U2 star Bono has stunned the New York theatre world by revealing he agrees with most reviewers who have slammed his much-maligned musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
In his first TV interview since director Julie Taymor quit the production after it was temporarily pulled from the stage amid an outcry for plot changes and upgrades in cast safety, the rocker, who penned the show's musical numbers with bandmate The Edge, Bono told U.S. TV news show Nightline, "It might have been a little hard for some other people around here to take that, but we don't disagree with the New York Times. That's the sort of stuff we were saying backstage."
The Times reported Spider-Man "may rank among the worst musicals ever made".
And Bono said the criticism and the problems surrounding the production prompted Taymor, who created the show, to quit.
He added, "Julie would not accept this. She got very close to it, so close, perhaps, that she couldn't see it. And we were going out and coming back and we could see very clearly what we thought were the problems and she didn't think they were as big a problem as we did.
"Julie is an incredible artist, really a very gifted girl. I think it's... a shame she's not with us to see it to its conclusion, because a lot of what's magic about it is hers."
But the U2 stars haven't given up on the show - they insist Spider-Man is now a much better project, and it's safer for cast and crew.
Producers have brought in Phil MCKinley to direct the musical, and he has overhauled the plot, added new U2 songs and revamped the show's safety measures after a handful of cast members were left injured following falls and mishaps.
MCKinley told Nightline, "Some people call me Spidey Doc."
And Bono, for one, is very impressed with what MCKinley has achieved.
He added, "The last version of Turn Off the Dark had a lot of magic and mysterious stuff. It was beautiful actually, in so many ways. It just... didn't cohere. This time you have a really clear storyline. You have characters that you're getting to know. The music is in a system where it's legible and there's lots of really obvious stuff that has been fixed."
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