A Critical Companion to Julie Taymor
Edited by Phillip Grayson
"Arachnephobia: A Defense of Julie Taymor's Arachne Character in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark"
Co-written with Amy Pridgen
Matthew Hodge and Amy Pridgen's contributing chapter to this scholarly collection offers a defense for the Arachne character in Julie Taymor's original version of Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Taymor's vision for Arachne was considered by critics to be one of the most divisive and controversial aspects of the musical. Yet, the character was the component that Taymor felt most strongly about and refused to compromise on. Industry insiders have cited Taymor's unyielding passion for Arachne as the ultimate downfall of the production's explosive internal dysfunction, which ultimately resulted in Taymor's dramatic public firing. This chapter provides a critical perspective that defends the importance of Taymor's original vision for Arachne (a defense that is blatantly missing from the massive amount of critical reactions). Moreover, this chapter has significant timing, due to 2021 being the ten-year anniversary of Spider-Man's highly-publicized and highly controversial opening on Broadway.
(2022, Lexington Books)