Theatrical Insider 'Weighs-in' on SPIDER-MAN Controversy

By: Dec. 21, 2010
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There's no doubt that this is the 'hot button' topic On the Rialto today. It's on the front page of AOL, TMZ, etc. and even people who know nothing about Broadway are being exposed to the horrifying video footage from last night of SPIDER-MAN at the Foxwoods Theatre.

We reached out to a knowledgable theatrical insider, with decades of experience on a variety of large-scale shows, on the condition of anonymity and here's what they had to say:

"Interesting you should ask. I haven't stopped thinking about this all morning and I now know 2 people, personally, who were in the audience. It's made me angry that this level of technology and that people's safety being at risk is being allowed. Someone needs to STOP Julie Taymor NOW! I haven't seen it yet, but I'm now SCARED to go see it because I have been given no confidence and I will be nervous all night. Julie is gifted. NO question .. but this is an "installation" that should be in a theme park, not on Broadway. We have the greatest stage hands and technical people in the country on Broadway, but they are not trained for this. This is NOT Las Vegas or a Cirque du Soleil show ... and, most importantly, our acting population are not acrobats or trained aerialists. Look at Hal Prince's magnificent execution of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in Las Vegas. Of course that's a "double" swinging from the chandelier over our heads, but Hal would never put anyone at risk. That person is a pro. This is not a movie set with specialists and special effects people on site for a one or two shoot situation. This is serious endangerment of lives. And no one doesn't want to NOT WORK for their director or lose a job... but this is ridiculous.

And HOW THE HELL can you ask an understudy or a 'swing' to go on in a situation like this? I would call that impossible. How can an actor have abandon and grow and fly through a show like this without doubt? Horrifying.

Look how late into the run of THE LITTLE MERMAID that incident happened to Adrian Bailey. Look at Judy Kuhn in CHESS or Ann Crumb in ASPECTS OF LOVE. Technology and human error.

Julie Taymor is the Queen of "imagination" yet has somehow lost the magic of illusion on this show. I don't say any of this casually ... but WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE to REALIZE that what is going on here is just plain WRONG?!"