Top photo by Jacob Cohl, off the website gotham1stOne blog, gotham1st, is calling Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (the new $65 million musical now perilously previewing in NY) "a great show for understudies." In fact, who knows, when Opening Night finally occurs next Jan. 11, audience may witness a parade of lucky understudies strutting their stuff (perhaps by then more securely attached to safety cables, etc.)
And that's also assuming the show by then has not been de-Spidered by increasingly nervous NY city safety and health inspectors.
Latest to take a tumble is one of the stars, Natalie Mendoza, who is reported to have suffered a concussion the result of being hit on the head by a "safety rope." And this is not trivial news. And I am not laughing. Before the show even uncorked its aerial-intense choreography, two other actors had suffered serious injuries. One was described as an aerialist who broke both of his wrists last month performing a promo presentation for ticket agents.
Maybe it's high time for the producers to call in some circus-savvy pros to take a look at the ethereal executions and supply safer rigging precautions.
This apparently hazardous Julie Taymor-directed production may well end up generating more pre-opening publicity than any other show in Broadway history.
For a while, I was laughing over the incredibly problem-plagued first preview performance last Sunday. I'm now feeling grounded, concerned, and not a little apprehensively sad.