You may have heard of a tragic little debacle known as Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. It’s been billed as Broadway’s most expensive musical and opened last year amid all kinds of disasters: injuries, delays and more. And apparently there was more going on behind the scenes. Director Julie Taymor says the producers of the show violated her creative rights and haven’t compensated her for the work she put into the show.
She filed a copyright infringement suit, seeking $1 million in damages. Lead producers say they have, in fact, given her her money:Â â€œthe production has indeed compensated Ms. Taymor for her contribution as a co-book writer.â€
The lawsuit is seeking half of all profits from the book she co-wrote for the musical as well as requestings a jury trial to determine her share of profits.
Believe it or not, the show is still on Broadway and is apparently making enough to more than break even.
As if Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark had not already been plagued with enough safety violations and money troubles at the state level, the feds have now stepped in and fined the production even further. Regulators have cited the show for three particular violations, due to the reckless way in which employees of the show had been exposed to danger from faulty equipment and improper use of safety harnesses.
In addition, federal regulators have found that there are still some accidents waiting to happen, as suspended floors lack the necessary barriers to stop the actors and crew from falling off the edges. Â Just shut the whole thing down already! Â Enough is enough. Â Clearly these people should not be allowed to run a show.
As if this weren’t the biggest foregone conclusion in the universe, that doomed Spider-Man musical with all the accidents and faulty equipment and crew injuries can now add “and the show officially sucks” to the list. Â Producers have delayed the opening of the show again and again, but critics finally got fed up and decided to treat February 7th, the originally announced opening date, as the real opening, and have based their reviews on that night’s performance.
As you can imagine, the reviews were not favorable. Â Producers are furious that the show has been judged based on what it calls “previews,” and that changes are still being made to the set and the performance. Â Regardless, there are claims that ticket sales are still strong, though that may not continue for much longer.
I cannot believe that officials from Health and Safety haven’t shut this disaster of a production down, but it seems that not only is the Spider-Man musical continuing despite multiple serious cast and crew injuries, but they’re dragging someone new into the black hole. Â Natalie Mendoza, who suffered a concussion during a performance while playing the role of Arachne, has been unable to return to the show due to a longer than expected recovery time.
I think she probably dodged a bullet there, but poor T.V. Carpio, who has been covering the role in the interim, has now been named as Mendoza’s official replacement. Â Place your bets on how long it’ll be before Carpio, or someone else, gets a broken neck and they have to shut the production down for real.
The drama never stops for the Broadway version of Spider-Man, but unfortunately it’s not the kind of drama caused by competent acting or a quality stage production. Â The Broadway musical has been plagued with trouble since before it opened, and from the very first performance audiences have reported sub-par acting, equipment malfunctions, and now a serious accident that has injured one of the stunt doubles.
Christopher Tierney, who does the stunts for the Spider-Man character, fell 20 feet from a scaffolding during Monday’s show, due to the technical crew forgetting to fasten his harness to the scaffolding. Â Oops. Â Tierney has several broken ribs and internal bleeding and is not expected to return to the show. Â I wouldn’t either, it sounds like a complete disaster.