Caught in the web

When Hap Erstein and I were appearing on the internet radio/TV show, Aisle Say, one of our favorite running jokes was following the comical crawl toward Broadway of the bloated, ill-starred Julie Taymor musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

In our last episode, the long-delayed show had lost three major cast members and the major Big Apple publicity firm Boneau/Bryan-Brown (which ironically used the word ‘webman’ for years as part of their email address) dropped the project as a client.

This week’s installment was announced on the official website: The show has finally been cast, flying and choreography rehearsals started July 19, and the full company began rehearsals Monday (we’ll believe it when we see the publicity photos).

The production stalled a year ago as the $31 million budget mushroomed and financing dried up. At the time, producers still pledged to begin previews by Feb. 25, 2010, at the Hilton Theatre.

Well, that has given way to what is being reported as a record-setting $50 million show beginning previews Nov. 4 and opening Dec. 21 at the recently-renamed Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd Street in NYC

The enterprise has a book by the brilliant visual auteur Taymor of Lion King fame and Glen Berger, and music by U2’s Bono (known to his mother as Paul David Hewson) and The Edge (the nom de rocque of David Howell Evans). Of course, whoever thought that Elton John would write one of the most popular shows currently on Broadway, that the best musical Tony this year would go to a show with music by the front man for Bon Jovi or that someone could make Victor Hugo’s anvil of a novel into a successful musical?

Tune in next week!

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