Director Julie Taymor is a frequent name in the entertainment news these days with her $65 million Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark being Broadway’s most expensive and potentially life-threatening musical.
The sheer scale of the project—and its oddball depiction of a classic comic book superhero in a mythology-based story with songs by U2’s Bono and The Edge—holds an uncommon allure for the public. Sure, it looks spectacular, but it also looks like it could be nonsense, and the sheer number of actor injuries gives it the morbidly fascinating quality of “When’s someone going to die?”
All this makes Taymor’s biggest hit, The Lion King, more fascinating. The production at the Durham Performing Arts Center is the must-see for families, but it also contains a certain appeal for those who haven’t been able to make it to the Great White Way to see Taymor’s work live. For those who only know her for such films as Frida, Across the Universe and The Tempest, how does her sense for artistic spectacle play on stage?