Mike Fleming

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has delayed its February 7 opening, yet again. This time, opening night will be March 15 as Julie Taymor and her creative collaborators including U2′s Bono and The Edge try to work more bugs out of the musical’s system. This one’s not going to sit well in places like The New York Times. Critic Charles Isherwood, clearly gritting his teeth, recently ran an article saying the paper would hold its tongue, despite “reviews” written for Bloomberg News by Jeremy Gerard (who paid $292 for his orchestra seat) and another in Newsday by critic Linda Winer. It’s getting to the point now where reviewers will be hard-pressed to hold off any longer. Spider-Man is packing the house in preview performances (Glenn Beck just issued the musical’s first full fledged rave), and the musical might be better off selling tickets in an endless run of previews, without ever having an official opening. That might be the $65 million musical’s best hope of recouping. The postponement comes as The New Yorker Magazine unveils a cover that makes light of the litany of accidents suffered during the aerial portion of the show. Here’s the official word:

New York, NY – Lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris announced tonight that SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has delayed its opening night (previously set for February 7, 2011) to Tuesday, March 15th to allow for more time to fine-tune aspects of the show, including the new ending. Also to that end, the scheduled performances on Tuesday, January 18 and Tuesday, January 25 have been cancelled, and all ticketholders for those performances will be offered refunds or exchanges. All other preview performances will go on as scheduled. Directed by Julie Taymor and featuring a book by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger, and new music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is now in previews at Broadway’s Foxwoods Theatre (213 West 42nd Street). Last week, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark was the number one box office grossing show on Broadway.

Producer Cohl commented, “SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is ten-times more complicated to tech than anything else, and the preview schedule allows for only very limited rehearsal time (twelve hours per week). We simply need more time to fully execute the creative team’s vision before freezing the show. I picked a date in March that allows me to ensure that this will be the final postponement.”

In a statement, Ms. Taymor said, “We are so grateful for the enthusiastic audiences who have been coming to see SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark and we are dedicated to giving them the very best show we can.”

Bono and The Edge added, “Working on this show has been one of the great thrills of our lives, we’ll continue working as long as they let us. We are looking for the extraordinary here and we are nearly there.”

Featuring 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 Turn Off The Dark is the most ambitious production ever undertaken on Broadway and finds astonishingly fresh ways to tell a story inspired by over 40 years of Marvel comic books. The show follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down when he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek suddenly endowed with incredible powers soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains put both his physical strength and strength of character to the test. SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark will thrill audiences through a unique entertainment experience in ways never-before-dreamed-possible in live theater.

Tickets are priced from $67.50 – $135 for weekday performances and $67.50 – $140 for weekend performances and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 250-2929 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (877) 250-2929 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Tickets are also available at the Foxwoods Theatre box office Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Syfy, the premier cable destination for imagination-based entertainment, is a lead media partner for SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.