SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark unveiled the latest version of the most-
joked talked about musical in decades, potentially one of Broadway’s biggest busts ever. But word on the street is the show has gone from drab to fab in a matter of weeks. When we found out that openly gay Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was taking a stab at weaving Peter Parker a new theatrical web, we knew a fabulous comeback was in offing.
Julie Taymor and co-author Glen Berger were the original creators of the show, which features a sexy score by U2’s Bono and The Edge. The producers of the $65 million–yes, that’s million–musical endlessly pushed back openings, irritating critics and audiences alike. Injuries, technical difficulties, and creative differences plagued the Foxwoods Theatre throughout previews and prompted the producers to dig deeper into their pockets and publicists to spin their own web up and down 42nd Street. Taymor, legendary for her acclaimed Broadway version of The Lion King, developed a strange case of arachnophobia and “left the project” in early March. Things were lookin pretty grim for ole’ Peter Parker without a serious change of production costumes.
Then director Philip William McKinley, Aguirre-Sacasa, and Paul Bogaev joined Berger this spring. The Foxwoods closed its doors for the cast and creative team to rehearse the new material. Previews resumed over the weekend and the full company is busy preparing for a June 14 opening. Rumor has it is that it’s a striking improvement over the original, thanks in no small part to Aguirre-Sacasa.
Who is Aguirre-Sacasa? We’re glad you asked. He studied playwriting at Georgetown University and graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2003. His play, Good Boys and True, caught our queer eye at Second Stage Theater with its provocative storyline about a gay scandal at a prep school. He is the perfect writer for the material, having gotten his start at Marvel Comics back in 2004 with stories for the Fantastic Four, Nightcrawler and The Sensational Spider-Man. Most recently Aguirre-Sacasa got in touch with his inner polygamist as a staff writer, story editor and co-producer for HBO’s Big Love.
With Aguirre-Sacasa on board, we definitely want to give the new version a chance. Check out this adorable interview with Aguirre-Sacasa and Glen Berger on the show’s website. Judge for yourself at Foxwoods Theatre.
Photo Credit: John Heller, Post-Gazette