"Maybe A Spider-Man Musical is Ridiculous" Inside The Disastrous 'Turn off the Dark'

After six major injuries, several legal cases and underwhelming ticket sales, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will end its run on Broadway. Costing $75 million to create - making it the most expensive musical in history - the show will close in January without recouping its initial investment. According to producer Jeremiah J. Harris, a reconfigured version of the show is set to run in Las Vegas.

Julie TaymorJulie Taymor's 'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark' Never Got Off The Ground

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark held its first preview screening almost three years ago before delaying its opening night by more than six months. New York's fearsome theatre critics eventually look matters into their own hands and reviewed the show - negatively - without the need for an invite to a press night. 

In 2005, playwright Glen Berger was hired by director Julie Taymor to co-write the script for Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark though what followed was six hectic years that form the basis of Berger's new book Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History.

"I didn't want to relive it, but at the end of the day, it was a story and I'm a writer," he says. "It's about good and incredibly talented people earnestly trying to create something. I didn't want to write a tell-all, but I couldn't pass it up."

Among the revelations in the book is the despairing emails sent to Berger from Julie Taymor, who would eventually leave the project. "Maybe the whole idea of doing a Spider-Man musical is just ridiculous," she said in one message. "I knew when she said it that that feeling would pass, but for the moment it certainly did give me a feeling of bewilderment," noted Berger.

Spider Man Turn off the dark broadway'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark' Failed To Pull In The Broadway Crowds

Berger also notes that early previews actually pulled in some pretty high profile faces, including the late Lou Reed and Oprah Winfrey. During one performance on St. Patrick's Day, Elvis Costello wandered in "wearing a pair of little red glittery devil horns." As Berger recalls, "At a certain point, you stopped being surprised. You'd look behind you and say, 'Oh, that's Russell Brand.' It seemed like everybody came."

Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark grossed around $200 million during its entire run on Broadway, though running costs of $1 million per day meant it never made money. Maybe the rich tourists in Las Vegas will go for this one - they pay big money for Celine Dion.


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