Now that the drama had ended, and the show has gone on, some of the folks associated with the epic Spider-Man musical revamp are talking about their roles in it. Playwright/comics scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa pens his memoirs of how he came to help rewrite the show and it’s quite sunny in tone, but also gives his side of it for the first time:
The first thing that happened: Glen, Phil, and I met in a tiny office on Ninth Avenue for two or three days and just hashed out the story, moving scenes around and figuring out how to expand the emotional arcs of the characters. What would stay pretty much intact, what would need to be changed, that kind of conceptual stuff. My initial thoughts/hopes/dreams for the show basically matched up with what the rest of the team wanted. Again, we all had (basically) the same notes, the same wish-list—with some variation on how we might accomplish everything in the limited time we had. The core of the musical was all there—the Peter/Mary Jane romance, the flying, the villains—so it was really a question of deepening and bringing those elements forward.
He goes on to explain some technical notes on how they fixed things, which are quite interesting. BUt come onn now, it couldn’t all have been happy talk:
In retrospect, the process of helping to re-boot Spider-Man was stressful—how could it not be?—but to be honest, there was so much work that needed to be done, there wasn’t a lot of time to agonize about it or experience self-doubt. It was like: “Jump in the pool, hope you can swim!” And when opening night finally came, it really was all about the people who’ve been on this show for years. Celebrating their heroic accomplishments. Honoring the fact that they never lost faith.
BTW, Spider-Man the musical is probably the LONGEST-RUNNING STORY we’ve ever covered on The Beat. And through it all, we never did get to meet Bono. Oh well.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.