There's just as much drama going on behind the scenes of SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark as there is on the stage. There's been news this week that Julie Taymor's deal has still not yet been completed and cast member, T.V. Carpio (Arachne) suffered a whiplash injury that's taken her out for the next 2-3 weeks and there's been additional stoppages. Also, first reported exclusively by BroadwayWorld.com this morning, it's now been officially announced that choreographer Chase Brock has joined the show's expanding creative team.
11:00 PM Update: The cast was also informed tonight that the first reading of the new script would take place tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 PM. We're told that no cast members have yet seen the new script, which will not be given out till 1:15 PM tomorrow before the reading takes place. It's tomorrow's reading that made the telling of the cast tonight about the Greek chorus being cut. Also to be noted, only the leads have been called at the current time, and not the ensemble.
The company was introduced to Brock tonight at a pre-show meeting. Also at that meeting, they were informed that amongst the many changes that would be coming to the show in the weeks ahead, that the 'Geek Chorus' who narrate much of the show now would be cut entirely from the new version of the production. The Geek Chorus is currently being played by Gideon Glick, Jonathan Schwartz, Mat Devine, Alice Lee.
Along with the Julie Taymor creation of 'Arachne', the Greek/Geek Chorus was amongst the most criticized portions of the show by critics. We've previously reported that much of Arachne will be cut as the focus is tightened onto Spider-Man's origin story and then his battling chief villain, The Green Goblin whose part is being expanded. Other reports have suggested that the show will be trimmed to an intermissionless 90 minutes, but we're told that decision has not yet been made and won't until they begin runthroughs of the new version. Currently, Robert Aguirre-Sacasa is at work with Glen Berger on the show's new book and cast members began working on new songs by Bono and The Edge before they left New York to star the next leg of U2's world tour.
As previously announced, Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have joined the creative team to help implement new staging and book rewrites, respectively. The expanded team also includes musical consultant Paul Bogaev and sound designer Peter Hylenski. To allow rehearsal time for the new changes being implemented in the show, performances from Tuesday, April 19th to Wednesday, May 11th have been cancelled with preview performances resuming on Thursday, May 12th. SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has rescheduled its opening night for Tuesday, June 14, 2011.
SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is now in previews at Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre (213 West 42nd Street).