Director Julie Taymor and the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have announced that the musical's opening has been delayed yet again. The Marvel Broadway musical will now launch in February, nearly a full year after the production's originally planned opening. Presumably, the delay is meant to give the New York theatre community time to heal and repopulate itself after a series of technology malfunctions led to horrific maimings and gruesome deaths.

Alright, nobody died... yet. According to The New York Times, the delay is actually to give the production time to make additional changes to the script and music, including the staging of a new final number. Most ominously, composers Bono and The Edge are to resume working on Spider-Man full-time later this month.Since the start, the story of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been extremely compelling to observers of both Broadway and the comic book industry (perhaps more so than the musical itself is likely to be). Reported to cost in excess of $65 million, it is the most expensive musical theatre production ever mounted, the show has been plagued by all sorts of unfortunate but inescapably amusing problems. Beyond the various delays, the show's original stars, Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood, bailed; one of the Spider-Man stunt performers broke both his wrists after being catapulted into the stage floor; another actor suffered a concussion; the first preview performance had to be interrupted five times due to problems with plainly unreliable acrobatic technology; and Reeve Carney, the actor who portrays Peter Parker/Spider-Man, has had to cut back his performances to just a few times a week due to the production's uncommonly brutal physical demands.

But as Robot 6 pointed out this week, preview performances of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark are filled nearly to capacity -- perhaps as a consequence of all the train-wrecky bad press. Unfortunately, The New York Times reported that for the musical to break even on its massive $65 million investment, ticket sales will have to remain that high for about four years.

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