This made me giggle like a little girl today…
And not simply because it’s freakin’ SESAME STREET doggin’ on ‘Spiderman’, but because of that little remark Grover makes there at the end — “You must be patient, sir, it is Bono’s first show ever.”
Lost among all the sniggering and snark about Julie Taymor in her role as the unbridled genius who wouldn’t take feedback, has been the tale of the newbie songwriter who apparently never got the memo on just how demanding creating an original musical can be. My favorite clip in today’s New York Time’s interview with Bono and The Edge:
The two rock musicians said they never would have tried to make “Spider-Man” if they had known it would take a decade to bring to life. For all that work, Bono added, he felt artistically “impotent” at times and did not love the show until a preview performance late last month.
Yeah, well, welcome to the theatre, Mr. Bono.
In all seriousness, though, this little confession is just the latest stinky cherry on top of the piling turd that has been ‘Spiderman’ from its inception.
What I mean is, why do you grab a ridiculously famous rock/pop star and ask him to write a score for an original musical? The answer is obvious: so you can splash his name across the marquee and milk that name for all it’s worth in ticket sales. But what do you when that ridiculously famous rock/pop star either doesn’t know what he’s doing… or doesn’t take it seriously enough to actually commit time and energy to the project when it’s needed most… or, even better, BOTH? Apparently the answer is to let him continue neglecting the project until it’s too late to save, then sack the director for being inflexible.
Am I being unreasonable? I don’t think so. I mean, as producers, how can you watch your project fall deeper and deeper into despair, see that your songwriting team is galavanting across Australia, and NOT say to them “this is unacceptable!” I understand that an entire concert tour can’t just be cancelled because your Broadway show is dying a slow and miserable death (because, granted, the show was originally scheduled to have opened by the time U2 was back on tour). But my god, there had to have been other options than to continue putting impossible pressure onto Julie Taymor (who didn’t make things any easier for herself…), then force HER out when you finally wake up and realize what the rest of the world had been saying for months (ie, “your show SUCKS”). How do you just let years and untold millions slip by without saying to your hapless pop-song-writing duo, “I’m sorry this is turning out to be more difficult than you imagined, but this is the cost of creating theatre.” Clearly, the guys from U2 were too famous to chastise, and Taymor was just easier to let go.
Wow, that was more of a rant than I expected. I’ll probably re-read this tomorrow and be embarrassed at how poorly written it is.
I’m sorry — it’s just that this project has been doomed from the start and all it’s managed to do is leave the entire theatre community with egg all over its face because we allowed it to happen.
At any rate, the cast of ‘Spiderman’ is performing the show’s newest incarnation as I write this very rant. I can’t bring myself to wish them a good run — I can only hope that they, and this entire theatrical debacle, can manage a speedy (never mind graceful) exit.