It’s finally here! In case you missed part one (which is here), this is the second part of my (sort of) Greek Tragedy based on the happenings of Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark and its embattled Director/Creator/Co-Writer/Mask Designer/Visionary/Genius/Madwoman Julie Taymor. So, without further ado, I present:
Taymor of Broadway, Part 2: The Fall of the House of Taymor
(THEATER BLOGGERS are once again gathered by the TKTS booth.)
Again we gather
Lurkers on the web
To hear of Taymor’s web-slinger.
Many long months have passed since last we came together,
Many actors have been gained and lost
Pansexual Alan Cumming, demi-god of oddly seductive oddness
No longer shall don the goblin green.
Evan Rachel Wood, sylph cursed to eat only scenery,
Will not know the kiss of the Spider-man.
Great Taymor has gone to the further coast,
To seek the council of Cirque du Soleil
At long last she has returned
And those lucky few who glimpsed inside
The fortress of her busy solitude
Spied the innards of the mighty Hilton
Split open as if intended for an Augur’s eye.
But who will tell the future?
Eagerly we await the news.
Hail, Reidel the Messenger approaches!
Hear him, for though his words are poisonous
They contain truth.
Yeah, you guys, it’s really bad.
Tell us more!
Well, my sources report
Skyrocketing costs, as every set and costume and number becomes bigger
And an opening night date as solid as an ocean wave.
At the festival of the Group Sales,
Great Taymor spoke in riddles
At first speaking of mythology,
Then comic books, then of the female power of creation.
And she has created a new god-
– We know: Arachne, depressing myth turned feminist Spider-villainess.
No – Perpetual Understudy, god of Worker’s Comp.
Already many offerings have been given to him
And to his companion,
And what of the Producers?
What say they to this excess?
It is a mysterious thing
Indeed, they are like the great Oracle at Delphi
For though we hear from them, often through others
They are almost never seen.
But look, out of the Hilton the theater-goers come
You shall hear the dish from them.
(RIEDEL exits. THEATER-GOERS stagger across the stage, eyes wide, stunned. A few are asleep, some occasionally bring their hands up and crouch, as if to protect themselves from something falling. THEATER-GOER #1 keeps shaking her head, as if mystified. THEATER-GOER #2 seems unhinged and vaguely hysterical. Through the next lines, a parade of theater-goers crosses the stage, some in show merchandise, some in casts, all similarly stunned. )
Speak, audience members.
What wonders did you see?
Of what I saw I can barely speak.
At the beginning, there was great beauty
A loom made of women
As if by magic.
But then, a fall from beauty’s heights
The tale of Spider-man became the all
Narrated by inexplicable punning teenagers.
All at once, so many themes combined
So many stories and styles
It was as though it were the fever dream
Of a person who had fallen asleep in front of ten different televisions
Each showing a different program.
Why does contemporary Spider-man work at a newspaper from the 1940s?
Why does he save a baby from a flock of Easter Island Heads?
How did the army number from ‘Across the Universe’ manage to show up in the Green Goblin’s office?!?!
Who is the inexplicable Rasta Stereotype Man who shows up at the top of the second act? Is he a villain too? Is his evil power wearing terrible pants?!?
Why can’t we see the end of the fight with the Green Goblin? !?
If Arachne can just sprout two normal hot lady legs and go visit earth, why doesn’t she do that earlier and just get herself a boyfriend, if that’s what she wants – maybe a nice entomologist?
Why does Spider-man sing a whole song about rising when he’s just running on a treadmill?!?
Why is Arachne ‘freed’ from her ‘curse’ by a kiss if her curse was about weaving?!?
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND ACT!?!?
(THEATER-GOER #2 breaks down weeping. THEATER-GOER #1 comforts him.)
Alas, this is indeed dire.
Fear not, though, not all feel the way we do.
(GLENN BECK runs across the stage, in a beer helmet and carrying a giant tub of movie popcorn, which proceeds to spill everywhere.)
I looooooooove it!! Fuck you, Frenchies!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(GLENN BECK exits. There is moment of awkward silence.)
Well, that’s… good, I guess.
I bring news!
Weighed down by heavy criticism
Burdened with reviews worse than the smell outside the Times Square Olive Garden
With no opening date in sight,
Blue-shaded Bono approaches to decide the fate
Of fraught Spider-man.
But… wait, didn’t he write the music?
Shouldn’t he have, um, been around for the process?
Why comes he now as savior, when he was missing all this time?
Silence! He is the great Blue-Shaded Bono
He has other stuff to do.
Still, we are perplexed.
Should not the producers make this call?
They who allowed the genius of great Taymor
To run wild as an unfettered stallion on piles of cash
Risking that it would slip and break its legs?
The producers, who are they compared to Blue-Shaded Bono?
Respect the power of media buzz.
Only a man so powerful he needs only one name
Could decide the fate of Great Taymor.
Hail, they approach.
(BONO enters, with a guitar in one hand and an African baby held in the other arm. He is dressed in tight organic fabrics, and followed by a ‘we are the world’ entourage. From the other side of the stage, TAYMOR approaches. She holds Prospero’s staff from ‘The Tempest’ in one hand, and Rafiki’s staff from ‘The Lion King’ in the other.)
We meet again,Great Taymor. And truly this is a Sunday, bloody Sunday.
It’s Thursday. And I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Oh, but you do.
Many long months ago, Bono agreed to do this show with you.
She moves in mysterious ways, Bono thought
It will be the sweetest thing.
Bono wrote some tunes, threw in some nice general metaphor lyrics
So that any song could refer to any time, place, person or thing.
Bono dropped them off, totally done with his work,
expecting to come back for a fancy Oprah-approved opening
Where did it all go wrong?
I followed my vision, Bono.
My mythological, feminist, Dick Tracy, inflatable-dinosaur-villain, spiders-trying-on-shoes-for-a-entire-number vision.
Bono still hasn’t found what Bono’s looking for.
What were you looking for?
Happiness is a warm gun, my friend.
That doesn’t make any sense.
Will you change your vision, Great Taymor?
Will you consent to hear the wisdom of others?
I am still confused as to why this decision is being made by you.
But, no, I will not.
Many years I have worked for this
Many years I have planned, I have toiled
So many of the thoughts in my expansive mind
So many of the visions I have seen
I have put in that show.
To ask me for more
Is to see my whole self on that stage
Then to ask me to rearrange it
I could sooner detach a limb
And replace it with another’s
On my own person.
Bono has come, and this is the moment of surrender.
It is time, Great Taymor.
Breathlessly we await
Speak your decision, Blue-shaded Bono!
The show must go on, but not with you, Great Taymor.
(TAYMOR looks stricken. All assembled gasp, except RIEDEL, who cackles.)
Tell us, Blue-shaded Bono, what will you do with the show?
What changes will you make?
Oh, Bono will not make the changes himself.
Bono’s got other stuff to do.
(at this, BONO exits,to the sound of a fierce guitar riff. His entourage of people from various disadvantaged countries follows him.TAYMOR stares out, her face noble and her expression set to grim determination.)
Oh, Great Taymor
Our hearts break for you
Like the bones of your ensemble members.
Fear not, minions.
I shall retreat to heal my wounded pride
And mourn my loss.
But then, like a phoenix I shall rise
The mind of Great Taymor is never at rest
Already I know my next great work.
Tell us, Great Taymor, that we might again say ‘squee’!
I shall re-imagine… The Teletubbies.
But it will really be about Jungian Archetypes
The Armenian genocide,
And I will set it in Norway.