Christopher Ashley says he won't direct Broadway's 'Spider-Man'
Rumors that Christopher Ashley, the Tony-nominated stage director and artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, will be taking over Broadway's problem-plagued "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" have proven to be false.
A spokeswoman for the La Jolla Playhouse said that Ashley won't be taking over from director Julie Taymor, who is reportedly in talks to step down from the musical. The spokeswoman said that Ashley was out of town and that he personally informed the company that he won't be directing "Spider-Man."
The New York Post and the New York Times had reported that Ashley was one of the names being considered to take over from Taymor, with the Post saying that Ashley was the likely candidate. They also have reported that the March 15 opening likely will be postponed and that the musical probably will go on hiatus for a number of weeks in order to implement an overhaul of the show.
The La Jolla Playhouse said it couldn't confirm whether Ashley was ever in consideration for the director's job. Another director being mentioned to possibly join "Spider-Man" is Philip William McKinley, according to the New York Times.
Ashley's Broadway credits include the musicals "Memphis," "Xanadu," "All Shook Up" and more. He joined the La Jolla Playhouse as artistic director in 2007.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a playwright with experience in the comic-book field, reportedly has been asked to doctor the book for the musical, written by Taymor and Glen Berger.
L.A. Times theater critic Charles McNulty wrote in his review of a preview performance of "Spider-Man" that Taymor's vision "has been indulged with too many resources, artistic and financial" and that the investors of the show "have inadvertently bankrolled an artistic form of megalomania."
-- David Ng
Photo: The Foxwoods Theatre in New York, home to "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Credit: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press