"Spider-Man" stuntman injured during show

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A leading stuntman in the Broadway musical “Spider-Man” was recovering in hospital on Tuesday after falling from a high platform during a preview performance in yet another setback for the troubled musical.

The marquee for the Broadway show "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" is seen outside the Foxwoods Theatre in New York December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

An aerialist and stunt double for the title character in the show, Christopher Tierney, was taken to a nearby hospital after he fell about seven minutes before the end of the performance on Monday night, the show’s spokesman Rick Miramontez said in a statement.

The show has temporarily stopped production and will return to its normal schedule from Wednesday night, Miramontez added.

Show producers agreed to new safety protocols on Tuesday after meeting with the labor union Actors’ Equity, as well as several government work and safety bodies.

Specifics of the new safety measures were not given.

Another show spokesman declined to comment on Tierney’s condition or reveal how the actor, who was performing as a stunt double for the masked “Spider-Man” character, plunged off the platform during a tense moment in the show.

After the performance, audience member Charlie Bernard told television station NY1 that he saw the cord or cable that was supposed to hold the actor was either not attached properly or snapped in a scene with Spider-Man’s love interest, Mary Jane.

“You just hear a bang. And then you hear the actress who plays Mary Jane, she was screaming and crying. The audience was a little disturbed and then everybody was quiet,” he said.

The fall is the latest mishap for the $65 million musical. Tierney is the fourth actor to be injured. Two others were hurt during hi-tech flying sequences and actress Natalie Mendoza suffered a concussion earlier this month when she was hit by a rope while offstage.

During the show’s first preview performance, actors including Reeve Carney, who plays the title character, were stuck suspended in mid-air, forcing it to stop several times.

The musical written by U2 rockers Bono and The Edge is the most expensive Broadway show ever produced. The two musicians are due to return to New York and work on the musical early in January.

Last week the opening of the musical was officially delayed again until February 7 for changes. It already had been delayed several times after running out of financing and experiencing technical problems.

While previews generally are a time for shows to fix problems, the number of injuries and technical glitches in the musical, whose full title is “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” has suffered is unusual on Broadway.

Editing by Patricia Reaney and Bob Tourtellotte