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“The move itself is part of the staging of the show. He does a freeze-frame move at the end of the ramp to make it look like he’s going to go forward and go after the girl and the lanyard is what stops him. … So he runs and stops and freezes in a position that you wouldn’t normally be able to hold unless you had a little support from behind him. If that’s not hooked up and he leans forward, he’s going to fall forward.”

Fisher said the rope involved in the accident is not part of his company’s flight systems and that he hasn’t heard whether it was actually a failure of the rope or a bad hookup. But he said it was unlikely that the rope would have snapped: It’s a 10,000-pound line that would be very difficult to break.

Miramontez said an announcement would be made later Tuesday regarding the refund/exchange policy for missed performances. There is no performance Tuesday night, which had always been scheduled as a dark night, Miramontez said.

Actress Natalie Mendoza, who plays Spider-Man’s evil love interest Arachne and herself was injured during the show’s first preview last month, posted a Twitter message asking people to pray for the actor.

“Please pray with me for my friend Chris, my superhero who quietly inspires me everyday with his spirit. A light in my heart went dim tonight.”

Miramontez said the fall happened about seven minutes before the end of the performance, and the show was stopped.

“All signs were good as he was taken to the hospital for observation,” Miramontez said.

On Friday, the show’s lead producer Michael Cohl delayed the show’s official opening for the second time, pushing it back 27 days, from Jan. 11 to Feb. 7.

In a statement that day, Cohl said, “The creative team is implementing truly exciting changes throughout the preview process. Due to some unforeseeable setbacks, most notably the injury of a principal cast member, it has become clear that we need to give the team more time to fully execute their vision.”

The $65 million musical was conceived by Tony Award-winning director and co-writer Julie Taymor and U2’s Bono and The Edge, who wrote the music. More than eight years in the making, delays and money woes have plagued the show’s launch. Three other accidents have injured actors, including one who had both his wrists broken while practicing an aerial stunt.

The show’s massive costs _ a 41-member cast, 18 orchestra members, complicated sets and 27 daring aerial stunts, including a battle between two characters over the audience _ mean the 1,928-seat theater will have to virtually sell out every show for several years just to break even. The weekly running bill has been put as high as $1 million. (Tickets are priced from $67.50-$135 for weekday performances and $67.50-$140 for weekend performances.)

The first preview on Nov. 28 did not go well. The musical had to be halted five times because of technical glitches and Mendoza was hit in the head by a rope and suffered a concussion. Her injury would eventually keep her sidelined for two weeks.

The show _ whose costs easily dwarf Broadway’s last costliest show, the $25 million “Shrek The Musical” _ may be about a comic-book hero, but it has now itself become easy fodder for comics.

Online, where parodies by “Saturday Night Live” and “Conan” poking fun of the musical’s early technical problems had recently been eagerly passed around, the tone shifted Tuesday from jokey schadenfreude to mild outrage.

“Becoming a bit of a joke _ a bad one _ but a joke,” wrote Dan Truong, a Toronto photographer, on Twitter.

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