The Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" was forced to halt a performance after an actor injured his leg backstage, prompting screams audible to the stunned audience, but a spokesman said Friday's show would go on as scheduled.
The incident Thursday night, at the start of the second act of the show, marked the second time this month "Spider-Man" has had to call off a performance, and it was the latest injury to hit the popular spectacle, which made headlines for its early problems. The Aug. 6 show was canceled because of what the show's blogsite called "a technical difficulty," and ticket-holders were offered refunds or exchanges for other performances.
A spokesman for the show, Rick Miramontez, identified the actor injured Thursday night as Daniel Curry, 23, one of the nine performers who trade off playing Spider-Man. Curry also plays other roles in the show, Miramontez said.
"Tonight's performance will go on as planned," Miramontez said in a statement Friday.
Curry's right leg was injured when it became trapped in a hydraulic stage lift out of sight of the audience. “All of a sudden there was a loud scream,” theatergoer Andre St. Clare told the New York Daily News.
Miramontez said the accident was not caused by an equipment problem, and some local media reported that Curry had made a misstep that caused him to become trapped.
"The technical elements of the show are all in good working order, and we can confirm that equipment malfunction was not a factor in the incident," said Miramontez, adding that the show's "thoughts are with Daniel and his family."
"Spider-Man" is Broadway's most expensive show ever, costing an estimated $75 million, and despite mixed reviews, it has turned into a high-grossing hit. The complex aerial stunts and lavish special effects draw sellout crowds, but they also have been blamed for injuries that have jolted the show.
The worst of those occurred in December 2010, when an actor fell during a preview performance and was seriously injured. A problem with his safety harness was blamed. Adding to "Spider-Man's" early turmoil was the firing of the show's original director, Julie Taymor, by producers during the troubled preview period.
Taymor sued the producers, leading to a lengthy legal battle that ended with a settlement last April. The show was overhauled after Taymor's departure and opened in June 2011.
In a recent Los Angeles Times interview, "Spider-Man's" director, Philip William McKinley, expressed confidence that the days of production injuries were over.
"I don't think those are going to happen anymore. Our safety plans are higher than any other show on Broadway," he said while auditioning cast members for new versions of the musical, which are to include a Las Vegas arena production, a touring arena show and a production in Germany.