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U2's Bono Gives 'Spider-Man' The Musical An Eco-Twist

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“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the broadway musical that has been nine years in the making and garnered much speculation as to its success, is now in previews and has the added bonus of some green twists!

Set to open on January 11, 2011, the director, Julie Taymor, and her fellow producers— which include U2’s Bono and the Edge— have spent upwards of $65 million to create their vision. It is the most expensive musical in Broadway history, and according to 60 Minutes, the operating cost is $1 million a week.

Expenses aside, it is the conception of some super talented minds, including Bono, who suggested that they base the fictional character of Norman Osborn, who transforms into the corrupt Green Goblin, on Ted Turner, the real-life billionaire media mogul and philanthropist. Osborn, an environmental scientist in the comic series whose villain costume is an emerald green, will thus be shown in the musical with gray hair, a heavy Southern accent, and serious concerns about the environment (taking on a true “green” angle here), a la Turner.

Glen Berger, who wrote the show with Taymor, said in an interview with The New York Times, “Bono described this fast-talking, always-thinking, brilliant and strange Southerner, and you’re always looking for vivid characters who will pop on the stage.”

The first preview of the show was last night, and although the musical is getting knocked for technical flaws and lack of a firm storyline, it has recieved praise for the elaborate costumes, impressive set designs, and larger than life flying sequences.

Bono said in that same NYT’s interview that, “If the only wows you get from ‘Spider-Man’ are visual, special-effect, spectacular-type wows, and not wows from the soul or the heart, we will all think that we’ve failed.”

Hopefully, with complex characters like Osborn who move out of the comic book realm and delve into real environmental causes, audiences will feel that wow “from the soul” that Bono is hoping for.

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