Lights off on Spidey musical?

A lot of folks were bothered at the news that Spider-Man would be taking the stage on Broadway next year for some good ‘ole slingin’ and singin’, and they might be able to sleep easy now that rumors of the financial backing behind the Julie Taymor (“Across the Universe” and Broadway’s “The Lion King”) production with music written by Bono and The Edge is in question.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” is still scheduled to start previews in February 2010, but reports say that most of this show is still in Taymor’s brain. Stars Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming have been contracted to the show that has yet to cast a Peter Parker, but rumor is that they’re being set loose and allowed to entertain other offers.

I myself had mixed emotions about the superhero genre taking the stage, but was certainly open to the idea despite the glaring warning signs. First of all, the musical is not Bono’s forte, and Wood was apparently quoted earlier this summer as telling him to stop writing lyrics about saving the world and righting injustice, which doesn’t shock me in the least. 

Second, Broadway has yet to prove capable of an action-oriented production. If Taymor, who boldly and creatively took “The Lion King” to a new level, tries to be cutting edge with fight choreography and skyscraper slinging, I would hate to be the actor or stunt actor playing Spider-Man doing live stunts five nights a week. If Idina Menzel can break her ribs during a production of the “Wizard of Oz” spin-off musical “Wicked,” then this poor bloke could straight-up die.

But we’ll never know if this thing never even gets into rehearsals, which is a distinct possibility given the economic situation in Broadway today. Most producers want the guarantee, not the gutsy rock musical that has even the biggest Spidey fans scratching their heads. Is it even cool to want to see a Spider-Man musical? Someone let me know before more official news breaks out.


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