The rise and fall of director Julie Taymor and the behind-the-scenes scandals of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark is the premise behind the 2011 Fringe sensation The Legend of Julie Taymor, or The Musical That Killed Everybody! In the show Julie faces financial problems, actor injuries, technical malfunctions, opening delays, scathing reviews, all while battling her arch-nemesis, an unrelenting theatre columnist.
Behind every great show, especially a high energy rock musical like this one, there is a great director. In this case producing artistic director of New York Theatre Barn, Joe Barros, helms the direction and choreography of one of the hottest tickets at the Fringe this year. Read on and check out the show this Wednesday. But hurry! the show is selling like Book of Mormon only way cheaper.
First show you ever saw that made you want to be a director and a choreographer?
The film The Wizard of Oz and a subsequent community theatre production.
Biggest non-theatre related influence in your art?
I don’t have many non-theatre related influences. This is a hard one! Hmmm…this may sound a bit cheesy, but here goes: Oprah, Judy Garland, and Michael Jackson. All three posses/possessed a great amount of talent, passion and purpose.
Biggest achievement as an artist?
Producing (and choreographing) I Married Wyatt Earp in New York. This musical was a co-production between New York Theatre Barn and Prospect Theater Company. It was an honor to work with Prospect to produce the musical at 59E59 Theaters and such an absolute dream to bring this glorious all-female musical to life. I first saw the show when I was training at The Hartt School in 2003 and have been in love with the show ever since.
Biggest failure as an artist that lead to greatness?
I worked on two shows in New York that were not very good and they weren’t very successful because of extremely poor producing. I am not particularly disappointed with the work that I did on those shows but they were huge failures. And had I not had those experences to learn from, I would not be further along today.
How did New York Theatre Barn get started?
I founded New York Theatre Barn in 2007 with a friend and colleague. It has since grown into a very exciting incubator for new musicals and plays, and is ultimately a place for writers to investigate their craft. We are currently developing a new musical that the company conceived called Speargrove Presents, about a conservative Texas high school’s planned production of the musical Rent (based on true events).
How did you get involved with The Legend of Julie Taymor, or The Musical That Killed Everybody!?
I heard cast members of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark made an appearance – did you get a chance to find out what they thought of the show?
From their reactions I could certainly tell that they were having a lot of fun. I’ve heard from a few members of the production staff who said they not only had fun but were impressed with our production.
Any chance Bono, The Edge, or Julie might show up?
They haven’t yet. I think they’d have a blast.
If you could have anyone in the audience of your show who would it be?
Taymor herself, and my grandparents who are no longer with us.
What’s next for Joe Barros?
I am currently in rehearsals for Guys and Dolls for the Fire Island Pines Arts Project which I am choreographing. I am also the choreographer for the new musical Odyssey which is being produced in the city by Araca, and am the director/choreographer for Gallery Players‘ upcoming production of Little Shop of Horrors. I am so excited about Little Shop as I am collaborating with puppet designers on a totally new concept for the plant. And…The Legend of Julie Taymor has been invited into Fringe Encores. So if things go as planned, the show will be making a return to NY next month!
Final performance Wednesday, August 24th at 7pm
Buy online at www.FringeNYC.org and by phone 866.468.7619
The Bleecker Theatre (45 Bleecker Street at Lafayette Street) One block North of Houston Street and One block East of Broadway.