- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Actors in Broadway’s troubled “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” were back in rehearsal Wednesday afternoon, an indication that the show will likely go on despite a stunt double’s serious injury from a 30-foot plunge into a stage pit.

The show’s Tony-winning director, Julie Taymor, said when reached on her cell phone at Foxwoods Theatre that she couldn’t talk because of the rehearsal. Asked if authorities had given “Spider-Man” the go-ahead to resume performances, she said, “I think so.”

State Department of Labor spokesman Leo Rosales said the safety inspection at the theater was completed early Wednesday afternoon. The results were to be announced at a press conference later in the afternoon. Wednesday’s matinee was canceled.

Christopher W. Tierney, the show’s main aerialist playing the superhero, was undergoing back surgery Wednesday for injuries suffered during Monday’s fall, which occurred just before the end of the show. The safety tether that clips to his back failed to prevent the spill.

The much-anticipated production, teaming “The Lion King” creator Taymor with musicians Bono and The Edge of U2, has had a rocky route to Broadway. There have already been three injuries among those involved in the stunt-filled, $65 million production, and its official Broadway opening has twice been postponed. Now in previews, the latest opening date was expected to be in February.

Tierney’s brother, Patrick Tierney, said his brother would be released from the hospital Friday or Saturday and would complete his recovery from surgery and the injuries at home in New Hampshire.

“He’s a dancer. He landed on his feet. If he didn’t land on his feet, he wouldn’t be with us,” said Patrick Tierney, 24, of Plaistow, N.H. “He has a strong body and an amazing attitude.”

Tierney, who was leaving for New York later Wednesday to visit his brother, said Christopher Tierney’s injury has been very hard on the family. As unhappy as they are with the “Spider-Man” production, he credits it with getting his brother “in the best shape of his life” before the accident.

“I have spoken with him and he’s in as good spirits as he can be,” Tierney said. He said his brother is expected to make a full recovery, and when he does, “I’m sure he’ll be back doing the same thing he’s been doing.”

Christopher Tierney, who appeared in the national tour of “Moving Out” and in “Dirty Dancing” in Toronto, performs stunts for the roles of Spider-Man and the villains Meeks and Kraven the Hunter. The cable to his harness apparently snapped, said a castmate who spoke on condition of anonymity because the performer was not authorized to speak publicly about the show.

Some Broadway actors have expressed concern about the safety of the “Spider-Man” cast and crew, given that they’re performing acrobatic stunt work that needs to be repeated eight times a week.

“Perhaps they should have thought twice about what some of these stunts were,” said Marc Kudisch, whose most recent Broadway credit was in the musical “9 to 5.”

“It’s not like doing a stunt in a movie.”

Alan Krach, a theatergoer from Doylestown, Penn., held an exchanged ticket outside Foxwoods Wednesday after the matinee he had expected to see was postponed. That’s happened twice to him now, and he’s missed two days of work. He got a new ticket for a Saturday.

“This has all the makings of a very memorable show,” Krach said. Reports of the injuries haven’t changed his interest, “as long as they don’t fall on me.”

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