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'Spider-Man' delays its opening one more time

January 13, 2011 | 10:37 pm


A new ending? A new opening date.

The producers of the much-delayed “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” musical said Thursday that they were postponing the show’s opening yet again, pushing the first official performance from Feb. 7 to March 15 in order to  revise the troubled show and add a new ending.

The musical also will cancel two upcoming performances, on Tuesday and Jan. 25, offering refunds or exchanges to ticket holders. The producers promised the much-delayed show, the most expensive in Broadway history, will not postpone its opening again.

"'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark' [is] 10 times more complicated to tech than anything else, and the preview schedule allows for only very limited rehearsal time (twelve hours per week),” lead producer Michael Cohl said in a statement. “We simply need more time to fully execute the creative team’s vision before freezing the show.”

Directed by “The Lion King’s” Julie Taymor, the new show, with music from U2’s Bono and the Edge, has been selling tickets at a rapid clip. Last week, “Spider-Man” passed “Wicked” as Broadway’s top-grossing show, selling $1.88 million in tickets.

Taymor and writing partner Glen Berger have been tweaking the show’s book, while Bono and the Edge have been tinkering with lyrics. Taymor hopes to add a concluding scene that will send the audience out with an emotional, uplifting jolt.

In addition to the production delays, some of “Spider-Man’s” cast have been injured during rehearsals and performances. Christopher Tierney plunged about 20 feet into the theater’s orchestra pit in one incident, and Natalie Mendoza was struck in the head while waiting in the wings. Mendoza subsequently left the show, but Taymor says Tierney, who has been attending preview performances, could eventually return to the company.


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-- John Horn

Photo: A scene from "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Credit: Jacob Cohl / Associated Press