Gee, we figured the problem was two egomaniacs teaming up to work on material neither knew nor cared a thing about, but maybe we’re wrong. According to Julie Taymor, former director of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, it was the audience—not its indifferent makers and their faulty cables—that are responsible for the musical fiasco. “Twitter and Facebook and blogging just trump you,” she said at a Theater Communications Group event this weekend. “It’s very hard to create. It’s incredibly difficult to be under a shot glass and a microscope like that.” You’d think a 2010 show that gave its first readings in 2007 and ran a record number of previews had plenty of time to gestate, but you wouldn’t be Ms. Taymor.
“It’s very scary if people are going more towards that, to have audiences tell you how to make a show,” she said, referring to the focus groups producers used when fixing their multi-million dollar musical about a superhero with songs by the guys from U2. “Shakespeare would have been appalled. Forget about it. It would be impossible to have these works come out because there’s always something that people don’t like.” She even referenced Norman Lear‘s All In The Family, whose racist lead Archie might not have survived in today’s climate. And to be fair, Archie and Arachne—whose number about spider goddesses buying shoes was cut from Turn Off The Dark—have a lot of the same letters in their name. But would Lear or Shakespeare have been making a Spider-Man musical in the first place? Maybe her decision to take on a high-profile gig based on a comic book is the blogosphere’s fault, too.
[Photo: Getty Images]