Injuries add up on Set of 'Spider-Man'

Yet another actor has left the set of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." The $65 million Broadway musical is one of the biggest productions ever of its kind. Unlike many Broadway productions, "Spider-Man" uses extensive aerial and acrobatic stunts, which add a very real element of danger for the cast and crew.

Earlier this month, a stuntman sustained serious injuries during a preview performance. Christopher Tierney, a stuntman dressed as Spider-Man, was performing high atop on stage scaffolding when his safety harness became untethered and failed. He fell, plummeting some 30 feet into the orchestra pit as the audience watched in horror.

Mr. Tierney survived the fall, but suffered a hairline skull fracture, four broken ribs, a bruised lung, internal bleeding, a broken shoulder blade, a broken arm and fractures in three of his vertebrae. He is presently recovering from his injuries in Bellevue Hospital. While Mr. Tierney's accident earned the most media attention, he is not the only cast member to have been injured.

One dancer broke his wrists after a bad landing while doing a flying stunt. Another dancer injured his feet while doing the same flying stunt. Natalie Mendoza, one of the lead actors in the production, sustained a concussion during a preview performance and she has not yet fully recovered.

Ms. Mendoza was standing offstage during a preview performance on November 28, when she was struck in the head by a falling rope, which was holding equipment. She saw several doctors who recommended rest, but she attempted to perform until her last performance on December 20- the same performance that resulted in Christopher Tierney's devastating fall. According to the New York Times, she will be leaving the production.

Source: The New York Times, "Spider-Woman Is Leaving Troubled 'Spider-Man'," Patrick Healy, 12/28/2010

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