One of the actors playing the comic book hero in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was badly injured during a performance, a fresh reminder of the dangers facing performers in the injury-plagued show that cost $75 million U.S. and has endured plenty of offstage drama.
Daniel Curry, a graduate of the LaGuardia School of Performing Arts – the so-called "Fame" school – and who appeared in an episode of Smash and toured with the Man In The Mirror Michael Jackson Tribute tour, is making his Broadway debut. He is one of nine actors who play the costumed Spider-Man during each performance, leaping into the audience and swinging over the orchestra. He also understudied various other roles.
A spokesman for the musical says the actor suffered an injury during the Thursday night performance, which was immediately halted. The actor remained at Bellevue Hospital Friday with a serious leg injury.
Fire officials said they responded to the Foxwoods Theatre on West 42nd Street shortly after 9 p.m. to treat a man whose leg got caught in equipment backstage.
The show's spokesman, Rick Miramontez, said more information will be made available Friday. A spokeswoman for the Actors' Equity Association, a labour union that represents actors and stage managers, did not immediately comment Friday.
An expensive, successful and injury-plagued show
Curry, who is in his 20s, was raised near Minneapolis and told The Star-Tribune in 2011 that he thirsted for a life performing in New York. His mother soon moved the family to the borough of Queens to make his hope to attend LaGuardia High School.
"I had these big dreams," he said. "I've always wanted to dance, to be on Broadway, and I'm just thankful for my mom for making that happen."
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is Broadway's most expensive show and has become one of its biggest hits after a rocky start, with six delays in its opening night, injuries to fellow actors, a shake-up that led to the firing of Julie Taymor, the show's original director, and critical drubbing.
One actor, Christopher Tierney, suffered a fractured skull, a fractured shoulder blade, four broken ribs and three broken vertebrae during a fall on Dec. 20, 2010; he made a triumphant return to the show. A lead actress, Natalie Mendoza, suffered a concussion during the first preview performance and left the show. A stuntman, Richard Kobak, sued the producers, saying he suffered a concussion, whiplash and two holes in his knees.
The latest accident comes between two casting calls for a new Spider-Man. Actor Reeve Carney, who has been playing the musical's title character and his alter ego Peter Parker since the show began previews in late 2010, will leave Sept. 15, and casting calls were held in Los Angeles last week and are scheduled for New York on Monday.
Last night, Carney tweeted: "Please send your thoughts and prayers toward our @SpideyOnBway family tonight. We rise as one."