"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Producers of the frequently delayed Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark plan to select a second actor to play Peter Parker because of the physical demands of the role.
The New York Times reports that cast member Matthew James Thomas, best known for the British musical drama Britannia High, is being considered to fill in for star Reeve Carney for as many as two performances a week after the show opens in January.
The $60-million production isn’t just the most expensive show in Broadway history, but also the most technically complex, with two dozen aerial maneuvers that send actors out above the audience and catapult them across the stage. Two performers, at least one of whom doubles as Spider-Man, have been injured during rehearsals, triggering separate investigations by the New York State Department of Labor and Actors’ Equity.
Producers earlier this month were unable to demonstrate all of the flying stunts during a routine safety inspection, forcing another delay that moves previews from Nov. 14 to Nov. 28 and the opening from Dec. 21 to Jan. 11.
Directed by Julie Taymor and featuring a score by Bono and the Edge, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark also stars Jennifer Damiano as Mary Jane Watson and Patrick Page as Green Goblin.