Report: 'Spider-Man' Tangled in Labor Department Web

Published February 13, 2011

| Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York State Department of Labor has issued two safety violations against the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark," the stunt-heavy show that has been plagued by injuries to cast members, a newspaper reported.

Citing an anonymous state official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the findings, The New York Times reported Saturday that the safety violations were related to accidents last year.

The official said one violation involved an actor who fell more than 20 feet during a performance; the other was related to two performers injured while rehearsing a stunt in which cast members are catapulted from the back to the front of the stage.

No financial penalties have been imposed on the production, but state safety officials will perform surprise inspections from now on, the official said. Further violations could lead to the withdrawal of variances issued last year allowing aerial stunts that involve Spider-Man and the other characters.

Show spokesman Rick Miramontez told The Associated Press in an e-mail early Sunday: "The production is in full compliance of DOL guidelines and will continue to work with state officials to maintain the highest safety standards at all times."

Labor Department spokesman Leo Rosales did not immediately respond to requests for comment by the AP on Saturday.

The producers have 60 days to appeal the Labor Department's findings.

"Spider-Man" has become Broadway's most expensive show and its opening has been delayed four times since beginning previews Nov. 28. The show is now scheduled to open March 15.

The production is led by "The Lion King" director Julie Taymor, with music by U2's Bono and The Edge.

Cast members injured include an actor playing the web-slinger who fell 35 feet during a performance and suffered a skull fracture and cracked vertebrae, and a lead actress who dropped out after she suffered a concussion.

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