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News rewind: Injured Spider-man actor takes first steps


As you probably know, the Spider-Man musical claimed another victim when Christopher Tierney, 31, the main aerobatic Spider-Man, plummeted 20 feet when his safety harness malfunctioned. Although he managed to tuck and roll in the fall, the injuries threaten his career as a dancer:

Timothy Tierney said doctors were “cautiously optimistic” that his son would eventually resume his performing career. “If they’d had to fuse Chris’s vertebrae during surgery, that would have just been very awkward for dancing, because his mobility would have been restricted,” he said. “Fortunately, they did not have to fuse. The doctors have some pins in his body and rods in his body for now to hold everything together, but a great deal of this is about self-healing, and time.

If you detect a bit of a dad preparing for the massive settlement that Tierney has coming to him at some point, the injuries justify it: a hairline fracture in his skull, a broken scapula, a broken bone close to his elbow, four broken ribs, a bruised lung and three fractured vertebrae.

Tierney wants to return to the show, he’s telling everyone, even while he’s hobbling around on a walker.

The Taiwanese news service has their own way of reporting this story:

  1. Given all of the injuries that the performers have been sustaining, why on earth hasn’t this been cancelled? Recouping the money carelessly dumped into the production by pressing forward toward opening isn’t worth killing somebody, and this incident came dangerously close to doing just that.

  2. Injuries on high risk theatrical productions are not unusual, and Spider-man is pushing the envelope. The fact that this is the “most expensive Broadway show EVER” is putting the production under a media microscope. The way the coverage has been written (and the way Adam Pascal has spun events) you’d think Julie Taymor is lining up her actors for a firing squad.

    Personally I’d like to see the production work out its problems (both technical and story) and go on to being the first major Broadway success in years. The “legitimate theater” could certainly use another high profile success.

  3. I am assuming the injury is being handled as work comp, so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a “massive settlement” if I were the actor and/or his family. Here’s hoping he fully recovers, although I doubt he will be able to resume the role of Spider-Man unless the show runs a loooooong time.

    On second thought, the way the opening keeps getting pushed, he may fully recover before opening night.

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