'Spider-Man' Update: The Show Is Cursed

Sally Mercedes

Spider-Man Turn Off the DarkThe highly-anticipated Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, just can't catch a break. As we reported this morning, stunt double Christopher Tierney is the latest victim of the show's technical problems, experiencing a 30-foot fall after a cable snapped. This is the fourth medical accident since previews started three weeks ago, which also happens to be about a year since the musical was originally scheduled to open. Now the show is being investigated. At least one performance has been postponed, with Actors Equity insisting that performances will not continue until "back-up safety measures are in place."

When the rumor mill started buzzing with talks of a new Julie Taymor musical with Bono and The Edge as collaborators, nobody knew just how bumpy this road to opening night would be. Is now the right time to speculate that this show might be cursed?

The opening date for Spider-Man has changed several times, mostly due to technical problems and the broken bones and concussion following those difficulties. Just a few days ago, the opening date was pushed back a month from January 11 to February 7. Of course, reviews blasting the incoherent story and boring musical numbers haven't helped, but surely this latest episode will postpone it yet again.

I can't help but wonder to what extent the show's producers are acting on the principle that all publicity is good publicity. After all, Spider-Man was met with scathing reviews after the first night of previews, yet the show sold $1 million in ticket sales within 24 hours. It's unclear if people are buying tickets out of genuine interest or to see this train derail from the front row, but bad press doesn't seem to be stopping this juggernaut ... it's that pesky curse they need to worry about now!

Seriously, I have no idea how the actors haven't walked out en masse at this point. I know Broadway, and those poor souls don't get paid nearly enough to be worrying about which cord will break or bounce back today.

Plus, isn't it only a matter of time before one of these actors collides with an audience member or two? Julie Taymor, I worship the ground you walk on, but please remind me to stick to the rear mezzanine when I buy my tickets.

Have you been following the buzz around Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark? Do you think the show is cursed?


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