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'Spider-Man' Stunt Goes Awry; Is Show In Peril?

PTI 22 Dec 2010, 18:51:18 IST
A Broadway audience screamed in horror as a stuntman from disastrous new musical Spider-Man:Turn Off the Dark plunged 30 feet into the orchestra pit, reports Daily Mail London.

In scenes caught on video, Christopher Tierney's safety harness seemingly malfunctioned as he jumped from a platform in a rehearsed stunt.

The 31-year-old was rushed to hospital in a 'serious condition' after the incident yesterday, where he remains.

The accident is just the latest of a string of mishaps to hit the troubled production, which is the most expensive in Broadway history by a large margin. Costing more than $65million, it even features music and lyrics written by Bono and The Edge from rock band U2.

The latest incident took place seven minutes from the end of the show as love interest Mary Jane ran up a ramp and was followed by the stunt double, clad in a Spider-Man costume.

The harness for the actress playing Mary Jane held, but the stunt man's did not.

Audience member Mike James said: 'I'm pretty sure that wasn't supposed to happen - this guy topples off the stage ass over teakettle'.

He said everyone sat in stunned silence as the empty harness swung over the seats in the first couple of rows.

Then someone started screaming, 'Call 911'.

Jonathan Dealwis, a tourist from New Zealand, told reporters: 'it just went black, and the producer came on and said we're going to pause for a moment. You could hear Mary Jane weeping.'

The musical has been besieged by problems from the very start, with critics rubbishing the show and the opening delayed by four weeks for artistic overhaul.

This is the fourth injury of members of the cast since previews began last month. A dancer and an actor reportedly suffered broken bones during a flying stunt.

And actress Natalie Mendoza suffered a concussion during the shows performance on December 2.

The New York State Department of Labor will visit the theatre this morning to investigate if this latest accident was a human or technical error.

Tierney was transported to hospital on a gurney following the incident, where he remains in a serious condition.

Spokesman for the production, Rick Miramontez said: 'All signs were good as he was taken to the hospital for observation'.

The show, at Foxwood Theatre in New York, is in previews and due to officially open on February 7.