Spider-Man Musical to Take Gotham in Upcoming Reading

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16 Apr 2007

A reading of the new musical Spider-Man will take place in New York City July 12 and 13, Playbill.com has learned.



A casting notice reveals the "29-hour rehearsed reading" will begin rehearsals July 2 for the two-day event.

As previously reported, Julie Taymor will direct the forthcoming musical version of the Marvel Comics hero with music provided by Bono and The Edge of the band U2. According to the notice, Glen Berger — playwright of Underneath The Lintel and The Wooden Breeks — will join Taymor on the book. (Neil Jordan — of "The Crying Game" fame — had previously been attached.) Taymor consistent collaborator Matthias "Teese" Gohl ("Across The Universe," "Frida," "Titus") will serve as musical supervisor.

The comic giant Marvel Entertainment will share producing credits with Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle and Martin McCallum.

Taymor made history in 1998 as the first female director to earn the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for the Broadway musical The Lion King — albeit mere moments after Garry Hynes became the first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction (for The Beauty Queen of Leenane). She also earned the Tony for Best Costume Design that night as well. The multi-genre director has lined her resume with Broadway credits (Juan Darien and The Green Bird), film work ("Titus" and "Frida") as well as opera productions ("Oedipus Rex" and the Metropolitan Opera run of "The Magic Flute").

Among the roles being sought to fill are the young-man-turned-hero Peter Parker/Spider-Man ("male, late teens to early 20's...[with a] great pop/rock voice") and love-interest Mary Jane ("female, late teens to early 20's...[with a] great pop/rock voice") as well as villain Norman Osborn/Green Goblin and Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson (both call for "male, 50s.")

The character breakdowns provide some insight to plot points as the character Arachne ("female, 20-35 years old, any ethnicity") is described as "a beautiful, boastful young woman turned into a spider for her hubris and lack of respect for the gods. She subsequently appears to Peter Parker and the audience as in turn a powerful spider-woman who comes from another time to inspire Peter; an otherworldly lover; a bride; a terrifying (and sexy) dark goddess of vengeance; a dance partner in a charged and violent spiders dance of death; and, finally, a lonely, fragile young woman." Casting is seeking a "strong Celtic, Balkan style, e.g., Sinead O'Connor," noting, "outside the box ideas are welcomed. Could be someone from the music industry."

Also, a "Geek Chorus" consisting of "three teenage boys and one girl" are described to "meet to ritualistically retell the greatest Spider-Man stories."