Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spider Man: Tears and Chills

On 60 Minutes tonight, Lesley Stahl previewed the upcoming Broadway production of Spiderman: Turn off the Dark—the most ambitious ($60 million) production in theater history. The director of this piece—a woman named Julie Taymor—is a force of nature. This production has been years in the making, pushing the boundaries of technical special effects (think Cirque du Soleil) and scrambling for financing. But Taymor refused to give up the vision and has reached her goal. And if that wasn't inspiring enough, the score for the production was written entirely by Bono and The Edge.

Watching people collaborate at this level of creativity and expertise was spine-tingling for me. Here's the 20-minute segment: (or here in a bit larger format)

And an additional segment—behind the scenes with Bono and The Edge working out the kinks in some of the music (or here):

Like Julie Taymor says, the biggest and best things always involve a level of risk and fear. I'm amazed by people who step willingly off the cliff of certainty into the thin air of uncertainty.


  1. Quite a production they are trying to pull off. I agree. Ambition and creativity are fascinating to watch.

    It looks like the whole thing may come crashing down due to a horrendous opening night. Hopefully they'll fix the technical kinks before the word gets out. But the first review is not good.

    Below is a link to the opening night fiasco.


  2. Bummer -- I should have mentioned in the post that the 60 Minutes feature was last night because the preview show was scheduled for last night as well. Fortunately, the preview is not the actual opening of the show, but just a pre-view -- but wow, they've definitely got some kinks to work out. Good thing Bono and The Edge were in Australia. But nothing ventured . . . . Thanks for the link to the review.

  3. Julie Taymor has directed some amazing films: The Tempest (which is playing in theaters right now), Titus (with Anthony Hopkins) and Frida about Frida Kahlo. They are all gorgeously shot and have wonderful scores by her husband, Elliot Goldenthal, who's a terrific composer.