Julie Taymor Directs the Most Expensive Musical in Broadway History

by Melissa Silverstein on November 29, 2010

in Theatre,Women Directors

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Last night was the first preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark the $60 million musical with songs written by Bono and the Edge (of U2) and directed by Julie Taymor.  It is the most expensive Broadway musical ever.

What is interesting about the show is that Julie Taymor and her vision has become one of the most fascinating pieces of this production. Taymor, for those uninitiated, directed The Lion King which has grossed over $700 million changed Broadway forever.  She also has done many extraordinary and different films, my favorites include Frida and Across the Universe.

A Broadway show would be enough excitement for most people but Taymor is no regular person. Aside from Spider-Man her film The Tempest is opening and her production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is playing at the Metropolitan Opera.

How many people — male or female — can have a musical, a film and an opera playing at the same time?  Not many.  Probably no one else.

60 Minutes did a piece last night behind the scenes of the musical and it looks so exciting.  Made me want to buy a ticket.

A few choice quotes.

Taymor: I hate the comfort zone. I don’t think that anything that’s really creative can be done without danger and risk.

Bono and The Edge said that when they were approached to work on the show that the one condition was Julie Taymor. These guys had some seriously great stuff to say about her.

The Edge: Being with Taymor is like a master class of theatre.

Bono: Julie Taymor is a magician and I think that’s what you call a person who even though they’ve put the rabbit in the hat is really surprised when it comes out. That’s her.

A Web and a Prayer (NY Magazine)


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