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Spidey's raw deal: Julie Taymor, Peter Brook and Merce

July 23, 2011 |  8:00 am

Peter Brook is said to have wanted to perform “A Magic Flute,” his magical illumination of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” in English for the production’s U.S. premiere, which opened the Lincoln Center Festival earlier this month. Apparently the Metropolitan Opera disapproved, since it has its own reduced “Magic Flute” in English, a children’s spectacle created from Julie Taymor’s Met production of the opera. Brook kept the original French/German text he had started with in Paris.

This is an occasion for irony. As a magician of the stage, Taymor has worthily followed in Brook’s footsteps in opera, theater and the movies. But unlike Brook, she has not been able to resist the seduction of big Broadway bucks. With “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” she paid the price.

Critic's Notebook: Taymor, Brook and Cunningham

It didn’t have to be that way on the Great White Way, as was revealed by attending Brook’s “Flute” and the post-Taymor “Spider-Man” in New York back to back, with the "Merce Fair," Lincoln Center's day of Merce Cunningham, as a chaser.


Opera review: Peter Brook's 'A Magic Flute' in New York

Julie Taymor and her 'Spider-Man' perspective

Theater review: 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' at Foxwoods Theatre

-- Mark Swed

Photo: Lead Reeve Carney and cast during a May curtain call for "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark." Credit: Tina Fineberg/AP