Spider-Man, that high-strung web spinner of popular renown, has been known to rapidly weave from skyscraper to skyscraper with high-tech ease but evidently not as easily in a $65 million Broadway musical: those stage left/ stage right maneuvers can present the mightiest superheroes, along with their cohorts, with problems. While performances of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will apparently continue, there may not be many actors left in one piece to perform.

Stunt double Christopher Tierney became the fourth casualty of the most expensive musical in Broadway history when he plummeted nearly thirty feet. Tierney indeed didn’t break a leg (which, in theatre-speak, is an expression of good luck), instead he broke several ribs. While inspectors at the Foxwoods Theatre, where the rock musical is being performed, are examining (or reexamining) all the moving parts and cables connected to stunt work scenes, Actor’s Equity is demanding more back-up safety measures for the already beleaguered show.

Broadway World reports that Tierney is in serious but stable condition, having broken several ribs during the fall. This is the fourth time that the Julie Taymor/Bono/Edge production, the most expensive musical in history, has had a brush with danger. Previously Natalie Mendoza, the female lead who plays new villainess Arachne, suffered a concussion after being hit by a rope and two actors have broken bones performing stunts. Gothamist

Call me old-fashioned, but I’d prefer a revival of anything by the like of Rogers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe over this sort of theatrical hullabaloo. Spider-Man is just fine…within the realm of comic books, video games and movies, where such fantasies could usually be realized much more efficiently and effortlessly…not to mention, safely.


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