“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the Broadway musical, still is in previews. That doesn’t explain why it’s getting so much
publicity. It might be related to all the injuries and accidents involving cast members.
During the show on Monday night, an actor sustained serious injuries in a fall. It is the latest mishap from a series of
delays, technical difficulties and cast injuries that have plagued the ambitious production. It has the largest budget in the
history of Broadway and also involved Bono, the U2 frontman, and many aerial stunts.
The accident on Monday was the third for a performer donning the Spidey mask. A total of nine performers play Spider-Man
because of the role’s physical rigors. According to a report in the New York Times, during the show’s first preview
performance, a concussion was also suffered by another cast member.
Julie Taymor, the show’s director said, this type of accident is heartbreaking obviously for our whole team and to me
personally, of course.
Keeping the “Spider-Man” family safe is the most important thing. We will continue doing everything within our power to
protect our crew and cast.
Taymor had noted, prior to the accident on Monday, that the box office hadn’t been affected by bad press. Many fans are still
saying they are looking forward to seeing the show.
The fall on Monday by actor Christopher Tierney occurred three weeks after Natalie Mendoz, the actress playing the villain
Arachne, got a concussion during the show’s first preview performance offstage when some equipment struck her in the head,
according to a report by the New York Times. The injury took place just over a month following two other Spidey mask stunt
members being injured.
Since rehearsals started this summer, the show has gotten several dubious distinctions, along with several superlatives and
maxims. With its $65 million price tag, it is Broadway history’s most expensive production ever.
Conan O’Brien has parodied it and the show has been called dangerous and doomed. It is one of Broadway’s most technically
complex productions ever and its 10 week preview run is one of the longest ever. It was delayed four times.
The show has been described as well as one of the most anticipated productions to come to Broadway due to Emmy and Tony Award
winning director Julie Taymor’s talents. Her previous credit include “The Lion King” on Broadway and films “Across the
Universe” and “Frida.”
Fans of U2 also have a strong interest in the show, with the Edge and frontman Bono providing the lyrics and music.
Negative reaction due to all the mishaps from the November 28 preview of the show, from confusing storyline complaints to
cast members left suspended in midair, were brushed off by Taymor.
In a December interview with CNN during the premiere of “The Tempest, her new movie, Taymor said, whenever you are doing
something highly technical that involves flying and computers and things like that, it does take a while for you to figure
things out that might go wrong.
When it comes to previews, the tradition is that you have four to five weeks for tweaking the technical along with the lyrics
About the bad press Taymor said, I don’t really like it. However for the box office it isn’t bad.
She said, our pre-sales haven’t been bad. Also we’ve been given standing ovations by the audiences. My focus is kept on the
prize. That is making a good show. That’s what my prize is. The collaborators and myself love what we are doing.
Many die hard Spiderman fans, despite the mixed reviews and publicity, are undeterred.
Marie Sager from California said, I’m such a huge superhero fan. I’m so anxious to see the play.
Allen Mealey, who is from California as well said, any new musical that is groundbreaking will have some technical issues.
Things will get ironed out.