SPIDER-MAN Halted Tonight for Several Minutes for 'Safety Issue'
SPIDER-MAN can't catch a break on Broadway today, as the show was halted tonight for several minutes mid-show for safety concerns. According to audience reports, the show was stopped at the beginning of what is one of the most extensive aerial sequences in which The Green Goblin fights Spider-Man above the audience's heads. During tonight's show, The Green Goblin stopped mid-flight, after a malfunction caused his steering mechanism to fail. The actor playing SPIDER-MAN was held on the balcony from making his flight while they attempted to discover what went wrong.
After several minutes during which both performers mugged to a laughing audience, a stage manager came on the microphone to tell the audience that the stunt had to be cancelled for the night and the show resumed a few minutes later, picking up from after the scheduled fight scene.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has formally slapped the production of SPIDER-MAN with three "serious" safety violations pertaining to the injuries infamously sustained by several cast members late last year.
The report reveals: "The citations, which carry $12,600 in proposed fines, come in response to the agency's investigation of four incidents that resulted in serious injuries to cast members. The $65 million musical is already the most expensive in Broadway history...The citations and proposed fines target 8 Legged Productions LLC, a Production Company for the musical. Serious citations are issued when 'there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,' according to OSHA...During its investigation, the federal agency found that "employees were exposed to the hazards of falls or being struck during flying routines because of improperly adjusted or unsecured safety harnesses."
For the full report in the Wall Street Journal, click here.
SPIDEY spokesman Rick Miramontez stated in reply: "remains in compliance with all government agencies and continues to adhere to all safety protocols."
Lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris announced today that SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has a newly expanded creative team in place. The team will be implementing a new plan to make what the producers are calling 'significant and exciting revisions to the production'. Opening night (previously set for March 15, 2011) has been rescheduled to an evening in early summer, 2011. This amended schedule will allow the time necessary to execute the plan, which will include revisions to the script.
The additional time commitment required by this new plan will make it impossible for director and co-book writer Julie Taymor to continue on in her day-to-day duties with the production. Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have joined the creative team to help implement new staging and book rewrites, respectively. McKinley has vast experience directing technically complex productions on Broadway and beyond. Aguirre-Sacasa is both an acclaimed playwright and a noted writer of Spider-Man comic books. The expanded creative team also includes musical consultant Paul Bogaev (Tarzan, Bombay Dreams, Aida, Sunset Boulevard) and sound designerPeter Hylenski (Elf, Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages, Shrek), both of whom have already been working on improving the musical arrangements and sound quality (respectively) over the past few weeks, thereby vastly enhancing the audience experience.
SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is now in previews at Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre (213 West 42nd Street).