Glen Berger wants to make it look like he’s spilling all the beans about the botched musical Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark.
Really, he delivers allusions, innuendo and promises he never delivers on. Much like the production he also failed.
Look at the negative reviews for the book and one can glean what I think, more or less, about the book.
Here’s one major aspect I don’t think has yet been discussed: The platitudes and credit given to Julie Taymor despite the wide gulf of differences between the production she’s given credit for, The Lion King, and the musical she was half-assedly trying to create, Spider-man.
Julie Taymor is widely hailed as being responsible for the success of the theater production of The Lion King. Masterful, if one believes Glen Berger.
(While I enjoyed seeing The Lion King, I do not think it was transcendent.)
So, that’s the crux of this entire story. Julie Taymor is amazing! because of The Lion King.
Here’s the thing that Berger, and seemingly everyone involved with the project, and every positive reviewer who is a fanboy or girl of Taymor, appears to miss:
The Lion King was Taymor’s adaptation of a movie (animated) musical.
Spider-Man was an entirely original endeavor (seemingly partially out of hubris, partially out of contempt for the original medium).