The Associated Press recently paid a visit to a rehearsal of Julie Taymor, Bono and The Edge’s endlessly intriguing stage musical spectacle Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and the whole thing sounds appropriately epic. The show, which begins performances on November 14 (just in time for the Thanksgiving rush) and opens on December 21 (just in time for the holiday rush) will feature a cast of 41, an orchestra of 18 performing 18 new songs for a must-be-sold-out-forever audience of 1,960 at the Foxwoods Theatre in Times Square. Deets, and behind-the-scenes photos that give basically nothing away after the jump.
The budget is now up to $60 million (from early estimates of $50 mil), with lead producer Michael Cohl commenting: “It’s a new budget every day.” Between working scenes with the actors the aerial equipment, designed by Cirque du Soleil, is tested, with AP writer Mark Kennedy gawking: “A moment later, a stuntman in a harness soars over the crowd at 40 mph, looping huge circles that make even the jaded gasp.” Taymor paces the giant theater speaking into the PA system, what the crew apparently call her “God mic,” still managing to hone in on tiny details like the placement of a prop book bag, or the sound of a slammed door.
Probably the coolest-sounding detail of the rehearsal visit, though, is the giant backdrop that peels like a comic book page being turned between scenes. So, basically, plenty of expensive tricks and toys that could misfire at any time. But look how much fun they’re having!
- “Now everyone pretend you really liked ‘Accross the Universe.'”
- “…and this is me saving the world in East Africa last summer…”
(Playblog, photos by Joan Marcus, except the one of the Spider-Man cow, whose photographer’s identity must remain secret.)