Monday, May 27, 2024

“Spider Man” Musical Actually Be in Lead for Tony Awards


Is it possible? Yes, it is. “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark”–expensive, controversial, litigious, accidental, dangerous–is the lead candidate for Best New Musical at the 2012 Tony Awards. If someone had said this a year ago, there would have been peels of laughter and tomatoes thrown at the stage. But times have changed. Because “Spider Man” didn’t open until June 14th last year, it missed the Tony eligibility–and it had already played 100 shows by April 30th. But they were previews. Now “Spider Man” is breaking box office records at the Foxwoods Theater. Last week it took in $3 million. Three million dollars. So it’s here to stay. Audiences obviously love it.

Meantime, new musicals are scarce. The atrocious “Lysistrata Jones” closes soon. Coming this winter are “Newsies” and “Ghost,” each based on movies. There’s not a lot of hope there. There’s some talk that “Leap of Faith,” also based on a failed movie, may come in. But it got terrible reviews in Los Angeles. “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” a “new” Gershwin musical, is a possibility.

If “Spider Man” winds up being the Tony favorite, then look for some real scandalous trouble. The producers ousted creator Julie Taymor and haven’t paid her a red cent. She’s suing them. Meanwhile, the Tony committee ruled that she’s the only eligible Best Director nominee from the show–not her so called replacement, Philip McKinley.

This could be the first Tony show in which pepper spray is deployed in the green room and onstage. And what else: the two original female leads have left the show. They would be the nominees, not the women currently playing their roles. Good stuff. This is what they call drama!

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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