Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the most expensive musical in the history of Broadway, is set to return on Thursday after a three-week hiatus, during which the show has been overhauled significantly. According to the New York Times, the production has mostly abandoned the high-concept vision of its original director, Julie Taymor, in favor of a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly sensibility more closely connected to the character’s comic-book roots. The show has included more flying sequences, added new music by U2‘s Bono and the Edge, and expanded the roles of Spider-Man’s supporting cast.
In an email interview with the Times, Bono explained that while he enjoyed Taymor’s version of the show, he and the rest of the creative team are working to correct its shortcomings. “What was not right about it was a catalog of commonplace problems — story knots, bad sound and, finally, a failure to cohere, meaning that the whole was not greater than the sum of the parts, as wonderful as some of those parts were,” he said.
Furthermore, Bono hopes to keep the story’s focus on the major themes that have made Spider-Man such an iconic figure. Whereas Taymor’s version of the plot centered on Arachne, a spider goddess she created for the show, Bono intends to emphasize Spider-Man’s heroism. “In Turn Off the Dark 2.0, the myth of Arachne does not overpower the reason people are there,” Bono wrote, “to discover what makes Peter Parker a superhero, which in the end turns out not to be his spider senses, but his personal integrity and especially his humility — something I hope all of us in this process have learned from.”
As of now, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is set to officially open on June 14th. The opening date has been changed many times over during the show’s preview run, which is the longest in the history of Broadway.