A Peek At Spider-Man, The Musical

60 Minutes Goes Behind The Scenes of The Most Ambitious & Expensive Broadway Musical Ever

The curtain goes up for previews Sunday, Nov. 28, on "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark," a Broadway show with music by Bono and The Edge of U2. The buzz is louder than a swarm of green hornets.

We actually thought we would be broadcasting this story about a year ago; we had been invited to go behind the scenes with Bono, The Edge and director Julie Taymor. But one day last year, the show ran out of money, the opening had to be cancelled and critics predicted it would never reach the stage.

Then, like the comic book itself, there was a cliff-hanging rescue from near death.

The show follows the comic book story of young Peter Parker and his alter ego Spider-Man, with some new twists and new villains. With high velocity flying and special effects, it's the most daring and most expensive Broadway show ever.

"60 Minutes" and correspondent Lesley Stahl were on the inside through much of the ordeal: as Spider-Man was created, collapsed and sprang back into action.



60 Minutes Overtime: Spider-Man
Get a rare glimpse of two musical legends during their creative process. "60 Minutes" cameras capture U2's Bono and The Edge in the moment as they create songs for the highly anticipated musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."


Full Segment: Spider-Man
Extra: Bono and The Edge's Fun Project
Extra: Reaching A Wide Audience

They're calling it a comic book rock opera circus. No question, it's a high wire act, with all the heart-stopping damsel-in-distress rescuing and leaping around you expect from a superhero like Spider-Man.

"60 Minutes" recently got access to some of the show's final rehearsals prior to first preview performances. It's a spectacle of extraordinary dizziness. That's how Bono described it, when we sat down with him and his U2 band mate, The Edge.

"We've moved out of the rock and roll idiom in places into some very new territory for us. There's big show tunes and dance songs," Bono told Stahl.

Asked if they were thinking of Rodgers and Hammerstein, The Edge said, "More dark, more sort of dark and twisted."

The three of them, Bono, The Edge, and Broadway veteran Julie Taymor, took us to the theatre to see the set.

The big stars of Spider-Man are not the actors playing Peter Parker, Mary Jane or the Green Goblin: the real box office draws are the three talents behind the scenes.

"So tell us about the collaboration," Stahl asked.

"It was like being a student in a master class of musical theatre, and opera," The Edge explained.

"I mean, you know. Really. She [Taymor] played a small role, but it was significant," Bono joked.

Actually, her role was all-encompassing: Taymor was the creative force in every nook and cranny of the show.

"You said something along these lines: 'I really love to go into something when I don't know whether I'll be able to pull it off,'" Stahl remarked.

"Absolutely," Taymor said. "I love it when people say, 'What a horrible, lousy idea.' I think that's great. I hate the comfort zone, let's put it that way. I don't think anything that's really creative can [be] done without danger and risk."

The danger and risk with Spider-Man, the musical is that to stay afloat. To keep running, it has to be as big a hit as Broadway has ever seen.

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