Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
directed by Julie Taymor, with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, and book by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger
at the Foxwoods Theatre, New York City
Looking back at the Spider-Man fiasco, it’s possible to see the contours of a familiar story: a woman of great talent, overweening artistic ambition, and then humiliation. In the end, Julie Taymor got her Greek drama. Like a character in some Attic play, she was led by a single-minded passion to betray her truest self and abandon her greatest virtues. These, as her admirers have long recognized and she herself once seemed to know, lie not in elaborate Hollywood special effects that huge amounts of money can buy in order to make the fantastical seem real and persuasive, but in a very old-fashioned kind of magic that doesn’t pretend to be “real” at all.