'Spider-Man' Musical's Arbitration Hearing to Begin Next Week
The troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will open its next chapter of trouble with the arbitration hearing for ousted director Julie Taymor beginning next week.
The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society has filed an arbitration claim against the producers of the musical, claiming the former director is owed more than $500,000 in royalties, according to the New York Times.
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The arbitrator, George Nicolau, will explore several issues, including the producers’ contractual obligation to pay royalties to Taymor and their grounds for dismissing her.
Taymore was let go of in due to artistic differences following poor reviews and several injuries involving the cast. The show finally premiered in June, and Taymore attended the opening night.
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According to the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Taymor has yet to receive royalties since the show began preview performances last Nov. 28. Failure to pay royalties violates both the union’s collective bargaining agreement and Taymor’s individual contract, the union said.
Taymor has rarely spoken out on her firing, but did briefy speak about the pressure of the job at a Los Angeles’ Theatre Communications conference.
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"It's incredibly difficult to be under a shot-glass and a microscope like that," Taymor said.
She also criticized the use of focus groups to finalize artistic decisions, pointing out that she aims to appeal to a wide variety of theatergoers and testing on select audiences limits her scope. "There's always something people don't like," she said.