Pow!: B'way Spider-Man Suffers Another Bone-Crushing Mishap

Production with U2 numbers sometimes seems cursed

By Mac Montandon
|  Friday, Oct 29, 2010  |  Updated 7:23 PM EDT
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While scaling the tallest buildings in mid-town Manhattan, the comic book hero Spider-Man almost never gets injured. The actors in the much-hyped, long-delayed, U2-scored Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark are not so lucky.

Over the past month one actor has broken both his feet and another both his wrists while rehearsing a flying maneuver featured in the show, which is scheduled -- finally! -- to open on the Great White Way on Nov. 14.

“Our priority from ‘Day 1’ has always been to put safety first,” the show's main producer, Michael Cohl told the New York Times in an e-mail. “We continue every day to make the running of the show a safer experience.”

Cohl also said that a  “multitude of factors, technical and human,” were to blame for the most recent accident, last week's wrist-snapping slip-up involving actor Kevin Aubin.

This is far from the first time that the musical has been besieged by human and technical factors. It's been about seven years since the first announcement of the production, which is directed by Broadway legend Julie Taymor and features songs by pop masters Bono and The Edge of U2. Last year production was halted due to an apparent cash shortage -- this is not completely surprising considering the show's budget has been pegged at about $50 million.

Now, provided the cast can stay out of casts from here on in, the curtain will rise in just over two weeks. That may not be as simple as it sounds: both actors were reportedly injured during a sequence that features several stage Spideys being shot by enormous slingshots above audience members' heads.

That could be a thrilling sight to behold -- provided all goes smoothly on opening night and beyond.

Selected Reading: New York magazine, New York Times, NME.com.

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