Spider-Man Safety Gets Positive Review From State

Published December 25, 2010

| Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Spider-Man survived the scrutiny of a state safety inspector and has been cleared for further leaps through the holiday weekend.

New York State Department of Labor spokesman Leo Rosales said Friday that a new set of "very strict safety and security measures" were properly in place when "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," resumed Thursday night.

"Spider-Man," the most expensive Broadway show ever, had to cancel two preview performances earlier this week after a 30-foot (9-meter) fall by stunt actor Christopher Tierney brought an abrupt end to a Monday night show.

Tierney underwent back surgery and was recovering at the hospital after a safety harness that should have prevented the accident failed to stop the plunge, causing him to tumble from a ledge into a stage pit.

Afterward, the state imposed new rules for the show's nearly 40 aerial stunts, including requiring at least two people be involved at securing equipment before a jump or that the attachment be watched on video by a second person if the space does not allow for two people.

Rosales said a state safety inspector was there Thursday night when performances resumed but would not be at all future shows.

"Everything seemed to run smoothly yesterday," he said. "We're confident that the Spider-Man production people have implemented all of these measures."

He said the state had not yet completed its investigation.

"We want to make sure we speak to everyone who witnessed the accident," he said. "We want to look at the moving parts and look at the ropes. There were a lot of stagehands and producers on hand to see this happen."

Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the highly anticipated $65 million musical, which teamed the "Lion King" creator Julie Taymor with U2 songwriters Bono and The Edge, said "Spider-Man" would be performed as scheduled through the weekend and that sales were brisk.

The show's official Broadway opening has twice been postponed. It is now set for early February.

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