It turns out the so-called Spider-Man Musical isn’t a Broadway musical after all, even though it is opening at Broadway’s Hilton Theater next January and features music by Bono and the Edge from U2.  According to the New York Post’s Michael Riedel who gained access to a presentation of the new show, now titled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, director Julie Taymor warned the assembled ticket brokers and group sales agents to steer clear of the word “musical.”  “Spider-Man,” she said “is not going to sing and dance in tights.”  She suggested that the best description for the elaborately-mounted $40 million show, which features enormous forced perspective sets and more aerial acrobatics than the Ringling Brothers, is a “circus rock-‘n’-roll drama.”


In her presentation Taymor confirmed that Spider-Man would do a lot of web-slinging and swinging through the sets and out over the audience by showing a video of a top-secret “flying workshop” held last year in L.A. where the show’s aerial techniques, described a thrilling display of acrobatics aided by state-of-the-art wirework, were perfected.


Taymor noted that she drew her inspiration from the original Marvel Spider-Man comics rather than from the Sam Raimi-helmed Spider-Man movie blockbusters.  Some of the sets even have panel lines painted on them according to the blogger at Modernfabulosity who also attended the preview.  The Post reports that the new show features a wide range of villains including Green Goblin, Rhino, Carnage, Swarm and Lizard along with a sexy new antagonist created just for the show, Swiss Miss--a fetching dominatrix swathed in an elaborate costume designed by Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) that consists of rotating knives and corkscrews.  No word yet on whether Dr. Octopus or Sandman will make an appearance on Broadway, though Taymor dropped hints that the list of villains was not yet complete.


Bono and The Edge both attended the presentation and the music was generally well-received, especially two ballads, “Rise Above,” and “Boy Falls From Sky.”