Monday night’s performance of the troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark ended prematurely after an actor playing the web-slinging superhero fell between 8 and 10 feet into a pit during a complicated aerial stunt that was part of the show’s finale.
Press representatives for the show have not identified the actor, but The New York Times is reporting that an an actress in the show tweeted well-wishes to a fellow castmember named “Chris.” The Times confirmed that a patient named Christopher Tierney, who is one of the show’s aerialists, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center on Monday night.
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which has music by U2’s Bono and the Edge and is directed by Julie Taymor, is the most expensive Broadway musical in history. It has been in previews since November 28 after being pushed back numerous times, including four times during 2010. Last week, the musical’s official opening was pushed back to February 7 from January 11.
The accident reportedly occured during a scene in which Spider-Man rescues his leading lady, Mary Jane, as she is suspended from a bridge.
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The Times spoke to an audience member who claimed to have seen the incident; he said the actor apparently tripped from the bridge and fell into an open pit near the stage. “You heard screams,” the audience member told the Times. “You heard a woman screaming and sobbing.”
A blog post from another audience member described the post-accident chaos: “The music stopped, an announcement was made that show was going to ‘pause’ and you could hear people beneath the stage in a panic. ‘Is he alive?’ one man shouted, while another screamed, “Call 911.’ … A few moments later, another announcement was made that the show was over for the night. As everyone funneled out to the street, two ambulances were already on the scene. A few moments later, Spidey came out on a stretcher, awake and talking, which was good news.”
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark producer Michael Cohl told Rolling Stone last week that the delays were for “a culmination of reasons. We’re previewing, which takes away from our time to iron out wrinkles and put other things in.”