BroadwayWorld.com exclusively reported details on Friday from an email from the show's producers, Michael Cohl and Jere Harris, that went out to the cast and crew. The email thanked the cast for their patience, support and dedication during 'trying times' and notes that they are aware they're at a pivotal moment in the show's history and will be 'making some very difficult choices,' the results of which will be 'revealed by the middle of next week'. Now, we are learning more information about what those difficult choices might include. Cast members have also shared with BroadwayWorld the rehearsal schedule for the week, which still shows work for understudies, flying and battle sequences, but gives no hints of any large changes or no scenes.
On Monday night, the New York Times reported that discussions and negotiations are underway for director and co-bookwriter Julie Taymor to either 'work with a newly expanded creative team to fix the critically derided $65 million musical or to possibly leave the show.' The paper sources all of this to anonymous sources as the producers have insisted that the talks are private, but they do note that for the first time Bono himself is directly involved in the negotiations.
As to the possibilities of Taymor departing or accepting help, they note that as of Monday night, 'they were not sure if Ms. Taymor would stay or go as director' and that 'The names of multiple directors, choreographers and playwrights have been ricocheting around the Broadway community for days now. It was not clear on Monday who would be hired.'
After five delays, the show is currently scheduled to open on March 15th, 2011, but it now seems likely that the show will likely be delayed again, possibly to June of 2011. A delay past April 28th would make it inelligible for this year's Tony Awards.
Word went out last week that Bono, who wrote the music and lyrics for SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK attended the show last Tuesday night to analyze the musical's progress since he last attended the production to lend his help in January, along with rumors over the last weeks (denied by the production) that they were bringing on additional team members for the book/direction. As for whether the producers would delay the opening of the show yet again, spokesperson Rick Miramontez, said earlier this week that "all decisions are made as a group."
We checked with other members of the media, who traditionally would have received officially reviewers invitations by now to see one of the show's final previews and none had yet received them. Requests for a comment went unanswered as of this story's publication.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has formally slapped the production of SPIDER-MAN with three "serious" safety violations pertaining to the injuries infamously sustained by several cast members late last year.
The report reveals: "The citations, which carry $12,600 in proposed fines, come in response to the agency's investigation of four incidents that resulted in serious injuries to cast members. The $65 million musical is already the most expensive in Broadway history...The citations and proposed fines target 8 Legged Productions LLC, a Production Company for the musical. Serious citations are issued when 'there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,' according to OSHA...During its investigation, the federal agency found that "employees were exposed to the hazards of falls or being struck during flying routines because of improperly adjusted or unsecured safety harnesses."
The show features direction by Tony® Award-winner Julie Taymor (The Tempest, Across The Universe, The Lion King), music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy® Award-winners Bono and The Edge, a book co-written by Taymor and Glen Berger (Underneath The Lintel) and one of the most iconic title characters of all time, SPIDER-MAN.