'Spider-Man' Actor Injured in Fall; Producers Vow to Increase Safety Measures
By PopEater Staff Posted Dec 21st 2010 01:45PM
A police spokesman confirmed that a male actor was injured at about 10:42 p.m. and taken to Bellevue Hospital Center where his condition is unknown. A Washington Post source in the cast says the injured performer was Christopher Tierney and the hospital has confirmed that a patient with that name has been admitted.
Natalie Mendoza, an actress who suffered a concussion during an earlier performance, asked fans in a Twitter message to keep the actor in their prayers. "Please pray with me for my friend Chris, my superhero who quietly inspires me everyday with his spirit. A light in my heart went dim tonight."
Earlier accounts from audience members indicated that the performer fell about 10 feet, but a stagehand for the show told BroadwayWorld.com that it was actually a 30-foot drop.
The terrifying accident, which was videotaped by an audience member and posted on NYTimes.com, came near the end of the show during a scene in which Spider-Man was standing on a "bridge"-like platform and attempting to rescue a dangling Mary-Jane.
The cable that snapped was supposed to stop the actor from falling as he ran to help. He fell from that height down to the bottom of the orchestra pit.
In response to the accident, producers have quickly moved to increase safety measures for the cast and crew, according to a statement from 'Spider-Man' spokesman Rick Miramontez.
"OSHA, Actors Equity and the New York State Department of Labor have met with the Spider-Man company today to discuss additional safety protocols," the statement said. "It was agreed that these measures would be enacted immediately."
Miramontez says that the matinee performance scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed, while that evening's performance will proceed as planned.
Christine Bord, another eyewitness, described the events inside the theater in a blog post on her website, OnLocationVacations. "They both went tumbling over the ledge into the pit. 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'. You could also hear a woman screaming in terror," she wrote.
This is not the first injury for the musical. In early December, a cast member had been injured on the job. In recent weeks, a dancer broke his wrists attempting a flying stunt in rehearsal, and another actor sustained injuries to his feet trying the same stunt.
Mendoza, who plays villainess Arachne, suffered a concussion during the production's first preview of the show.
The technically challenging 'Spider-Man' has cost $65 million, twice as much as any Broadway show in history. The musical was slated to open in January but opening night has been postponed to sometime in February.
With the latest injury it is very possible that there may be more delays to the musical.
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