"Spider-Man" Broadway preview stuck in mid-air

Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:09pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Spider-Man," Broadway's most expensive show ever, caught audiences by surprise in its first preview performance on Sunday night when its high-tech flying sequences became stuck, leaving its stars suspended mid-air.

The $65 million "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," with music created by U2's Bono and The Edge, was stopped at least five times, including while actors were flying above the crowd at the show's preview, The New York Times and others reported on Monday.

In one of the major sequences, Reeve Carney, who plays the title character, was left helplessly dangling several yards up and over the audience as crew members intercepted and attempted to grab his foot to pull him down, leaving the audience laughing, the Times said.

The production has had its opening delayed several times after running out of financing and experiencing technical problems. It does not officially open until January 11, and while previews generally are a time for shows to fix problems, most do not experience as many glitches as "Spider-Man."

Bono and The Edge, as well as director Julie Taymor -- who was the U2 bandmates only choice to helm the musical -- have said recently that they expected the show to experience technical problems in the beginning.

Taymor has said the show's high cost is due to the complex and unprecedented two dozen flying sequences. Two actors badly injured themselves rehearsing the acrobatics.

"I am scared," Taymor, who also directed the stage musical "The Lion King," told CBS television news magazine "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired on Sunday night. "If you don't have fear, then you are not taking a chance."

Bono, who was not present at the first preview because U2 are currently touring in Australia, told "60 Minutes" that writing the show's music and collaborating with Taymor had been one of the "funnest, more joyful rides of our artistic life" and that he hoped audiences would agree.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte)