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Alan Cumming is keeping his fingers crossed about 'Spider-Man' musical

September 23, 2009 |  9:30 am

Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming was basking in the glow of the first-night celebration for his show “I Bought a Blue Car Today” at Joe Allen's in London when he got an e-mail: “Looks all good. They're going back into the theater.”

That green light — or at least a cautionary yellow light — earlier this month was for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the new Broadway musical in which the British-born actor has been cast as the Green Goblin. Cumming had begun to wonder if he would ever get to wear Oscar winner Eiko Ishioka's costumes after production abruptly stopped on the mega-musical. The producers had come up significantly short of capitalization, said to be about $45 million. In fact, some of the cast began to look for other opportunities.

When his CAA agents warned the producers that their client would walk if he did not receive a retainer check by messenger that day, lo and behold, one materialized faster than you could say, well, “itsy-bitsy spider.” “I have very good agents, it seems,” said Cumming, adding that the news of the shutdown had taken everyone by surprise. “Mentally, you go from thinking, 'I'm going to be doing this for a year' to 'Oh, maybe that's not going to happen after all.'”

Cumming says he's now fairly confident that the musical will open on Broadway this season, perhaps with a slight delay in the previously announced opening date of Feb. 18 at the Hilton Theatre. “I think they're being very cautious in announcing things,” he said. “Fingers crossed.”

The actor confided that he's never seen any of the films featuring the phenomenally popular Marvel characters nor has he read any of the “20,000” comic books. “I've got the script for the musical; I don't see what good it does to see the film,” he said. 

“They change the story suddenly, and then you're left trying to play something that's not in the script,” he said. “I love the book for the musical -- the structure is fascinating; you see how it's all going to work. And I love the songs. You think of Bono and Edge as arena-style rockers, but the songs for 'Spider-Man' are quite dignified. Quite operatic, actually."

'I Bought a Blue Car Today" opens Saturday at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, then moves to the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood next week.

Click here to read more about Cumming, "Spider-Man" and "I Bought a Blue Car Today."

-- Patrick Pacheco

Photo: Alan Cumming. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


 
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