Anonymous sources had all but confirmed it, but last O&M Co, the publicists who have their hands full representing Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, sent out a press release making it official: Julie Taymor is out as director, several new crew-members have come onboard for extensive tweaking, and a new opening date has been set for “an evening in early summer, 2011.” Got a nice ring to it, don’t it?
New members of the creative team include Taymor’s replacement Philip William McKinley and Spider-Man comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (a long-rumored addition), who’ll be working on some rewrties. The announcement includes a couple more tech additions that were made weeks ago: musical consultant Paul Bogaev (who worked on stagings of Tarzan, Bombay Dreams and Sunset Boulevard) and sound designer Peter Hylenski (of Elf, Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages and Shrek). All their respective adjustments will delay the opening (most recently scheduled for Tuesday) until at least June.
The announcement includes this lengthy statement regarding Taymor’s changing role from producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris:
Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team. Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so. Julie’s previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening. We cannot exaggerate how technically difficult it is to make such changes to a show of this complexity, so it’s with great pride that we announce that Phil McKinley is joining the creative team. Phil is hugely experienced with productions of this scale and is exactly what Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark needs right now.
McKinley’s only previous Broadway directing credit is 2003’s The Boy From Oz, of which the Times Ben Brantley wrote at the time:
In divesting camp of its style, this musical settles for a staleness and a hollowness that even [Hugh] Jackman’s blazing presence can’t disguise.
Sounds like Glenn Beck‘s kind of show.