Spider Man is known as a lanky man who can defy gravity, climb walls and complete heroic and unimaginable feats after being bitten by a spider. The producers of a hit Broadway show are quickly being reminded that Spider Man is a fictional character, but the actors and stuntmen that play him are only human beings.
This past week, one stuntman shocked the audience on Tuesday evening, December 21, 2010 when he plunged over 30 feet into the orchestra pit during a performance. The fall caused severe lower back injury as well as several cracked ribs and internal bleeding. The stuntman needed immediate back surgery, but was able to show signs of recovery as he took his first steps on Christmas Day.
According to spokesman John Chavez, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has already begun an investigation into the safety of the production after several workplace injuries were reported.
Producers of the $65 million show cancelled just one performance after the last, serious workplace injury. They say that they plan to strengthen their “safety protocols,” but say that the show will continue despite the injuries.
Several advocates allege that the play is simply too dangerous and that the producer was “playing with her performer’s lives” to increase the revenue for the most expensive Broadway show to date. “They should put [the producer] in jail for assault,” one retired Broadway veteran declared with disgust after learning of the latest stuntman’s injury. Another critic saw the injury rate for the million dollar production and asked, “Does someone have to die?”
Source: NY Daily News “Even as injuries mount, ‘Spider-Man’ execs vow show must go on for accident-prone Broadway musical” Joe Dziwminoqicz, Heidi Evans and Corky Siemanszko 12/22/10