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Archive for Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spider-Man’ to resume performances after performer falls 30 feet into orchestra pit

December 22, 2010

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— The producers of the troubled “Spider-Man” musical on Broadway said they have enacted new safety measures ordered by the government and will resume performances tonight.

A spokesman for “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,” Rick Miramontez, said producers met with federal and state labor officials and the Actors’ Equity Association on Tuesday to discuss additional safety measures after a performer doing an aerial stunt fell about 30 feet. He said the measures will be enacted immediately but did not immediately say what changes the show would make.

Producers postponed the musical’s scheduled matinee today, but the web-slinger will take the stage again tonight. Firefighters were called to the Foxwoods Theatre at Monday night after the 31-year-old performer fell near the end of the latest preview performance. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries, police said.

Police did not release the actor’s name, but a performer in the show identified him as Christopher Tierney. The performer spoke on condition of anonymity because the performer was not authorized to speak publicly about the accident.

Tierney is the show’s main aerialist and performs stunts for the roles of Spider-Man, and the villains Meeks and Kraven.

Christine Bord of Clinton, N.Y., was sitting behind a perch on the balcony. The actors who fly over the audience stop on that small ramp.

“It looks like part of the New York City skyline ... like a building and Spider-Man was up on the top of that ... ramp,” she said. “The actress who was playing Mary Jane came off of that at the bottom. In the scene, of course, Spider-Man was supposed to come down and we’re assuming save Mary Jane at the end of the scene but instead he came flying down and he just slid right off the bottom of that ramp into the pit below and came tumbling down into the stage.

“He was being held up by a wire and you could see at the end of the wire there was maybe a weight or something that kind of came following after him,” Bord said. “And then after they both came down, it was just silent and you started to hear people screaming in the pit.”

The production has been under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for several weeks, according to the agency.

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