Spider-Man: The Tangled Web We Weave
After several postponements, Spider-man fans will finally get to see the much anticipated Broadway musical, “Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark.” Producers have delayed the broadway show’s opening event, in part due to cast injuries. As a result of the injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is fining the production company, 8 Legged Productions LLC, with workplace safety violations.
Last year, four cast members were injured while working on the show. Among them, stunt man Christopher Tierney plummeted 30 feet, sustaining a hair-line skull fracture, broken ribs, cracked vertebrae, and other injuries.
Some critics feel that the producers are using these safety incidents as publicity stunts to boost sales of the show. According to New York Daily News theater critic Joe Dziemianowicz, Tierney “was a few days out of the hospital and was trotted out like a prize pony, pins in his busted body and on break from physical therapy sessions, to face camera crews and reporters and autograph hounds at the theater. Classy.”
The production company may boast more Spidey sales by publicizing these mishaps but what some may refer to as Spidey’s new Supervillian, OSHA, hascited the production company for three serious workplace injuries. This will cost the production company $12,600 — a mere drop in the bucket — for the high probability of death or great bodily harm that could have resulted from these incidents.
OSHA states that “From the investigation, OSHA alleges that employees were exposed to the hazards of falls or being struck during flying routines because of improperly adjusted or unsecured safety harnesses. An additional fall hazard stemmed from unguarded open-side floors that lacked fall protection. Finally, the company failed to shield employees from being struck by moving overhead rigging components.”
“Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark” has been deemed the most expensive and “technically complex show to appear on Broadway, with one of the longest preview runs, at 10 weeks, after being delayed four times,” said CNN. Acknowledging the challenges presented by the musical, director Julie Taymor explains in an interview with CNN that "Whenever you do something that's highly technical with computers and flying and this and that ... it takes you a while to figure out all the things that can go wrong."
Much to the surprise of some critics, Taymor doesn’t hide the fact that bad publicity equals more sales for the show. "I don't like it but on the other hand, it's not bad for box office,” she says.
“Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark” is scheduled to open on March 15.