Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, now in previews at the Foxwoods Theatre, guaranteed at least to set one new all-time record -- most number of previews before opening night, assuming new opening night on February 7 actually happens.
Book writers Julie Taymor, who also directs, and Glen Berger, said to be grasping all tweeters and twits and Yelps! from every which source, desperate to understand how to fix a problem-plagued second act. Daily dialogue rewrites in the works. Seems that Ms. Taymor veered seriously off course in her after-intermission scripting fantasies, concocting her own plots not convincingly connected to Spider-Man lore, causing grave audience discontent.
As of this moment, to nobody's knowledge has a script doctor yet been called in. Script doctors on occasion have been credited for turning sick song and dancers into at least half-way functioning song and dancers, some of them surprising hits. It's all in the cobwebs.
Incredibly, according to a reports gleaned from Bloomberg and The New York Times, the composing team of U2's Bono and The Edge, currently on tour outside the States (possibly to escape Gotham embarrassments) has not yet even seen the show in previews. They are expected to join the company in a week or so, huddle in consultations, and "perhaps" compose some additional tunes.
Are they rearranging the chairs on the Titanic? Have we here another Banana Shpeel?
Spider-Man is said to contain spectacular aerial work never before seen in a Broadway musical. As of late November, there were reported to be "35 aerial flights in the production."
Cutting edge and injury-causing, too. Natalie Mendoza back on the boards last Wednesday night, having recovered during a two week absence from a concussion she suffered backstage during the kick-off preview.
Previous holder of the most previews was Nick & Norah, the monumental flop of 1991, which ran a total of 71 try-out performances before it officially opened while robust revisions were interpolated by the show's Tony Award-winning director, Arthur Laurents. All for naught. Nick & Norah finally uncorked on December 8, 1991, was pelted on by a slew of nasty reviews, and was history a week later.
Cirque du Soleil failed to capture the stage. Can Spider-Man capture the circus?
Ah, Broadway! You rarely let us down, whether producing blockbusters -- or bombs.