Spider-Man Cast Defends Show Safety

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January 4, 2011 | 2:50pm EST

The stars of the beleaguered Spider-Man musical are putting on a united front in defense of director Julie Taymor, insisting the production crew is not to blame for the injury-plagued show.
Safety inspectors have given Taymor the all-clear to proceed with Spider-Man:Turn Off the Dark despite four cast members sustaining injuries since preview performances began in November – sparking fury within the theater community.

Stuntman Christopher Tierney, who underwent spinal surgery after falling from a ledge during a performance last month, has publicly refused to blame Taymor and the show’s safety crew for the mishaps.

And he temporarily left a treatment center on Tuesday to join castmates Reeve Carney (Spider-Man), Patrick Page (Green Goblin), Jennifer Damiano (Mary Jane) and T.V. Carpio (Arachne) for an interview on breakfast TV program Good Morning America.

The appearance came hours after Carpio was officially named as a replacement for Natalie Mendoza, the actress who left the show last week after she was struck in the head by a weighted rope backstage and suffered a concussion.

And the group assured critics proper safety precautions are being taken.

Carney said, “We all appreciate everyone’s concern for our safety. I guess you just get into this job – it’s an athletic event, you know it has a certain amount of risk involved. People on our crew are amazing. You have to trust and we do trust them… The only people more concerned than the other actors is the crew.”

Page, defending Taymor, added, “I wish they (critics) could be in the building with us and see the care that Julie takes.”

Meanwhile, Tierney, who suffered multiple injuries and still has screws in his back, says he’s eager to return to the stage: “The moment I feel like I’m good, I am back in that show.”

The production is scheduled to officially open on 7 February.

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