One of Spider-Man’s fancy web maneuvers has gone terribly wrong and he’s broken both of his wrists. To add insult to this horrendous injury, news of the accident has now reached media. I think I can guess what the front page story of the Daily Bugle is going to be in the morning.
This particular Spider-Man was Kevin Aubin, one of the many stunt men to don the red and blue for Julie Taymor’s upcoming musical, Turn Off The Dark. He was taking part in a demonstration of the show’s aerial acrobatics to ticketing agents and other key brokers. Here’s how The New York Post reported on the misfortunate turn of events:
[Aubin] was crouching at the back of the stage. Suddenly, he shot up into the air and came crashing down at the lip of the stage with such force, some audience members heard his wrists snap.
“It was a thrilling effect, but you knew something was wrong because he hit the stage so hard,” says a source. “He maintained his Spider-Man pose, but you could see he was wincing.”
A bad omen for the production? Don’t be so superstitious. But surely they cancelled the demo session? Well…
Taymor seemed a little shaken by the accident, but plowed ahead with the rest of the presentation. The next stunt went off without a hitch and was, by all accounts, spectacular. An actor shot from the back of the theater over the heads of the ticket agents and landed on the stage.
“They are not just flying people around — they’re catapulting them!” says a source. “It’s like they’re being shot out of rubber bands. I have no idea if the show is any good, but the special effects are unbelievable. There are going to be Spider-Men flying all over the theater — right over your head — during the show.”
I’m more keen than ever to see the show now. I hope that doesn’t make me sound ghoulish, but these stunts do sound genuinely remarkable.
UPDATE: Arts Beat have spoken to a performer who claims to have broken both his feet while stunting for Spidey. The good news? That he did so carrying out the same move. Perhaps they can just rethink this one trick and replace it with something less bonecrunching?
The same story also reflects on how performers have been terribly wounded in other shows:
…an array of broken ankles, legs, fingers, and arms in musicals like Mary Poppins, The Lion King and Wicked
but worst offender of all is The Little Mermaid which left one performer with:
…fractured wrists, a broken back, a shattered pelvis and several injuries.