Julie Taymor: Spider-Man Burns Like a Volcano. Theatergoers agree

03.04.11 7 years ago 2 Comments

There’s been so much written about the horribleness of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark that it’s kind of hard to write anything new. (There’s only so many times you can use the phrase “worst show in Broadway history” before it starts to lose all meaning.) But through all the mountains of critical reviews, late-night jokes and accident reports, we haven’t heard much from director Julie Taymor about how she’s dealing with the situation. Well, apparently she doesn’t like it.

As the New York Times reports, Taymor spoke at the recent Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in Long Beach and talked about how she’s dealing with the Spider-disaster, saying, “Anyone who creates knows — when it’s not quite there. Where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char. And I am right there.” (Frankly, we think the whole things leaning more towards the burnt char side of the scale, but that’s just us.)

Then, Taymor went into a long-winded, pretentious metaphor for how directing the massive disaster has been, well, rough.

Ms. Taymor chose a story about a trip to Indonesia when she was much younger to serve as a sort of metaphor for her journey with “Spider-Man,” which began eight years ago as she began working on the script with the playwright Glen Berger and Bono and the Edge, who wrote the music and lyrics. In Indonesia, Ms. Taymor recalled, she and a friend decided to scale the side of twin volcanoes, but her friend then disappeared into the sulfurous smoke, leaving her behind perched between a dead and live volcano.

“It’s very easy to climb up, is it not?” she said. “I am on the precipice looking down into a dead volcano on my left, on the right it is sheer shale. I am in thongs and sarong and no hiking boots. I realize I can’t go back the way I have come. I can’t. So I throw away my camera. I throw away my thongs and I looked at the line straight in front of me. And I got down on all fours like a cat. And I held with my knees to either side of this line in front of me — 30 yards or 30 feet, I don’t know. The wind was massively blowing, and the only way I could get to the other side was to look at the line straight in front of me.”

She added: “I know you have been there. I am in the crucible right now. It is my trial by fire. It’s my company’s trial by fire. We have survived because our theme song is ‘Rise Above.’ ” She then referred to another song from the show as she continued: “‘Boy falls from the sky.’ ‘Rise Above.’ ”

Wow, so the only way to get out of the problem she’s in is to put her head down and just keep doing what she’s doing. Yeah, that’ll probably take care of all the problems with the show.

Here’s a tip, Julie. You don’t have to kill yourself fixing something if you just don’t make it crappy the first time around. It saves a lot of hassle.

[New York Times]

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