tonight on "nightline," apom lips now? with t-shirts, billboards and placards, thousands of people around the country say the end of the world is tomorrow. why do they think so? we go inside the biggest doomsday movement in a generation. all the way to the man who started it. plus, spidey 2.0. breathtaking stunts, new plot twists and comic book dramatics. after disastrous reviews, the new "spider-man" is poised to open on broadway, with the performer who was almost killed. we meet him, composers bono and the edge who insist now, it's spectacular. and, cleb-o-nomics.
who is worth the most? we break down the forbes list of the most valuable stars. so, who is number one? >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," may 20th, 2011. >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. we begin tonight with the end of the world. right now, thousands of people across america are literally preparing to meet their maker before the sun sets tomorrow. then there are those who think that life as we now it is going to end not tomorrow, but next year, in 2012. a date associated rightly or wrongly with the ancient mayan calendar. so, what drives doomsday theories. why do people believe them? here's david wright. >> may 21st, judgment day. >> reporter: they believe with all their hearts in the word of
god. >> god bless you. >> reporter: so much so, they see themselves as characters from the bible. >> we are the watchmen. the watchmen for the lord god almighty. >> reporter: the watchmen of the tower, envisioned by the old testament prophet. >> it's really the greatest privilege that i've ever had in my life. >> reporter: sounding the ultimate alarm bell. the trumpet of about rmageddon. >> no one to bury the de. >> reporter: these folks take that message very seriously. >> we travel all over the united states giving out this message about judgment day. >> reporter: daryl left his family and friends in new jersey to spread the word. he's been on the road since october. adam larson grew up in kansas. he used to be a prison guard. then he installed satellite dishes. we met him driving an rv in florida. these caravans have been through 46 of the lower 48 states.
and 100 countries worldwide. >> everybody we have to warn. because we don't want anyone's blood on our heads. >> reporter: doom ps day has long been a pop culture fixation. but what's driving these folks isn't any hollywood blockbuster. >> welcome. >> reporter: it's 89-year-old harold camping, and his cable access show. >> may 21 is crucial. it will be may 21. >> reporter: he's the founder of family radio. so, may 21st, 2011. >> may 21, 2001. >> reporter: 6:00 p.m.? >> at 6:00 p.m., that's the crucial time and day. >> reporter: the earthquake happens, the earth tremendobles the rapture 0 cups? >> yes. >> reporter: he's not talking about the usual stuff, he says. tornadoes or earthquakes or tsunamis, though plenty of others may see those things assigns. >> there are many other signs
that more directly absolutely point to the fact that we're on the threshold of judgment day. >> reporter: such as? >> such as the gay pride movement for example. fantastic increase in wickedness, the worldsesz pool. >> reporter: biblical math. >> the final 23 years before judgment day. there would be 7,000 years from 4990 to 2011. >> reporter: he claims he's unlocked the doomsday prophesy. >> god told noah in seven days he's going to flood the earth. he is telling everybody else that in 7,000 years he's going to bring the second judgment day. >> what i know came from the bible. it nothing come from my mind. it never had a dream or a vision or ate bad spaghetti or
something. it's all -- it all has to come from the bible and you never can fudge the bible. >> reporter: plenty are convinced. and for them, it's a simple life. they have left all their worldly goods behind. their gas is paid for. the wardrobe, too. they're aware of how crazy it looks. >> we're a circus to a lot of people, i think. funny show. >> reporter: but they comfort themselves with the thought that people looked at noah that way, too. but camping has been wrong before. here he was in 1996 on michael moore's "tv nation." >> september 6th of 1996 will be the last day. >> reporter: this is not the first time that you've set a date for the end of the world. >> when thomas edison invented the light bull p, did he come out with a finished product the first time he announced it? of course not. >> reporter: do you buy it? >> no, never have. >> reporter: esther answers the phones at family radio and helps
produce the tv show. >> i believe that, you know, jesus will return one day, but i don't believe that someone like harold can predict it, you know? it says many times in the bible that no one is going to know. >> reporter: matthew 7 is crystal clear. beware false prophets. if this thing doesn't happen on the 21st, does that make you a false prophet? >> i don't entertain those kind of questions. it is going to happen. >> reporter: but if it doesn't happen? >> it is going to happen. >> reporter: guess we'll all find out tomorrow. i'm david wright for "nightline" in oakland. >> we'll see. here's hoping they're wrong. just ahead, our exclusive with u2's bono and the edge, backstage at their broadway label of love on the new and improved "spider-man." host: could switching to geico really save you 15%
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> it's a legendary comic book tale, the teenage whiz kid, peter parker, is bitten by a raud radioactive spider and he turns into a beloved superhero, spider-man. but last fall, when the musical version of spider-man previewed on broadway, it was plagued with problems. performers were injured. reviews were dreadful. now, the most expensive show in broadway history at $74 million has been revamped. i sat down for an exclusive interview with the composers, bono and the edge, to find out what's going on. ♪ it is death-defying stunts like these that make spider-man one of the most anticipated broadway shows in recent memory.
how fast are you going? when you're flying? >> probably about 40, 45 miles an hour. >> reporter: chris tierney is one of those flying spider-men. >> wow, bravo! as thrilling as it is to watch in the audience, it's more fun to watch it from up here. it's hard to believe he's back in the air, performing the very same stunts that temporarily shut the show down. in december, tierney was in a life threatening accident, falling 30 feet below the stage. >> broke three vertebrae, four ribs, my skull, my scapula and my elbow. >> reporter: pretty good scars, i hear. >> yeah. >> reporter: are we going to see? oh my gosh. wow. we were with him the day he came back to work, months ahead of schedule. >> welcome back. someone who represents the total spirit of this company, mr. tierney. >> reporter: his recovery seemed to go much faster than the show's. ♪ i just can't walk away >> reporter: plagued by five
serious accidents, six delayed openings, and some of the worst reviews in broadway history -- it seemed as if the death knell had sounded for the show. ♪ if the world should end >> reporter: so, i've never read quite so horrific reviews. things like "the new york times" it may rank among the worst musicals ever made. "the washington post," shrill insip bid mess. what do you think? >> that's the sort of thing we were saying backstage. seriously. >> might have been a little hard for some people around here to take that, but we don't disagree with "the new york times." >> what? >> reporter: one person that disagreed? "lion king" director julie taymor, who co-wrote and directed the original version of "spider-man: turn off the dark." >> julie's an incredible artist. really a very gifted girl. >> reporter: so, what went wrong? everyone wants to understand what went wrong. >> julie would not accept this, but you know, she got very close to it, so close, perhaps, that
she couldn't see it, and we were going at it and coming back and we could see very clearly, what we thought were the problems and she didn't think they were as big a problem as we did. >> get me the shoes! >> reporter: problems like this. a much ridiculed number, a stage full of giant spiders dancing in high heels. critics railed that the plot was unclear. the emotion, muddled. >> at a point like that you've just got to say, look. you are too close. this is -- we're wasting more and more time and other people's money and we actually have to stop now and fix this. >> reporter: julie taymor was pushed out in march and declined to be interviewed for this story. producers brought in a new team to revamp the show. the cast and crew began working double duty. >> here we go. ♪ don't talk ♪ just walk >> reporter: rehearsing new
songs and scenes during the day while performing at night. reeve carney plays peter parker. >> our date is generally 10:00 to 6:00 in rehearsals, get back to the theater and warm up for the show at 8:00. it's pretty much a 10:00 a.m. to midnight day every day at this point. >> reporter: we were at the last performance of "spider-man 1.0." they said they'd be back. and the cast seemed ready to move on. >> i'm excited to make a full transition, just because it will be a little less confusing. the next couple of weeks will be somewhat of a burden lifted from us. >> we'll go now, have a drink and start work again tomorrow morning. >> reporter: and the hard work of retooling the show continued. there's the school. >> reporter: phil mckinley was brought in as the new director. >> visually, there was no way i would throw away any of the visual, you know, things that julie created. they are just spectacular.
it was a matter of, how do we use all of those beautiful toys and then basically, how do we develop the characters around that? ♪ behold and wonder >> reporter: after three weeks of rehearsals, "spider-man 2.0" was ready to begin its own previews, on time, last week. >> the last version of "turn off the dark" had a lot of magic and mysterious stuff, it was beautiful, actually, in so many ways. it just didn't cohere. this time, you have a really clear storyline. you have characters that you're getting to know. the music is in a system where it's legible. and there's lots of really obvious stuff that has been fixed. >> reporter: they added more about peter parker. the relationships with his family. the love story. the things that made him a hero. ♪
>> if people leave the theater thinking that what makes peter parker a super hero is his special powers, i think we've failed. because i think what makes peter parker a super hero is his personal integrity, something about him, guy from queens, new yorker who puts people first and that's the essence of this story. >> reporter: they removed some minor characters. added a new song -- ♪ and when it reopened in previews, "spider-man 2.0" got a standing ovation. backstage the cast was ecstatic. >> oh, yeah! >> rock an roll! >> super, super, super. >> thank you. >> that was fun. >> that had to feel good. >> that was our first preview of this version and we're going to
keep working and making it better and better and better and better. but that was a real victory for us tonight. >> reporter: it is fixed? >> good question. >> it's on the way to being fixed i think is what we would say. the important things have been fixed. and now the details. >> reporter: are you happy? >> 80%. >> reporter: 80%? >> yeah. and the last 20% come in the weeks ahead. it will be ready for opening night, i'm sure of that. >> reporter: we're going backstage. bono and the edge admit they were not at the theater during the troubled fall and winter. >> can you hide spider-man's codpiece, please? >> reporter: they were touring with their band, u2. do they feel their absence contributed to the problems? to quote the comic strip "with great power comes great responsibility." do you take the responsibility, the two of you -- >> you have to have great responsibility to have great power. we were in many ways guests of the last production. ♪
>> we were there at the very beginning, creating the canvas and the words and the music, but when it came to the production, other people were in charge. and so, no, i don't -- we don't think we had full responsibility. we are your humble composers with 25 quid invested and five years of our life. >> "spider-man" will open june 14th. stay with us. for the last two years? it toured around europe, getting handling and steering lessons on those sporty european roads. it went back to school, got an advanced degree in technology. it's been working out -- more muscle and less fat. it's done more in two years than most cars do in a lifetime. now lease the all-new 2011 dodge durango express all-wheel-drive for $359 a month for well-qualified lessees.
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followers, google searches and the size of their paychecks? forbes magazine crunched the numbers. here's john donvan. ♪ >> reporter: hear that? lady gaga's "born this way." and some numbers about the sing. 1 million downloads in just five days, thanks to her 32 million facebook fans and her 10 million twitter followers. and that is why lady gaga is number one this year on the magazine's celebrity 100 list. which measures celebrity influence across five categories. pay, tv and radio presence, press clips, google results and presence in social media. so, though lady gaga's $90 million income was less than the third of oprah's $290 million, oprah is not number one, for a change. oprah's only number two. because oprah's facebook fanbase is only one-sixth the size of lady gaga's. her 32 million followers could
swallow anybody else on this list whole. new world. and it's definitely about age. because that facebook and twitter category is clearly how justin bieber came in at number three on the celebrity list, because while salary-wise it would take five and a hatch biebers to equal one oprah, facebook and twitter was, it would take four and three quarters oprahs to equal one justin bieber. on 30 rush limbaughs, who is number 23 on the list. or 915, jerry sign femds, who is number 40 on the list. or, 2,846 ray roman knows, who is number 95. and, if you added up all the income garnered by these 100 people named by forbes, it would come to $4.5 billion. and that ain't chicken feed. though, if it were, that would be a $10, 20 pound bag, 9 billion pounds. i'm john donvan for "nightline." >> not how much of