Dancer Injured During 'Spider-Man' Performance

From the New York Times

Daniel Curry, a dancer in the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” was seriously injured during Thursday night’s performance when part of his leg was caught in a piece of the show’s technically elaborate equipment, according to two members of the production team.

One audience member, Melissa Kessler, said in an interview late Thursday night that Mr. Curry’s leg appeared pinned in a trap door that appeared to have closed shut. (The show uses automated equipment.) Mr. Curry began screaming, she said, and crew members took the stage to help him.

“The floor looked completely closed on his leg,” said Ms. Kessler, of Plainview, N.Y., who was attending the show with her husband and their two young sons. “They brought out a privacy screen and a lot of people on stage started getting things going. A stretcher was brought out, they were using a saw to cut a hole in the stage floor. All we cared about was whether the actor was and would be O.K. We explained it as simply and as carefully as we could to our kids.”

The performer, who played one of the nine “Spider-Man” dancers in the show, was freed quickly and taken to the hospital, according to the two members of the “Spider-Man” team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the producers to divulge details.

Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the show, said he did not have details about the severity of the injury or its cause, nor would he confirm the name of the actor because his family had not been notified.

The accident happened soon after the show’s second act had begun. The performance was halted, then canceled, and the Foxwoods Theater emptied.

The two members of the production team said they believed that either computerized equipment had malfunctioned or human error was to blame. A recent performance was canceled, just before it was to begin, because of problems with the computerized automation that controls the show’s massive set and special effects, the most extensive on Broadway.

“Spider-Man” was plagued by injuries during the first months of the show’s run, in late 2010 and early 2011. In December 2010 one performer, Christopher Tierney, fell more than 20 feet from a stage platform into the basement and sustained life-threatening injuries. An improperly attached safety tether contributed to his accident. Mr. Tierney recovered and returned to the show.

Since “Spider-Man” opened in June 2011, the show’s dancers and actors have had the usual share of minor injuries that are typical in Broadway musicals, but no severe accidents.

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