Someday, we predict, someone will write an opera about the Spider-Man musical, which will be all about immensely talented egos, wasted money and mythic archetypes; it will be the Nixon in China for those days.
Seriously, how could you have predicted the scene when fucking BONO would have to step out in front of a theatrical group and take the reins as creative leader, saying they had to move forward without the director he himself had chosen? In case you missed it, all the rumors were true: Director Julie Taymor is leaving the show, director Philip McKinley — who has experience with both circuses and Hugh Jackman, making him well suited for the job– is coming in; Bono and the Edge are writing some new tunes, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is stepping in to explain what a superhero does, and the show will take a break for a few weeks to try to fix itself.
To imagine that a few weeks can mend what four years have been taken to make is a little incredible, but hey, it’s all about the imagination.
As the Times story above notes, it’s a huge fall for Taymor, whose film FRIDA was nominated for SIX Oscars, winning two. Regular readers know I love her, so I won’t bore you, but…something had to give:
According to four of her colleagues, Ms. Taymor boxed herself into a corner with the producers in the last few weeks by rebuffing their requests to allow outsiders to make changes to the show. She would not meet with some of them, and she did not act on suggestions for improvements; at one feedback session with the cast, some actors argued for strengthening the central love story between Peter Parker and M. J. Watson, but Ms. Taymor insisted, “It’s there.” The Edge, Bono and the producers also expected that she would make far-reaching changes in the show’s critically panned Act II, but after attending recent performances, they concluded that she lacked the objectivity to ruthlessly reshape the show.
Or as writer Nate Cosby tweeted: Spider-Man: Turn Out The Director
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.