PLAYBILL PICKS: The Top Theatre Stories of 2011 — From Spider-Man to Sondheim to Site-Specific Shows

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23 Dec 2011

Reeve Carney on opening night
Reeve Carney on opening night
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Following a year in which dancing-singing Mormons stop the show every night and a malfunctioning Spider-Man literally stopped the show some nights, Playbill.com put their heads together and looked back at the events of 2011 to choose significant news stories that made headlines and touched the industry uniquely.

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SPIDER-MAN OPENS (!) AND DOESN'T CLOSE (!!!): Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark has generated so many headlines since it cast a web in the direction of Broadway that it feels like it's been around for a decade. In truth, it only began previews at the Foxwoods Theatre in November 2010. But the problems, accidents, actor injuries and delays that plagued the gargantuan musical were enough to make it a top theatre news story of 2010. Now, here we are at the end of 2011, and it's still one of the top theatre stories. Even more so, actually. Why? Well: The production delayed its opening again and again, until the critics got fed up and reviewed the show (negatively) in February; the opening was again put off until June, with the producers shutting the production down for three weeks while director Philip William McKinley and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa were brought in to overhaul it; original director Julie Taymor was given the boot; Taymor then complained she was owed hundreds of thousands by the producers, filing a lawsuit; an investor, too, filed a lawsuit, saying she was owed money. And, the most shocking headline of all? The show didn't collapse and close, as every critic and observer in the theatre predicted. Here's our June Playbill On Opening Night coverage. The week ending Dec. 18, Spidey grossed $1,460,570 with an average ticket price of $110.66 filling the Foxwoods to 85.5 percent of capacity. Read The Leading Men column about stars Patrick Page and Reeve Carney.

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