`Spiderman` delays B`way opening again

New York: The Broadway production of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," plagued by financial problems and injuries including a stunt man`s 30-foot fall after his safety harness malfunctioned, has delayed its opening night for a third time.

Producers said Thursday they need another month to fine-tune aspects of the show, including a new ending. Lead producer Michael Cohl promised this is "the final postponement."

The show originally was scheduled to open Dec. 21. It was postponed to Jan. 11 and then to Feb. 7. Now the opening moves to March 15.

The $65 million show has become noted for its problems. On the first night of previews, two actors were left dangling from cables over the audience for a few minutes.

Last month, a stunt actor from New Hampshire was seriously injured when cable in his harness snapped and dropped him 30 feet. Aerialist Christopher Tierney is recovering from those injuries and attended a performance last week at the Foxwoods Theatre in Times Square.

Tierney went backstage Jan. 7 to wish the castmembers good luck and then watched the performance from the safety of the orchestra seats.

"It`s what I`ve been waiting for for the past two weeks — to see my friends and finally watch the show," Tierney said after that performance.

Wearing a back brace decorated with Spider-Man stickers, he said it was "awesome" to be back.

Tierney`s appearance came 18 days after he fell into the orchestra pit in front of a shocked preview audience. The 31-year-old suffered a fractured skull, a fractured shoulder blade, four broken ribs and three broken vertebrae during his Dec. 20 tumble.

He has blamed his injuries on a freak accident and doesn`t accuse the producers or the creative team of carelessness. The team is led by Tony Award-winning director and book co-writer Julie Taymor, of "Lion King" fame.

Castmate Reeve Carney, who plays Spider-Man`s alter ego, Peter Parker, called Tierney`s return a "miracle" after the Jan. 7 performance, which was delayed twice for technical reasons.

Bureau Report

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