Actors' Equity has issued a statement declaring that performances of the beleaguered $65 million Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark "will not resume until back-up safety measures are in place." Or, as John Kerry might have put it, how do you ask an actor to be the last actor to die for a mistake? New York State Department of Labor inspectors are currently at the Foxwoods Theater, where the rock musical is performed, and DoL spokesman Leo Rosales tells us inspectors are carefully examining all the moving parts and cables, with a particular focus on the equipment involved in the accident last evening, when Spider-Man's stunt double Christopher Tierney plummeted nearly thirty feet.
We asked Rosales if he can recall any previous instance when the Department of Labor has intervened to shut down a Broadway production, and he told us, "The Department of Labor wouldn't shut down a production, but if aerial maneuvers and equipment are deemed unsafe, we make sure they're not used. We inspect amusement park rides across the state in the same way." Rosales said inspectors are conducting a thorough investigation and are interviewing witnesses to determine what happened during last night's accident.
Broadway World reports that Tierney is in serious but stable condition, having broken several ribs during the fall. This is the fourth time that the Julie Taymor/Bono/Edge production, the most expensive musical in history, has had a brush with danger. Previously Natalie Mendoza, the female lead who plays new villainess Arachne, suffered a concussion after being hit by a rope and two actors have broken bones performing stunts.
Update 5:08 p.m.: As long as there is an actor left standing with unbroken bones, the show must go on! A spokesman for the producers says tomorrow's matinee has been postponed, but Taymor's charnel house—always hungry for fresh marrow—will resume Wednesday night. In a statement, a spokesperson for Actors' Equity Association says the union "worked today with the Department of Labor, OSHA and the production to determine that the cause of the accident at last night's performance of Spiderman was, in fact, human error. Further protocols are now being implemented, including redundancies recommended by Equity, the DOL and OSHA, to address this situation as well as other elements of the production. Equity continues to vigilantly monitor the production for the safety of its members."