Revamped "Spider-Man" musical returns to NY stage

Fri May 13, 2011 2:08pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The critics are yet to react, but a rejigged version of "Spider-Man" -- Broadway's most expensive musical -- has returned to the stage with so far none of the technical catastrophes that plagued it in the past.

The $70 million "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" reopened on Thursday after a three week hiatus, featuring a streamlined plot, added dialogue, character changes and new lyrics and songs by the show's composers U2's Bono and the Edge.

The new version of the accident plagued hi-tech show, which has had its opening night delayed six times due to cost overruns, injuries to the cast, and a new director, unfolded smoothly, according to the New York Times, with only a few small technical glitches.

Many of the show's flying sequences and characters were still present, including Spider-Man's romantic interest Mary Jane Watson, but three songs were cut, most belonging to the character of spider villainess Arachne, the Times said.

Critics have yet to post reviews of the new show, which officially opens on June 14. They panned the original version although it still performed well at the box office.

A stuntman who was seriously injured in December when he spectacularly fell from a high platform on the stage has returned to the show, while new safety rules have been implemented due to multiple injuries to the cast.

The show has provided plenty of fodder for U.S. comedians and late night TV hosts. Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who will host this year's Tony Awards, joked earlier this week that for the upcoming awards, "We're using all the rigging equipment from Spider-Man.' What could possibly go wrong?"

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant)

<p>Patrons wait in line at the box office of the Foxwoods Theater, home to the Broadway play ''Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark'' in New York March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>