Taymor speaks out over Spider-Man

Another week, another Spider-Man update! In the ongoing saga of the world’s most expensive, and possibly most previewed, musical its director Julie “The Lion King” Taymor has now spoken out about the Spidey woes.

Julie Taylor and Bono at an early rehearsal for Spider-Man, many months ago
Julie Taylor and Bono at an early rehearsal for Spider-Man, many months ago

At a conference in California earlier this week, she told the packed audience that she was currently “in the crucible and the fire of transformation” as she and her team of actors and creators continue to work on the show. The current opening night is set for 15 March, but apparently this may delayed again for a sixth time.

“I am in the crucible right now”, she said. “It is my trial by fire. It’s my company’s trial by fire. We have survived because our theme song is ‘Rise Above.’ ”

Taylor went on to say that “Anyone who creates knows — when it’s not quite there. Where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char. And I am right there.”

The show has cost more than $65 million, the most expensive show in Broadway, and possibly world, history. Changes continue to be made to the book, music and direction and we hear that Bono caught up with the show on Tuesday night to see how it is going – the first time since mid-January.

Mid-January? He is co-creator of the show with fellow U2 band member The Edge. It is the most talked about show in decades. The critics have all broken the producer/critics pact to not review a show before opening night and have all piled in with damning reviews. Don’t you think you would see it again before now?

Taymor may well be losing the plot herself given the long volcano anecdote she told the conference, allowing us to compare and contrast with the Spider-Man debacle: “I am on the precipice looking down into a dead volcano on my left, on the right it is sheer shale. I am in thongs and sarong and no hiking boots. I realize I can’t go back the way I have come. I can’t. So I throw away my camera. I throw away my thongs and I looked at the line straight in front of me. And I got down on all fours like a cat. And I held with my knees to either side of this line in front of me — 30 yards or 30 feet, I don’t know. The wind was massively blowing, and the only way I could get to the other side was to look at the line straight in front of me.”

Despite the ongoing drama behind-the-scenes of the show, and sometimes in front of the curtain as a number of the cast have been injured during the complex flying and fight scenes, Taylor maintains that, “it’s right there in the palm of my hands. In all of my company’s hands. I have beautiful collaborators. We as collaborators only get there all together. I know you understand that. You stay there going forward and you see this extraordinary thing right in front of your eyes.”

You’ve got to give her something for that.


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