Long before all of the casting chaos and preview-night stumbles, the “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” musical faced a question that has continued to be asked throughout the troubled project’s development: Is it worth the money?
The most expensive Broadway show ever created, director Julie Taymor’s extravagant musical is one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted in the theater world, and after a rough debut this week, the question that followed it from the start is being asked even louder today. That’s why, when MTV News sat down with U2 bandmates and “Turn Off The Dark” composers Bono and The Edge, we asked them that very same question.
“These are hard times for a lot of people,” said Bono. “It’s the middle of a recession. If you’re going out for a night, it better be a great one.”
“U2 for years tried to push the boundaries of what was possible in a live arena,” he continued. “Everyone knows that going to a U2 show, we’re going to do something a bit different. We’re going to have thought about it and we’re going to spend a lot of cash on it, to be crass.”
According to Bono, the ticket price, the performance budget, and the type of experience should all be connected in any type of show — whether it’s a live music event or a Broadway production.
“I’m always amazed when people say, ’I went to see a band and they didn’t need any stage gear, it was just them.’ But the ticket’s the same price! Don’t you get it?” he explained. “Same with the theater. It’s a wonderful thing to walk through those doors and know that every detail has been thought about and really a team has been assembled to twist your mind, to bend it.”
“It’s an amazing creative team,” said The Edge of the “Turn Off The Dark” crew. “They’re all at the top of their game.”
“I don’t know why they got us,” laughed Bono.
“Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” is currently in preview performances, and expected to open to the public in early 2011.