After more than a year in limbo, cast shake-ups and deep financial pitfalls, the $50 million Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” looks like it may finally be on track. The show, the most expensive musical ever attempted, is slated to begin full cast rehearsals on August 16 with an eye toward a November opening, according to The New York Times.
A spokesperson for the Julie Taymor-directed superhero musical said that choreography rehearsals, including aerial flying lessons, already began on Monday for some of the cast, including the singing web-slinger himself, actor/musician Reeve Carney, who will, of course, play mild-mannered Peter Parker and his superhero alter ego, Spider-Man.
“Wow, man, I can’t wait for the world to see this thing. … It’s finally happening!!” Carney tweeted on Tuesday, adding, “I honestly can’t believe I’m getting paid to do things my mom would have killed me for when I was a kid! Ha!” Carney is the lead singer for Los Angeles-based rock band Carney, whose other claim to fame is being in the children’s choir for the Michael Jackson HIStory album.
The show features music and lyrics by U2’s lead singer Bono and guitarist The Edge, making their Broadway debut as musical composers. The Edge recently described the mix of music the duo created for the show to Rolling Stone magazine, saying it “touches on opera, it touches on rock & roll … There are some real character-driven songs as well, very unusual song types for us. It is much more like opera than a straight musical. We’re actually not calling it a musical for that reason because we don’t want to put people off.”
While financing was being secured and kinks were being worked out, the show lost a number of marquee names, including “True Blood” star Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson and Broadway veteran Alan Cumming as the Green Goblin. Cumming left when a money crunch put off the original preview date of February 2010. It has not been announced yet who will replace the two actors in the show.
No official opening date has been announced, but previews are expected to begin in November at New York’s Hilton Theatre.