Broadway has been rocked this week with news that the $75 million musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is to close at the Foxwoods Theater in New York.
The most expensive musical in Broadway history, probably world history, will be leaving New York on 4 January 2014.
Despite packed audiences for it’s initial previews, ticket sales have declined. With running costs said to be around $1.2 million a week, and a gross last week that only touched $742,000 out of a potential $1.5 million, the show has been looking vulnerable for a while.
A new iteration of the show is being planned for Las Vegas in 2015. A much-rumoured West End opening, where producers were believed to have been searching for a large London theatre such as the Palladium or Drury Lane to host the show, now seems highly unlikely.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark features a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge. The show started previews on 26 November 2010 but didn’t open at the Foxwoods Theatre until 14 June 2011 after a troubled preview period that saw the show’s director and co-book-writer Julie Taymor (Disney’s The Lion King) fired from the show and replaced by Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The show was also beset by cast injuries, with six actors injured so far.
In April this year Julie Taymor settled her lawsuit with the producers of the show.
The Foxwoods Theater was bought last year by UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group, headed by Rosemary Squire and Howard Panter.
JULIE TAYMOR TED TALK
If you haven’t already seen this fascinating TED talk with Julie Taymor from 2011, it is worth a look. She talks about life on the creative edge, her work on The Lion King and Spider-Man, and the talk came just at the time when she was most under fire during Spider-Man’s production. A fascinating insight into her and the creative process.