Thanks to new safety measures put in place on the set of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," the Broadway musical's preview shows continued on without incident over the holiday weekend. Several "Spider-Man" performances were canceled last week after stuntman and aerialist Christopher Tierney fell an estimated 20 feet and suffered severe injuries during a show last Monday.
Tierney's father, Timothy, told The New York Times in a phone interview on Friday that his son walked for the first time since the accident with the help of a walker and a brace. The actor had undergone back surgery on Wednesday to treat three fractured vertebrae he sustained in the fall, and had been expected to remain in the intensive care unit of New York's Bellevue Hospital Center until Monday (December 27). Christopher Tierney also suffered a hairline fracture in his skull, a broken scapula, a broken bone close to his elbow, four broken ribs and a bruised lung.
"My understanding is that Chris is fortunate to be alive," Timothy
explained to The Times. Apparently, the 31-year-old had been falling headfirst from a platform after the safety tether to his harness malfunctioned, but he managed to land on his right side in the basement below the stage of the venue — the Foxwoods Theater in Times Square.
Timothy Tierney also spoke with The Associated Press about his son's injury, and said that the musical's cast and crew were "eagerly waiting [Chris's] return.
"He just felt so blessed to be part of this whole creative process,
and he just cannot wait to get back and perform in the show," Timothy added.
Timothy also said doctors were "cautiously optimistic" that his son would eventually resume his career, but the performer will take a while to heal. "We just feel very blessed that Chris is alive and well, and thank goodness that he knew enough to roll onto his right side and land that way rather than land on his head or back," Timothy said. "Some people fall from a lesser height than Chris and suffer more damage, even fatal damage."
On Wednesday, meanwhile, "Spider-Man" director Julie Taymor issued a statement and wished Tierney a safe recovery.
Preview performances continue at the Foxwoods Theater this week as the days tick closer to the musical's planned official opening on February 7. The $65 million production features music written by U2's Bono and The Edge.