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Julie Taymor, the director of Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, spoke out for the first time on the long-plagued $65 million musical, admitting she is “in the crucible and the fire of transformation” as she tries to improve the show.
She made the remarks in front of more than 1,000 people Wednesday at the TED2011 conference in Long Beach, Calif.
“Anyone who creates knows — when it’s not quite there,” Taymor said, according to the New York Times. “Where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char. And I am right there.”
She did not address a previous Times report that said the musical may face its sixth delay – and not open March 15, as scheduled – as producers continue to make tweaks following scathing reviews from critics.
Taylor compared her Spider-Man experience to a trip she once took to Indonesia when her friend disappeared as they were scaling the side of twin volcanoes. “I am on the precipice looking down into a dead volcano on my left, on the right it is sheer shale,” she recalled. “I am in thongs and sarong and no hiking boots. I realize I can’t go back the way I have come. I can’t. So I throw away my camera. I throw away thongs and I look at the line straight in front of me. And I got down on all fours like a cat. And I held with my knees to either side of this line in front of me — 30 yards or 30 feet, I don’t know. The wind was massively blowing and the only way I could get to the either side was to look at the line straight in front of me.
“I know you have been there,” she went on. “I am in the crucible right now. It is my trial by fire. It’s my company’s trial by fire.”
She then referenced a song from the musical, “Rise Above,” and how it mirrored her experience working on Spider-Man.
“It’s right there in the palm of my hands,” Taymor said of the musical. “In all of my company’s hands. I have beautiful collaborators. We as collaborators only get there all together. I know you understand that. You stay there going forward and you see this extraordinary thing right in front of your eyes.”
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