Director of <i>Spider-Man</i> musical addresses delays

The director of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is defending the troubled production, whose opening has been postponed yet again, this time because a safety inspection could not be completed.

“There are no changes coming to the actual show,” Julie Taymor told Showbiz411's Roger Friedman, a longtime friend. “All the changes have to do with technical things. The flying, of course. But also all the wires, and the changes between scenes. We may need a little bit of an underscore to cover a move, or a small transition that needs to be smoothed. These are the things that you would work out on the road. We’re doing them here.”

Those "technical things" involve some two dozen aerial maneuvers that have come under scrutiny following recent injuries to two performers, most notably an actor who broke both wrists in a failed stunt. Inspectors with the New York State Department of Labor couldn't sign off on the production this week because producers were unable to present them with all of the flying sequences.

As The New York Times reports, the latest delays move previews from Nov. 14 to Nov. 28 and the opening from Dec. 21 to "the box office doldrums of January," which means the $60-million musical -- Taymor says $55 million -- misses both Thanksgiving week and Christmas. The director, however, calls the Jan. 11 opening "the perfect date."

The musical, which is destined to the most expensive and most technically complex show is Broadway history, initially was scheduled to begin performances in February. However, “cash-flow obstacles” in August 2009 triggered delays that eventually led to the loss of original co-stars Evan Rachel Wood (Mary Jane) and Alan Cumming (Green Goblin).

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