Producers Cancel Performance Of ‘Spider-Man’

Producers of Broadway’s troubled “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” said the show will resume Thursday after Wednesday’s sold-out performance was canceled to put new safety procedures in place to prevent falls.

The state Labor Department said that it was satisfied that producers of the $65 million musical had made adjustments to prevent a repeat of this week’s serious injury of a stunt double in a fall.

Photo: AP Photo
Theater-goers lineup to buy or exchange tickets for "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" in New York.

Christopher W. Tierney, the show’s main aerialist playing the superhero, had back surgery Wednesday for injuries suffered during Monday’s fall, which occurred just before the end of the show. He plunged 30 feet into a stage pit.

The much-anticipated production, teaming “The Lion King” creator Julie Taymor with songwriters Bono and The Edge of U2, has had a rocky route to Broadway. There have already been three injuries among those involved in the stunt-filled show, and its official Broadway opening has twice been postponed. Now in previews, the latest opening date was expected to be in February.

Labor officials worked at the Foxwoods Theater Wednesday with producers at the show, saying that a second person will be required to check whether harnesses are properly put in place for high-flying stunts and that this is communicated to stagehands. There are 38 separate moves in the play where actors are put in harnesses to go up in the air.

“At this point we are satisfied they have put in place the appropriate controls,” said Maureen Cox, director of safety and health for the New York State Department of Labor.

Producers said they were rehearsing the new safety protocols Wednesday evening in anticipation of reopening.

“We’re also making sure that the actors and the stagehands know that if everything is not right, they can say, ‘We’re not going to go,’“ Cox said.

Photo: AP Photo

Cox said the investigation is continuing as to precisely what went wrong and caused Tierney’s accident, and who is to blame.