‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Suffers Another Mid-Show Injury

Horror and Concern after an actor plunges 20 feet to the ground

Last Friday it was announced that the embattled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was pushing back (again) its official opening date to February 7, 2011 so that they could hammer out their on-going technical difficulties and today we learn more troubling news about the show. During tonight’s performance of the show, an actor fell 20 feet to the ground after the cable he was attached to either broke or became detached. The show had to be ended early so that emergency medical technicians could be brought in to treat the injured actor.

Twitter is being flooded with messages from audience members tonight at SPIDER-MAN, with word that an actor fell during the middle of Act 2 when a cable snapped. The show was first put on hold, and then cancelled as ambulances arrived on the scene … BroadwayWorld spoke to an audience member who was there and told us that it right was near the end of the show when the bridge comes down and MJ falls and Spider-Man goes after her. Basically, she went down and he went jumping after her, and you saw the rope come done and then snap back up and then all of a sudden, the stage manager’s voice came on and said that there was going to be a pause and they stayed dark for a minute or two and then they basically called the show. Our source tells us that for most of the audience, there was a moment of “did I really just see that” followed by horror and concern. Coming from where the actor fell, a voice was heard screaming as well. As audience members left the theatre, at least one ambulance and fire truck were seen. Another audience member has contacted us to tell us that “The person taken away was the person playing Spider-Man at the time. He tried to get up and stagehands told him not to move. I was in the audience and I’m an NY EMT. Although i am not involved with the care of the patient they didn’t use a back-board and collar so they don’t suspect spinal injury. The ambulance stayed on site longer then expected leading to believe the injury isn’t critical.” The FDNY confirms they were called at about 10:45 p.m. to treat a man who fell twenty feet. It was unclear which actor was involved in the accident, but we’re told that it was a 31 year old man, who has now been taken to Bellevue Hospital. This is the fourth injury in the show.

This show cannot last much longer … I mean, there’s no way. With a whopping $65 million dollar price tag, Spider-Man has to sell enough tickets to sell out every single performance for the next 4 years just to break even. If you consider how many injuries keep occurring in this show — which is still in previews, btw — you have to wonder how long producers will continue to let the show continue to flail. I’m convinced the injuries will continue to happen … in front of hundreds of audience members. The technical aspects of the show seem just too … shall we say, ambitious … for things to run smoothly for very long. I can’t imagine the sight of an actor falling 20 feet to the ground (some reports say he fell 5 feet, others say 30 feet but 20ish feet seems to be the consensus), followed by horrid screams from audience members will do much to sell tickets for the show … then again, there are a lot of folks that like the macabre. I still deffo want to see this show (and no, not because I want to see people be injured) but it really seems less and less likely that it will run long enough for me to do so. How many more injuries can the show take before they decide to pull the plug?

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  1. Dennis Smeal

    I wonder how many injuries occur in the course of rehearsing any of the Cirque du Soleil shows? I’ll bet there’re more. And look at the injuries suffered by any professional athlete! These performers aren’t training for and attempting just another acting job. This is a spectacle, more akin to a circus or athletic arena. The possibility that injuries can occur if these performers aren’t on their game every night and all the equipment is perfect every night, is one of the things that will take audiences breath away, like the high wire act or the trapeze artists!

  2. Meghan

    They need to stop this show before someone is killed. It’s done. @Dennis–Cirque du Soleil and a broadway theater show are very different things. This show is very, very difficult for the broadway arena.

  3. Tricia

    @ Dennis & Meghan: You are both sort of right. I have a friend who does the rigging for the Beatles Cirque in Vegas and he told us there are injuries most nights (Dennis is correct). However, they are mostly sprained ankles and wrists because these are all professional dancers and gymnasts who have trained to do these athletic maneuvers AND they have many professional riggers on the Cirque set who check all the equipment each night (Meghan is right). A wire breaking like that or not being properly attached is VERY SCARY!! They should stop the show unless they are willing to get the right professionals for this type of show (Yes – more money!)

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