‘Spider-Man’ Musical May Miss Opening Preview Date

Concerns over stunt safety could block show's November 14 performance.

Some musical projects are just cursed. Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy. The Beach Boys’ Smile. And now the beleaguered Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” — with music by Bono and the Edge of U2 — seems like the next candidate for that list. The latest setback: It will likely miss its first preview performance on November 14 because of concerns raised by the New York State Department of Labor.

According to the New York Times, inspectors from the DOL visited the production on Wednesday (November 3) but were only shown a handful of the two dozen aerial stunts and maneuvers that are executed over the course of the show. One of those stunts — which launches an actor from the back of the stage and over the audience — has already injured two performers, one of whom broke both of his wrists after crashing onto the stage.

Because the DOL must approve all of the stunts before the show is allowed to be shown to the public, the inspectors will have to schedule another visit. That visit is not likely to occur by the show’s first scheduled preview.

“We made it clear that we need to see every maneuver before they are legally allowed to hold their first performance,” explained Department of Labor spokesman Leo Rosales. “This is a unique production, with an unprecedented amount of activity going on directly above audiences, so we want to see each one of those activities demonstrated.”

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” has been something of a boondoggle from the start. Production has been shut down twice due to budget concerns, and an original launch date of February 2010 had to be scrapped when funds dried up. All told, the musical is said to have cost a cool $60 million — more than twice the previous record for the most expensive Broadway show ever produced.

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