Uh oh: According to several people in the audience of tonight's show, the Bono-penned, Julie Taymor-directed Spider-Man musical Turn off the Dark just stopped a performance mid-show after an actor was involved in a "big accident" - possibly a two-storey fall.
Luckily, it seems as though the actor involved is OK, though there's no official word about any of this, so we're going off Twitter accounts. Here's what seems to have happened: The actor playing Spider-Man (most likely one of the aerial doubles) and the actress playing his love interest Mary Jane (Jennifer Damiano) fell into the stage pit an hour or so into the show. According to screenwriter Brian Lynch, it looked "planned", until the audience heard Damiano screaming:
No joke. No explanation. MJ and Spidey took what seemed to be a planned fall into the stage pit. Then we heard MJ screaming.
A tipster who emailed us told a similar story:
Long story short, spiderman fell abt 30 feet INTO THE PIT. As soon as he fell, the lead female character yelled (from the pit) "someone call 9-1-1." I wish I was making this up. When we left there were ambulances and firefighters outside the theatre on 43rd.
The show was stopped, the audience ushered out, and 911 called. Two ambulances showed up, because, as another audience member, Steven Tartick, says, the fall was "at least two storeys":
It looked really bad. A character fell at least two stories without a harness. So shaken up.
As scary as it sounds, however, news service OLV Tweets that "Spidey is awake talking" and "seems OK":
Spidey is awake talking and in ambulance on his way to hospital seems ok too bad this will surely set back production again! #spiderman
Phew? I guess? Turn off the Dark has been plagued with setbacks and injuries since the very start, but mostly "just" broken feet and ankles. Assuming the Twitter reports are accurate, a two-storey fall in the middle of a performance would mark a new low for the production, (assuming the producers aren't actively trying to harm their actors) only a few weeks before it's due to open.
And, look, it's already a stretch to make back the insane amount of money that's already been sunk into it. A (near?) tragedy like this won't help its prospects - in fact, it very well could kill it. But who knows? It's already the most talked-about musical on Broadway. Maybe it'll be a freak-show hit for people hoping to see someone die!
Update: Both NYPD and FDNY have confirmed that "a 31-year-old man" was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center for treatment following a fall. Apparently, the problem was a broken rope. Broadway World spoke with an EMT in the audience who believes the injury isn't as grave as feared:
I was in the audience and i'm an NY EMT. Although i am not involved with the care of the patient they didn't use a back-board and collar so they don't suspect spinal injury. The ambulance stayed on site longer then expected leading to believe the injury isn't critical."
[Picture of ambulance outside Foxwoods theatre via Bill Bragins]
Republished from Gawker