The troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark had its fourth accident Monday since it began previews last month when an actor performing an aerial stunt fell about nine metres, fire officials said.
Firefighters were called to New York's Foxwoods Theatre at about 10:45 p.m. local time after the 31-year-old actor fell near the end of the latest preview performance. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, police said.
A Wednesday afternoon performance was cancelled, but the producers said the show would resume previews on Wednesday evening.
They say they have enacted new safety measures ordered by the government after meeting with federal and state labour officials and the Actors' Equity Association on Tuesday in the wake of the accident.
Police did not release the name of the injured actor, but a performer in the show identified him as Christopher Tierney. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the performer was not authorized to speak publicly about the accident.
Tierney suffered broken ribs and internal bleeding, said the fellow cast member.
Tierney is the show's main aerialist and performs stunts for the roles of Spider-Man, and the villains Meeks and Kraven.
Tierney fell during a scene in which Spider-Man rescues his love interest, Mary Jane, but managed to land on his feet, the performer said. It was unclear if the actor was properly harnessed before the accident.
Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the production, said the fall happened about seven minutes before the end of the performance, and the show was stopped.
"All signs were good as he was taken to the hospital for observation," Miramontez said.
On Friday, the show's lead producer, Michael Cohl, delayed the official opening for the second time, pushing it back, from Jan. 11 to Feb. 7.
In a statement that day, Cohl said, "The creative team is implementing truly exciting changes throughout the preview process. Due to some unforeseeable setbacks, most notably the injury of a principal cast member, it has become clear that we need to give the team more time to fully execute their vision."
The $65-million US musical was conceived by Tony Award-winning director and co-writer Julie Taymor and U2's Bono and The Edge, who wrote the music. More than eight years in the making, delays and money woes have plagued the show's launch. The three other accidents have injured actors, including one whose wrists were broken while performing an aerial stunt.
The first preview on Nov. 28 did not go well. The musical had to be halted five times because of technical glitches and actress Natalie Mendoza — who plays Spider-Man's evil love interest, Arachne — was hit in the head by a rope and suffered a concussion. Her injury would eventually keep her sidelined for two weeks.
The show — whose costs easily dwarf Broadway's last costliest show, the $25 million US Shrek The Musical — may be about a comic-book hero, but it has now itself become easy fodder for comics, with both Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live spoofing it.