How Spider-Man Musical Survived

Everything about Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which begins previews on Broadway next week, is epic: It employed 200 people, cost over $70 million, and has survived cast injuries, bankruptcies, and multiple producers over the course of a mythic 8-year production saga. As the show’s finances were repeatedly found to be in a shambles, director Julie Taymor kept building sets, hiring designers, and working out the most elaborate special effects Broadway has ever seen. U2’s Bono and the Edge, who composed the show’s music, say Taymor is the only person they’ve ever worked with who is more intense than they are. No one knows yet if Spider-Man will win over critics and pay off its investors, but the story of its making is heroic by itself.