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Labor union to stop performances of Spider-Man musical following injury [Updated]

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

In the wake of last night’s accident that sent a stuntman to the hospital, Actors’ Equity Association has announced it will halt performances of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark until better safety measures are instituted.

“Actors’ Equity Association is working with management and the Department of Labor to ensure that performances will not resume until back-up safety measures are in place,” the labor union, which represents live theatrical performances, said this morning in a statement released to Broadway World. Update: Broadway.com now reports that “additional safety protocols” will be enacted immediately, resulting in the postponement of Wednesday’s matinee. However, Wednesday evening’s performance, and all subsequent ones, will proceed as scheduled.

As we reported earlier, aerialist Christopher Tierney, who doubles for Spider-Man and two villains, fell about 30 feet when the cable to his harness snapped during the closing minutes of Monday night’s performance. (The New York Times has amateur video of the mishap.) He was taken by ambulance to Bellevue Hospital, where he’s reported to be in stable condition. According to Showbiz 411, Tierney suffered broken ribs and is being monitored because he was bleeding after the fall.

Inspectors from the New York State Department of Labor are visiting the Foxwoods Theatre today to conduct their own investigation. “We’ll be talking to the production team, checking the harnesses, cables, and other equipment, and trying to determine what happened, and we’ll have more information after that,” a department spokesman told The Times.

Tierney is the fourth actor to be injured in the troubled $65-million production, the most expensive and most technically complex in Broadway history. Safety concerns first emerged in October, around the time dancer Kevin Aubin broke both wrists in an aerial stunt gone wrong. During the coverage of that incident it was discovered that another performer had broken a foot during rehearsals. Then came November’s problem-filled first preview, during which actress Natalie Mendoza suffered a concussion, resulting in a two-week absence from the show.

The Julie Taymor-directed musical, which features a score by Bono and the Edge, has been plagued with troubles that date back to at least back to August 2009, when cash-flow obstacles forced the production to shut down, seemingly beginning a domino effect that led to repeated delays, the loss of two stars and a ballooning budget. On Friday producers announced they would again move Spider-Man‘s opening, this time from Jan. 11 to Feb. 7. That’s nearly a year after it was originally set to debut.

Some fans and industry observers were referring to the production as “cursed,” even before this latest injury. But now Gawker’s Richard Lawson, who has seen Spider-Man in previews, declares it’s time to pull the plug on “a terrible and, evidently, dangerous show.”

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Comments

10 Comments

Um…I’d say that’s more than just nearly after it was originally set to debut. It’s definitely after it was originally set to debut. Something might have been left out of that sentence in the report or I have no clue as to when it was originally set to debut.

I can’t believe it’s taken this many accidents to shut this idiotic and dangerous thing down. This Taymor woman is a reckless lunatic. She should be brought up on charges. In ANY OTHER INDUSTRY this would have lead to investigations after the second accident.

Marvel or Disney or whoever ok’d this should be pulling the property, this is BAD for Spider-Man, to be attached to this train wreck. What’s it going to take? A death?

Wow, that’s a wicked fall. Watching that line snap in the video is heartbreaking, and reinforces that this seems to be a cursed production. Unfortunate!

“this seems to be a cursed production”

yah or maybe they just didnt’ want to spend the money and time to make sure its safe.

Yeah, because this team seems to care about spending too much money.

@DrunkJack: You have too much faith in other industries.

Is anybody else reminded of the curse behind the Macbeth plays?

Is anybody else reminded of the curse behind the Macbeth plays?

did you really just compare Macbeth to the Spiderman musical? in any context, that’s just wrong

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