The endlessly recounted trials and travails of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark—truly the Anansi stories of our age—have culminated in yet another delay of its already rescheduled Ides Of March opening, with the show shutting down for several weeks in order to perform a “major overhaul,” according to the New York Daily News. That overhaul will reportedly not involve director Julie Taymor, who has been pitched over the side of the volcano like so many thongs and left to smolder among the shale and burnt char, or whatever.
No official announcement has been made on either decision, of course: Last night, the show’s beleaguered publicist, Rick Miramontez—probably more ulcer than man at this point—once more optimistically avowed that everything was fine, and that the show would be there March 15 with bells on, provided the added weight of those bells did not contribute to further federal safety violations. But producers are now expected to reveal yet another revised timetable later this week, one that would involve closing the show for as long as four to six weeks in late April and early May to allow for rehearsals of new material, a stoppage that would cost the show a loss of approximately $1.3 million a week. It would also cause the show to “miss out on any Tony Award nominations,” the Daily News deadpans.
This news arrives just after the New York Times reported that producers had begun “negotiating” with Taymor about bringing in a new creative team to oversee changes to the show, which many took as an effort to wrest control away from Taymor. Those negotiations were said to involve a “direct role” for a newly concerned Bono, who has recently started reading the Internet. Of course, it’s been rumored since February that producers had been pushing Taymor to bring in a co-director to provide a new voice of reason, with Phil McKinley (The Boy From Oz) and Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) the two names that were most bandied about.
The New York Post seems to think that Ashley is the one who will take the job, now that McKinley has declined. (Interestingly, the Post also reports that Aaron Sorkin was approached about lending his name to the production, apparently just to bring “cachet” that would force critics to reconsider the show; Sorkin was “amused, but passed,” saving us from a show-stopping, winking monologue where the Green Goblin rails against the inherent shortsightedness of his critics.) Anyway, Taymor is now said to have “left the building,” though it’s not yet clear whether she quit or was fired—and we’ll likely have to wait for an anecdotal metaphor from Taymor about snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef to discern any clues.