The PR Guru

November 30, 2010

Spider-man aerialist falls 30 feet

EDIT 22/12: The producers of Spider-man: Turn off the Dark have said that the show will go on despite a shocking fall that could have killed its top stunt man.

Christopher Tierney wasn’t properly harnessed when he ran out on a ramp wearing a Spider-Man costume and plunged 30 feet into the orchestra pit in front of a horrified audience yesterday.

The webbed hero plunged to the ground just seven minutes before the show ended when Spider-Man follows his love interest Mary-Jane Watson off a raised platform.

Several <a href="“>Broadway actors raged that director Julie Taymor (the visionary director of The Lion King musical) was playing with her performers’ lives to stage.

“They should put Julie Taymor [in] jail for assault,” Adam Pascal (of Rent fame) wrote on Facebook.

Tony Award Winner Alice Ripley tweeted, “DOES SOMEONE HAVE TO DIE?”

Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker, said “Chris Tierney, you are my hero.”

Tierney was visited by his father and fellow actors at the <a href="“>Bellevue Hospital trauma unit, where he was in stable condition with cracked ribs.

His sense of humor appeared intact and he was heard making jokes before he was given a sedative so he could sleep.

The producers have agreed to focus on tightening their safety protocols after meeting with federal and state investigators and a union rep from the Actors’ Equity Association.

Producers have cancelled today’s matinee but have said that this evening’s performance will go ahead with a stand-in for Tierney.

During the first preview Reeve Carney and Natalie Mendoza (who play Spider-man and Julia Carpenter) were suspended at different times over the crowd as flying stunts went wrong. But this is to be expected, and – even during runs – things often go wrong. In Legally Blonde on Broadway, at one performance the rising platform failed to bring the Delta Nus onto the stage and the bubble in London’s Wicked has also often faced technical difficulties.

The New York Times said the Spider-man preview was stopped five times and ran for more than three hours.

The music for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is by U2’s Bono and The Edge, which should do something to keep people coming through the doors.

The New York Times said the audience was reduced to laughter after Carney was left dangling yards above them while backstage staff tried to grab his foot to pull him down.

But the paper said most of the stunts “went off without a hitch, with children and some adults squealing in delight”.

The New York Post, meanwhile, called it an “epic flop”, saying the show’s “hi-tech gadgetry went completely awry amid a dull score and baffling script”.

The show has been several years in the making and has been beset by delays, injuries and financial difficulties.


1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Brown, Richard Swancott. Richard Swancott said: Spider-man: Turn off the dark already at risk of failing due to negative comments from the press – […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Spider-man: Turn off the dark already at risk of failing due to negative comments from the press « The PR Guru -- — November 30, 2010 @ 10:29 am | Reply

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