Thu, Sep 12, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Book review: Song of Spider-Man

Glen Berger peppers his memoir with gossip and anecdote about the most expensive and criticized Broadway musical ever, though there are few revelations

By Patrick Healy  /  NY Times News Service

As for Taymor’s ouster, Berger fills in blanks about the unhappiness with her, especially among the lead producers. One of them, Michael Cohl, yanked Taymor’s tickets for the June opening night just hours before the show, according to Berger. The show’s musical supervisor provided a ticket to Taymor, who took the stage after the performance and received a hug from Cohl; Berger indicated that the musical supervisor’s “active involvement with the show” ended after that.

A spokesman for the producers said Thursday that they had not read the book, so would not comment.

Song of Spider-Man includes extensive quotations from Taymor, Bono, the Edge and others, from 2005 to 2011. Berger said in an e-mail Thursday that many of those comments came from recorded conversations. Some came from his contemporaneous journal entries, others from memory.

He said he did not reach out to Taymor about the book, which he wrote from early 2012 through June, largely because of a lawsuit she filed against him, the producers, Bono and the Edge, which has since been settled. But he said he recently received a phone message from her.

“What followed over the next two days was a handful of e-mails and three hours of conversation,” Berger wrote in the e-mail. “The conversations weren’t just civil, they were genial — strange and psychedelic for being so almost normal.”

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