Troubled tuner “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will close down production for several weeks before reopening later this season, producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris finally announced late last week after earlier protestations to the contrary.
The three-week hiatus will stretch from April 19 through May 11, with the newly enhanced preview performances resuming May 12. The temporary shut-down will allow “Spider-Man’s” cast and crew to rehearse before the show’s new opening night on June 14, 2011.
“This amended schedule will allow the time necessary to execute the plan, which will include revisions to the script,” read the statement from Cohl and Harris.
To accommodate the new opening night, previously scheduled performances on June 12, 14 and 15 have also been cancelled, and two additional shows have been substituted on June 13 and 17. A revised production calendar is available on the official “Spider-Man” Web site.
Refunds and exchanges will be available to ticketholders affected by the cancellations, as well as those affected by the change in opening dates.
Exchange requests must be placed prior to March 16 for cancelled tickets ordered through Ticketmaster, or those customers will automatically receive a refund. Cancelled box office ticket purchases may be exchanged or refunded directly at the Foxwoods Theatre Box Office.
Valid tickets to any post-March 15 show may also be exchanged or refunded. As the production’s Web site notes, “If you purchased tickets to see the show after its official Opening [on March 15], you may exchange your tickets for a date after the June 14th Opening at no additional cost if you purchased your tickets through Ticketmaster or at the Box Office.”
Consumers who bought their tickets through other channels are urged to contact their sellers for more information on available exchange or refund offers.
The hiatus announcement came late in the day on Friday, March 11, and followed a week of upheaval for the production — including the dismissal of director and creative lead Julie Taymor on March 9. New director Phillip William McKinley and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa were hired to overhaul the show and oversee its day-to-day management in Taymor’s stead.
At the time of Taymor’s dismissal last week, Cohl and Harris remained silent on any potential postponements or cancellations for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” Publications such as the New York Times had been reporting insider knowledge of an impending delay and hiatus for at least a week before that.
The stunt-heavy, $70 million musical is no stranger to scheduling difficulties. On-going funding concerns, various cast departures, and several serious on-set injuries have pushed back opening night a total of six times.
At the time of “Spider-Man’s” previous delay — from February 7 to March 15 — Cohl had called it the show’s “final postponement.”
Despite all of its reported dysfunctions (both on and off the stage), “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” has been doing major business at the Foxwoods Theatre box office.
The technically advanced tuner has posted $1 million grosses for the past 11 weeks running. The 1,930-seat playhouse was at or near capacity each of those weeks, but those numbers are still well below “Spider-Man’s” nearly $2 million weekly potential, according to the Broadway League’s numbers.