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In a joint interview with The Associated Press, the lead producers of Broadway’s troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark open up for the first time about the problems behind the $65 million musical.
Jeremiah "Jere" Harris
and his producing partner Michael Cohl
said they had no choice but to hire a new creative team
(saying goodbye to director Julie Taymor
and choreographer Daniel Ezralow
) and put the show on hiatus until previews begin again May 12.
“There's nothing easy on this show,” Harris said. “From the time he and I took over and got involved, this has been a constant battle from every perspective.”
Cohl said the original story “was muddled” and “difficult to follow. It lacked emotion. It lacked spirit and sincerity."
So they’ve scrapped the Geek Chorus (four comic-book fans who frame the plot) and have scaled back the role of the villainous spider-woman Arachne.
U2’s Bono and The Edge also have been tweaking music and lyrics.
"The reorganization makes it feel really good," Cohl said. "The flying, the special effects, the beauty of the show, the Julie atmosphere and attitude — it's all staying."
Despite the musical’s past woes (which include the injuries of five of its stars and a storm of bad reviews
), Cohl said, "I am not the least bit embarrassed by any of this. And I know Jere isn't either. We tried to do something that's ambitious to the third power."