Rehearsals for <i>Spider-Man</i> musical finally begin next month

Rehearsals for the full cast of the delay-plagued Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will at long last begin on Aug. 16. Yes, the day that some Broadway observers swore would never arrive is less than four weeks away.

According to ArtsBeat, choreography rehearsals, including aerial flying lessons, for some cast members began on Monday (Variety had reported a flying workshop was held in early June). Reeve Carney, the only actor confirmed for the $52-million musical, tweeted yesterday that the first day was "pretty awesome": "I honestly can't believe I'm getting paid to do things my mom would have killed me for when I was a kid!"

The Julie Taymor-directed production, which features music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and the Edge, is expected to open in November or December, some eight months behind schedule.

Cash-flow obstacles triggered delays led to the departure of Evan Rachel Wood in March and Alan Cumming in April. Reports emerged last month that Next to Normal star Jennifer Damiano will replace Wood as Mary Jane Watson. However, the show's producers have yet to make an announcement. It's also been widely rumored that Patrick Page (The Lion King) will step in as Green Goblin.

With production costs of about $1 million a week, Spider-Man is expected to be the most expensive musical in Broadway history.

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