Broadway audiences hoping to catch opening night of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will have to wait a little longer. Broadway’s big-budget action hero musical has been delayed again, pushing its official start back to March 15.
In addition to the latest delay for Spidey’s big night, previews scheduled for today, January 18, and January 25 have also been cancelled to make room for more rehearsals.
The announcement from producers signaled the third time the show’s opening has been rescheduled. Previously, producers estimated the show would open February 7, itself a delay from the originally projected December 21 opening. But “Spider-Man” has proven complicated to stage, and this most recent setback comes as cast and crew continue to rehearse alterations to the show.
“We simply need more time to fully execute the creative team’s vision before freezing the show,” lead producer Michael Cohl said in a statement. “I picked a date in March that allows me to ensure that this will be the final postponement.”
The stars behind the tuner’s music and lyrics, Bono and The Edge, have been sitting in on the show’s recent previews to work out kinks with their score. Simultaneously, director and co-writer Julie Taymor has been introducing script revisions to plot and dialogue.
“Nothing’s changing in our conception of the script,” Taymor explained in a recent interview with USA Today. “But we have to finesse some things. We’re being hampered by a lack of time to do everything technically, and safely.”
As Taymor alluded to, many of “Spider-Man’s” most recent scheduling setbacks have come as a direct result of on-set accidents. The most serious accident came in late December when actor and main “Spider-Man” stuntman Christopher Tierney fell about 30 feet in front of a live audience when his safety harness came undone. Two previews were cancelled after the accident so new safety precautions could be implemented and rehearsed.
Around the same time, lead actress Natalie Mendoza announced that she was leaving her role as villainess Arachne after suffering a concussion on the first night of previews. Actress T.V. Carpio, who played Arachne several times in the weeks after Mendoza’s injury, was ultimately named her permanent successor.
The continually reshuffled production calendar for “Spider-Man” has also caused problems for publications whose critics are waiting to review the show for print. Broadway critics usually embargo their opinions until after the opening night performance, but due to the extended previews for “Spider-Man,” some have seen fit to dive in early.
But all of the drama and delays surrounding the $65 million production have hardly phased audiences. During its 41 previews, “Spider-Man” has already grossed $8.7 million, according to the Broadway League. The week ending January 16 marked the show’s fourth consecutive (and fifth overall) week to report at 100 percent capacity.
“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is staged at the 1,930-seat Foxwoods Theatre, located at 213 West 42nd Street in New York, NY. Tickets cost between $67.50 and $140 for regular seats, though premium seating options are also available. More information about scheduling and ticket sales can be found on the production’s official Web site.