Beware the Spider Web

With three hit movies already in the can, and a fourth announced to debut Fourth of July weekend, 2012, there was no reason not to think that “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” on Broadway wouldn’t be anything but a huge success. Never mind that Bono and The Edge wrote the music and lyrics, and Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor was positioned at the helm.

But the injury-plagued $65 million musical just couldn’t get past the relentless bad press, despite the show’s efforts to stem the bad PR, and now it looks like the spider has woven yet one more layer: Taymor is out, the show will be shut down for several months, new songs will be written, and a new director, “The Boy From Oz” director Philip William McKinley, will take over.

Will “Spider-Man” recover? Only time will tell. But from the Professor’s perspective, the show made smart PR moves by confronting its problems publicly and finding solutions. This is classic crisis communications strategy: acknowledge the problem and tell the public what you plan to do about it.

True, it took a long time to put the strategy into place, which is a no-no, but it’s said that Taymor resisted outside help.

Something tells me the story won’t end here. What do you think? Did Spider-Man spin the story correctly? Will the spider web continue to grow?

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