‘Spider-Man’ Swings For One Last Performance Before Break

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Broadway’s “Spider-Man” musical went dark after its last performance Sunday, as the troubled show will undergo major changes and reopen next month with new direction, new cast members and even a different plot.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” plunged into darkness for a make-or-break revamping, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

Sunday’s matinee show will be the last one for nearly a month, as a massive overhaul will be underway. Some audience members said they just had to see the accident-prone production in its current form, and this was their very last chance.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Monica Miller spoke to fans before the performance on 42nd Street

“That was why we were excited about it being the last one,” Fairfield, Connecticut resident Greg Fell said. “I’m sure we’ll come back to see the next incarnation as well. It was impressive.”

Jim Dudney came to New York from Washington, D.C., just to see the last performance of the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.” He said it was a chance to see the work of its former director, Julie Taymor, who was fired from the show.

“The quality of Julie Taymor’s direction and production skills—I just thought I had to see something like this,” he said.

“Spider-Man” cost an estimated $70 million to make, and featured music from U2’s Bono and the Edge. It opened in previews last November, only to get caught in a web of delays, lukewarm reviews and creative conflicts that led to the ouster of director Julie Taymor.

The biggest and most attention-grabbing problem, though, was the rash of performer injuries. The worst of the performer accidents occurred when dancer Christopher Tierney’s safety harness failed and he fell 30 feet into a pit, suffering a skull fracture, four broken ribs, a bruised lung and three cracked vertebrae.

Tierney returned to see the production while he was still undergoing therapy, and he pledged his support.

“I believe in the show – I believe in everything that’s done on that stage,” he said.

Safety citations from the Department of Labor were issued in Tierney’s case and several others, including incidents where actors were hurt rehearsing a so-called slingshot stunt with the stage out of position.

“I’m glad to see it, since no one’s every going to see it again – not this way,” Kelly Schaeffer, of Syracuse, said. “It’s going to change a lot. Glad I saw it.”

Sunday’s final show was sold out. The curtain dropped and the audience left, and when the curtain rises again in a little over three weeks, there will be new cast members, a new plot and two new songs.

Producers said previews are scheduled to begin again on May 12, and the official opening is slated for June 14.

Do you think “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” can be saved? Tell us in our comments section.

  • nyc theatre goer

    This show belongs in Las Vegas or a circus ,not New York theatre !!

    • Peter

      I’m willing to bet that you’re a “theatre” snob who has not yet seen this show. All I can say is, stop being so narrow-minded. If you don’t think you like it, don’t go, but stop trying to ruin it for others.

  • Rick

    My complaint is that they have been charging full price since November for what is essentially a work in progress and getting away with it. Every other Broadway show has reduced prices for it’s previews
    Also, is it really fair for this show to have such an extended tryout period and then be in competition with other shows that have not for Tonys? IT seems like this show is taking advantage.
    Finally, people can pay for whatever they want, but in the end I suspect the real reason will go to this show is the same reason they rubberneck at traffic accidents

    • Peter

      Rick, like so many other jaded “haters” of this show, you are way off mark. The extended preview period was likely to help them work out what is probably the most technically and acrobatically complex show ever. The producers have already stated they don’t care about contending for the Tony, which makes sense given all of the other challenges they are in the process of overcoming. You obviously have not seen the show and are just into complaining. Those of us who have were not there to see an accident as you implied, but we wanted to witness a well-executed, visually and musically amazing show. And, most of us left satisfied.

  • Peter

    I’ve seen the show twice, and, for me, it’s not a matter of “Turn Off The Dark” needing to be “saved.” This is an entertaining show with a new take on Spider Man’s origin story brought to life by the wonderful set, design, and story concepts of Julie Taymor. I think there’s an unreasonable bias against this show by the media and critics which is inconsistent with a show that has so far played to sold-out audiences and was taking in $1.3 million per week.

    Could it use some modifications to the storyline? Sure, but a major overhaul, which includes cutting several cast members and retooling the things drastically is not quite necessary, in my opinion.

  • elderlawyer

    We saw it last week. The songs are terrible, it is slow in parts and too long. On the other hand, the aerial parts are wonderful and the costumes terrific.

  • barb

    I mean the Geek Squad.

  • barb

    I saw the first Sunday performance Dec. 5th 2010 and loved the show. The critics have not given the show a chance and I hope the changes do not ruin it. I also loved the Geed Squad/

  • I actually saw the show

    this musical is a mess, but mass marketing will make the gullible public buy anything.

  • Steve

    I am a Spiderman fan and thought the show was great. I think the critics are nuts! The show has great sets, cool music, cool villians and a story that does not need a degree to understand!

  • Untitled

    I saw the show a few months ago and really loved it! The opening got messed up when the girl fell from her ropes and they stopped the show and the storyline could have been a bit stronger/clearer….but that being said the music and the flying around all over the place was awesome! I plan on seeing it again when it is opens. I hope they get it together because it’s a show that should be on broadway!

  • Shawn Hoffman

    I saw one of the first ever performances last November 2010.
    I thought it was great. Music, acting, sets. The story was a bit hard to follow but the music and special effects certainly made up for it!

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