Spider ManTurn off the dark, Broadway

UPDATE 2: Preview performances between April 19 and May 11 have been canceled to allow for rehearsal time and will resume May 12. Opening night is now scheduled for June 14.

UPDATE: Philip William McKinley was announced Thursday as the show's new director, though producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris said Julie Taymor "is not leaving the creative team."

McKinley previously directed Hugh Jackman on Broadway in The Boy From Oz.

Oh, and the Green Goblin was stuck dangling over the audience for a few minutes during tonight's show. You know, the usual.

The director who nurtured Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark from the script to the stage may be booted off the job. Probably because people have seen what's been happening on the stage.

While its fifth delay had the show opening March 15, that date has been scrapped in favor of a hot summer night three months from now so as to allow for a creative overhaul of the $65 million production, the New York Times reports.

And the future role of director and chief creative force Julie Taymor is now in question.

Producers are negotiating with the veteran director—who managed to get The Tempest in theaters last year despite being bogged down by Spider-Man—as to her creative role moving forward as the musical undergoes various changes.

Bono and The Edge, who wrote the show's music, are also said to be involved in the talks, which may result in Taymor agreeing to collaborate with a new team or leaving altogether.

"It's right there in the palm of my hands," Taymor said last week in a speech at the TED2011 conference in Long Beach. "In all of my company's hands. I have beautiful collaborators. We as collaborators only get there all together. I know you understand that. You stay there going forward and you see this extraordinary thing right in front of your eyes."

The official word, per the Times, was that opening night is still scheduled for March 15. But sources say that the delay will first force a two- to three-week shutdown of preview performances and the opener won't be until at least June.

Ironically, despite bad reviews and multiple citations for safety infractions, Spider-Man has been raking in the dough, averaging $1.28 million last week to put it among the ranks of Broadway's top earners. It has had 99 preview performances to date, more than any other show in history.

(Originally published March 8, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. PT)

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