Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark has remained relatively quiet since a major overhaul and revamping of the show late last year. Some began to think the production had finally gotten into a good streak. However, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark has now reported its 6th injured actor as this past week Spiderman alternate Matthew James Thomas received an injury during the production. And while some say the production has done well with no recent injuries or major issues to report of – the idea of acceptable injuries for Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark every other month or so is something no one should even consider.
Matthew James Thomas is the alternate for the role of Spiderman in the new hit Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. Alternate for Reeve Carney, Thomas performs in the role for all Wednesday and Saturday matinees. This is due to the overall work load involved with the production and producers not wanting to wear out frontman Reeve Carney. However, this past week the roles switched as Thomas was injured backstage during a performance of the production and for once in Broadway, the lead stepped in to understudy his alternate.
On Wednesday November 9th 211, the second act for the Wednesday matinee of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark began. Somewhere towards the beginning of the second act as Matthew James Thomas was transitioning from one scene to the next, he hit his head backstage receiving a head injury. This caused the production to hold for about 10 minutes. Thomas was taken from the theatre to the hospital where he received stitches for his injury. Reeve Carney, Spiderman for all other performances during the week, just so happened to be in the theatre. He stepped into the role for the rest of the show.
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark is a notorious Broadway production for its injuries. Even from the beginning rehearsal days of this production, people have been getting injured. And while one can say that revolutionary and drastic stunts never before attempted are taking place – that does not make that fact that now six actors have been injured acceptable. Spiderman has been slapped with Safety Violations before and actors have continued to be harmed through this production’s process. Again, I must truly say…
Only a Death Will Stop this Production.
Another frustrating factor about all of this yet again, is the production team behind Spiderman which is never truly able to realize the full extent of their action or the potential consequences. This time I’m talking about Spiderman spokesperson Rick Miramontez. Upon Matthew James Thomas receiving an injury, later that night a statement was released by the production presented by Miramintez which stated:
“Matthew James Thomas sustained a minor injury while offstage during today’s matinee performance. He is fine, and will be back in the show for his next scheduled performance on Saturday” (Spiderman Source)
I wouldn’t exactly call a head injury, stitches or not, a minor injury. And yet alone the fact that Thomas did receive stitches for the incident that occurred shows the seriousness of the injury. And while Miramontez is only speaking the words given to him – I must wonder what inspires the creative and production team behind Spiderman to continue to downplay their actions will continue to harm actors and will only eventually end in a death. This is not acceptable and should not be something that just comes along with a production like this.
If a production has injured more actors in its less the one year on Broadway then all other Broadway shows combined have experienced in the past year, I’m going to say we have a problem. Christopher Tierney, who was severely injured during the December 20th performance of the show, was sent to the hospital with broken ribs and various other serious injuries that not only resulted in his removal from the show for several months but physical therapy as well. Has the point not been made Spiderman? This team doesn’t see the issue with that. The team downplaying Thomas’ injury is not only offensive but insulting. Actors everywhere should be concerned to work on a production like this if you will be treated this way, especially when serious injured.
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark thought they had fixed their issues after they fired Director and co-Book writer Julie Taymor in the spring of last year. However, the sneaky production team involved with this production not only continues to baffle the Broadway community – but lie to the general public on multiple occasions. How is it the team for this show is allowed to get away with this? Better yet, how is it acceptable that continuos actors are injured and no one will stop this show? What will it take to stop a show that harms actors?
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark is a new musically that finally opened on Broadway in June of 2011. The show features a book by Julie Taymor and Robert Aguirre Sacasa with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of u2. The production which has now been in the works for the past 7 years has experienced more trials and turns then one show has in its entire existence. The show opened in November of 2010 beginning previews to only delay its opening consistently which led to an overall shut down, overhaul and revamping of the entire production in late April – only five months after the production had opened. The show finally opened in June of 2011 days after the 2011 Tony Awards and has been running since. We can confirm that production has reached a cost of $75 million dollars.
The production costs per week run about an average of $1 million dollars. Also, when Spiderman launched its major overhaul and revamping, the production signed and made agreements to certain extents to pay artists for their work. While the production has been selling out and consistently makes between $1.6 to $1.8 million dollars a week in revenue, the production team has recently admitted they are having issues making their money back on this investment.
Tell me what you think! Is it acceptable Spiderman continues to hurt actors and put others in harms way? What do you think it will take to stop this show? Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark continues to run at The Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City. The production is currently in an open run and most recently replaced Jennifer Damiano and T.V. Carpio. For more information, Check Out Spiderman’s Official Broadway Website. Spiderman is nothing new to Luner on Theatre - Check Out Our Entire Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark Section of the Blog! And of course, stick with Luner on Theatre for all your need to know theatre news! We will continue to bring you everything you need to know about Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark as this show continues to swing its way making a web of a mess over Broadway.