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Julie Taymor eligible for a Tony for 'Spider-Man'

FILE - In this June 14, 2011 file photo, Julie Taymor arrives at the opening night performance of the Broadway musical 'Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark' in New York. Taymor might have been fired from the musical but she could still earn a Tony Award next year for directing the show. The Tony Awards Administration Committee said Thursday, Nov. 3, that Taymor will be considered eligible in the best direction of a musical category. FILE - In this June 14, 2011 file photo, Julie Taymor arrives at the opening night performance of the Broadway musical "Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark" in New York. Taymor might have been fired from the musical but she could still earn a Tony Award next year for directing the show. The Tony Awards Administration Committee said Thursday, Nov. 3, that Taymor will be considered eligible in the best direction of a musical category. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)
By Mark Kennedy
AP Drama Writer / November 3, 2011

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NEW YORK—Julie Taymor might have been fired from the "Spider-Man" musical, but she could still walk away with a Tony Award next year for directing the stunt-heavy mega-show.

The Tony Awards Administration Committee said Thursday that Taymor will be considered eligible in the best direction of a musical category for "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark."

Taymor, the original book co-writer and director, was let go in March after delays, accidents, poor audience reaction and money woes turned the musical into a punch line.

Philip William McKinley, who directed the Hugh Jackman musical "The Boy From Oz," in 2003, was hired to steer the ship. He was billed as creative consultant when the musical opened in June. Taymor was credited with original direction. The decision by the Tony committee means only Taymor will be eligible for the "Spider-Man" directing Tony.

Rick Miramontez, the show's spokesman, said the production wouldn't comment "on the particulars of any of today's rulings," but added, "We're looking forward to an exciting spring."

During the show's overhaul, another new addition, writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, toned down the story's darker themes and expanded the romantic angle between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Most critics said McKinley and Aguirre-Sacasa had helped focus the story and made it more commercially viable.

The $70 million extravaganza finally opened in June -- two days after the Tony Awards, meaning it can be considered next summer for the awards -- and has been doing brisk business, easily grossing more than $1 million most weeks.

The Tony committee also decided two other routine matters Thursday involving the musical -- that Reeve Carney is eligible for a Tony as a leading actor in a musical and that Jennifer Damiano is eligible in the female category.

Carney, who plays Peter Parker and Spider-Man, recently extended his contract until May 2012, but Damiano, who plays Mary Jane, is leaving the show this month. She is being replaced by Rebecca Faulkenberry, who made her Broadway debut in "Rock of Ages."

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