Ousted Director, Bill Clinton Show Up at Spider-Man Musical Opening

Disastrous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally, really, actually opened, believe it or not. No one died, or anything! Guess who showed up? Julie Taymor, the director who was forced out by producers just a few months ago.

Oh, and Bill Clinton, too! Taymor, according to the Times, "looked tan and hale and smiled broadly" on the red carpet, and was called up on stage by current director Philip William McKinley during the curtain call:

She strode out and embraced Bono and the Edge and others, even giving a kiss to [Producer Michael] Cohl. The stage directors' union is now fighting him and other producers in an arbitration proceeding over payments it says are due to Ms. Taymor.

Bono, taking a microphone at the curtain call, paid tribute to her creativity, though he drew the loudest cries of approval when he said, "By the way, you're looking hot, Julie."

Ms. Taymor then briefly expressed her gratitude to "this cast, this crew, these musicians, and this incredible creative team that I worked with for a long time."

And how is the show, which only a few months ago was described as "really, truly horrendously and unfixably bad down to its bones" by Gawker's own Richard Lawson? Well, Ben Brantley at the Times writes that he would "consider taking [a less-than-precocious child of 10 or so] to the new and improved Spider-Man." This may not seem like a ringing endorsement, unless you consider that when he reviewed it in March he wrote that it "may... rank among the worst" musicals to ever be staged on Broadway.

But who cares what an egghead like Brantley thinks? Clinton loved it:

Moments before the curtain rose, Mr. Clinton entered the floor of the theater with his daughter, Chelsea, and a small entourage. He took Seat 103, to the left of Bono. Behind them sat Mr. Lloyd Webber on the aisle, next to the Edge. Mr. Clinton applauded after every song and laughed heartily during a scene in which the villain Green Goblin becomes irked by an elaborate voice mail system.

[NYT]