Spider-Man Postpones Opening Until Summer; Philip William McKinley, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Join Creative Team

News   Spider-Man Postpones Opening Until Summer; Philip William McKinley, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Join Creative Team
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris announced March 9 that the new musical, which has been in previews since November 2010, has a newly expanded creative team in place. Significant changes will be made to the production, which will now open in early summer 2011 rather than the previously announced March 15.

Tony winner Julie Taymor
Tony winner Julie Taymor Photo by John Hogg

The additional time commitment will "make it impossible for director and co-book writer Julie Taymor to continue on in her day-to-day duties with the production," according to a press statement.

Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have joined the creative team to help implement new staging and book rewrites, respectively. The expanded creative team also includes musical consultant Paul Bogaev (Tarzan, Bombay Dreams, Aida, Sunset Boulevard) and sound designer Peter Hylenski (Elf, Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages, Shrek), both of whom have already been working on improving the musical arrangements and sound quality, respectively, over the past few weeks.

Producers Cohl and Harris said in a joint statement, “Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team. Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so. Julie's previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening. We cannot exaggerate how technically difficult it is to make such changes to a show of this complexity, so it's with great pride that we announce that Phil McKinley is joining the creative team. Phil is hugely experienced with productions of this scale and is exactly what Spider-Man Turn off the Dark needs right now.”

Bono and The Edge added, “Julie is a truly gifted and imaginative director. This is an epic ride, and the standing ovations we have seen from the preview audiences have confirmed our absolute faith in the project. We are listening and learning and, as a result, we have a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix. All of us on the creative team are committed to taking Spider-Man to the next level. We are confident it will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open.”

The statement included no comment from director Taymor. Although The New York Times has reported that the production will temporarily close to accommodate the changes to the musical, the March 9 statement makes no mention of a hiatus.

Aguirre-Sacasa recently penned revisions to the 1966 Charles Strouse-Lee Adams musical It's a Bird…It's a Plane...It's Superman. He has written Spider-Man stories for Marvel Comics and has also penned the plays Good Boys and True, Based on a Totally True Story, The Mystery Plays and The Muckle Man.

McKinley, who directed the Hugh Jackman musical The Boy from Oz, has also directed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Featuring direction by Tony winner Julie Taymor, music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy Award winners Bono and The Edge, a book co-written by Taymor and Glen Berger, the musical, according to press notes, "follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down when he's bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek suddenly endowed with incredible powers soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains put both his physical strength and strength of character to the test."

Tickets are priced from $67.50 - $135 for weekday performances and $67.50 - $140 for weekend performances and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 250-2929. Tickets are also available at the Foxwoods Theatre box office.

The cast features Reeve Carney as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Next to Normal Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano as Mary Jane Watson , T.V. Carpio as Arachne and Broadway veteran Patrick Page as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin.

Visit SpiderManOnBroadway.

Patrick Page and Reeve Carney
Patrick Page and Reeve Carney Jacob Cohl
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