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NEW YORK – A revamped version of musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark had its first preview Thursday evening with just a few glitches, a new original song from U2’s Bono and the Edge and the addition of iconic Spidey scenes and classic comic book sensibilities.
For example, the new production now includes the famous line “with great power comes great responsibility” and an upside-down kiss between the superhero and his love interest, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The $70 million musical, the most expensive ever, went on a three-and-a-half week hiatus to streamline the script and get the production, originally led by director Julie Taymor, a new start after accidents and technical glitches in flying scenes drew negative buzz, and critics panned the plot.
“Aside from a couple of technical glitches and one late entrance, the show unfolded fairly smoothly,” the New York Times reported. The paper also highlighted “a streamlined plot pitting young love against duty, and a conflicted superhero against a droll super villain.”
It said there is now one entirely new song, A Freak Like Me, at the top of the second act, written by Bono and the Edge, who are the show’s composers, according to the Times. Three newly titled musical numbers incorporated elements of songs that existed in the previous version of the show, and some parts of those songs had new lyrics. But three other songs from the Taymor production have been cut, particularly ones written for her original spider villainess Arachne, the paper said.
According to the Journal, snippets of classic U2 songs, including Where the Streets Have No Name and Beautiful Day, are now also woven into the production.
The New York Post said there is also a symbolic change as Taymor’s Arachne is now less of a boastful villain and more of a mellow “guardian-angel type.”
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen and uninvited critics,” lead producer Michael Cohl said in a brief introductory speech on stage Thursday night, according to the Post. “It’s almost a brand-new show.”
The revamped production is scheduled to formally open on June 14.
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