Taymor was fired from the production before its opening and a lawsuit is still pending. But he’s feeling immensely gratified that the show is still standing strong after taking so many vicious shots.“I’m thrilled with it,” a clearly proud Bono offers.
“The story is still evolving. We’ve got some great ideas to kind of change and grow. If you saw Wicked when it opened to very poor reviews, if you saw it then and you saw it now it’s very changed. “Things change, and that’s what’s so exciting. It’s just a great show.
The great show was always in there. It was just a question of bringing it out. “Some tough decisions had to be made, and you know, we’re nothing if not relentless. We learned a lot from the experience.“I love that part of New York. I love the Broadway community. By the way, they are very active in the fight against AIDS through Broadway Cares, so I want to work with them."
Did Bono survive the critical mauling intact? “It was a bit of a slapping,” he laughs. “You know, we were the new boys. We were always going to get a bit of slap in the back of the head. Some of it was our own doing, and some of it was just people piling on because they wanted to.“It’s amazing how people were like, ‘Get back in your box.’ But it’s always been like that with everything we’ve done.
“You know, it just seems to come with the turf. But as I say, we are relentless and we can take it. It’s probably part of being Irish in addition to being tough.”THE old Irish enemy, England, was on Bono’s radar last month. He traveled to London with Ali to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was more than happy to take part in a cultural event attended by the Queen.“Well, she is something else,” Bono says.
“Irish people have a historical reason to be wary of the royal family, but in these present times we should be gracious.“You know, she was very gracious and spoke Gaelic and charmed the country when she was in Ireland last year.”Ireland and England, Bono says, have progressed from the bad old says.“I think having (British Prime Minister) David Cameron apologize for what happened in Derry all those years ago, Bloody Sunday, was very important. It’s a different relationship now between Ireland and its neighbor, and I wanted to acknowledge that.
Bono paid tribute to Britain’s monarch, but his forever queen is Ali Hewson. They’ll celebrate 30 years of marriage on August 21 and they’ve got lots to show for it – two sons, two daughters and a rock solid partnership that defies the usual celebrity marital traumas. Ali shares Bono’s passion for the African continent and social justice. She’s deeply involved in EDUN, a fashion brand that she and Bono founded that aims to increase trade with Africa – many of the lines are made by locals there, and the couple wants to showcase their quality and craftsmanship in the hopes that other fashion houses will take notice.
At home Ali is famous for her work with the Chernobyl Children’s Project, which works with youngsters affected by the catastrophic 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Proceeds from the U2 song “Sweetest Thing,” which Bono penned for his wife, went directly to the project.“She’s unbelievable,” Bono says. “There’s no such thing as a mother who’s not working, but having all the responsibility of bringing the kids up, she’s done it with a lot of grace. “And she’s still great fun to be with. She’s my best mate.”