’t create any aspect of the show, he’s simply morphed into the director’s title.
One reason given by Broadway insiders: there may be a thought of trying to get McKinley nominated Best Director of a Musical at the Tony Awards.
Good luck with that.
On the payment front, I’m told the arbitration complaint filed by Taymor has had just two days’ official discussion. It will resume in…February 2012. The “Spider Man” producers still don’t want to pay Taymor, apparently.The show has taken in an average of $1.5 million almost every week it’s been open. Of course, it’s also cost $70 million.
Meantime, as I reported first a couple of weeks ago, the female leads of the show–Jennifer Damiano and T.V. Carpio–are leaving the roles of Mary Jane and Arachne this month. Carpio, especially, had reason to leave: her role was cut to shreds. Sticking around is Patrick Page, aka the Green Goblin, who has hopes of a Tony nomination. Star Reeve Carney is awaiting word that financing is complete on the Jeff Buckley “Dream Brother” project before he takes a break to make the film. A casting call recently went out for that movie, so his absence may be imminent.