State legislators and the State Department of Labor met with the producers of the “Spiderman” musical this morning in order to express grave concern that the show is unsafe after a fourth actor went down with a major injury this week.
“Our goal is not to dim the lights on Broadway, but to make sure they are not replaced by ambulances and sirens,” said state Sen Eric Adams of Brooklyn at a press conference behind the Times Square Theater
Assembly member Rory Lancman sent a letter to the show’s producer calling, among other things, for the theater to hire an independent expert to evaluate the flying and safety line sequences, that there be sufficient rehearsal for every understudy performing aerial sequences and that the final sequence called “The Net” is removed or altered to eliminate safety concerns.
“Workplace safety cannot be achieved by trial and error, and the producers of Spider-man need to make this workplace safe before the show can be allowed to go on,” Lancman said.
Lancman said that the producers seemed amenable to the officials’ suggestions, but added that they had not agreed to meet every one of the concerns in his letter.
“This is a very complicated show, and as they freely admit and in fact advertise they are pushing the envelope and when you push the envelopes in terms of the maneuvers and techniques and special effects, you also push the envelope in terms of safety. I don’t think any of us could stand here and say that the theater has not been concerned about safety or has ignored safety. They are working with performers and staff as much as possible. Clearly there are shortcomings.”
According to Lancman, the show is not in violation of any state labor laws and in the meantime, there is very little that the legislature could do to insure the safety of the actors or to stop the show from going on short of updating the state’s labor laws. Adams and Lancman however did say that they were going to form a taskforce to examine the problem.