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'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' beats 'Wicked' at Broadway box office

After taking a beating in the press for its accident-prone stunts, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has some good news to share: The $65 million Julie Taymor-directed musical was Broadway’s biggest grosser last week with a $1,588,514 haul, besting evergreen hit Wicked by a mere $58. Both shows played at 100 percent capacity, though Spider-Man‘s Foxwoods Theater is slightly larger than Wicked‘s Gershwin Theater. Since its first preview on Nov. 28, Spider-Man has proven its ability to draw crowds despite controversies over its safety and tepid advance reviews. Time will tell if the high-profile show can hang onto the top spot; Spider-Man is still in previews leading up to its official Feb. 7 opening, while Wicked has been a Broadway stalwart since 2003.

More Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark:
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ exclusive: Producer says injured actor can rejoin the show ‘anytime he wants’

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ exclusive: Bono and The Edge will be in NYC next week to attend all preview performances

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: The first (unofficial) reviews are in

'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' may be violating consumer protection laws, says public advocate

Yet another bump in the road for Broadway’s troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: New York City public advocate Bill de Blasio sent a letter to New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs, claiming that the show may be violating consumer protection laws. According to the Jan. 5 letter, Spider-Man could be fined for not clearly distinguishing when its preview performances end and its official shows begin. Blasio argued that consumers should be aware of the state of the show they are seeing, since prices for tickets could reach well into the hundreds. “At those prices, consumers deserve to know what they are purchasing, and there is a real difference between seeing an unfinished show in previews versus one that has officially opened. That many shows do not advertise that they are previews, either in promotions or at the point of ticket sales, is unacceptable.”

Rick Miramontez, a spokesperson for the production, issued the following statement to EW: “It seems that everyone in the world, with the exception of a few critics, is well aware of the fact that the show is still in previews. The preview period is an essential part of making any show, and it’s an exciting time to be in the audience. It is also very clear and well documented that our opening night is Feb. 7.” 

Read more:
Can injured cast member Christopher Tierney rescue ‘Spider-Man’?
‘Spider-Man’ promotes cast member
‘Spider-Man’ producer: Injured actor can rejoin the show ‘anytime he wants’
‘Spider-Man’ stuntman set to be released from rehab center
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ exclusive: Bono and The Edge will be in NYC next week to attend all preview performances
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage

Julia Stiles heading to Broadway for 'Fat Pig'

Julia-stilesImage Credit: Paul Morigi/WireImage.comJulia Stiles will join Dane Cook and Josh Hamilton in the Broadway debut of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, the show’s producers announced today. Stiles will play Jeannie, one of Hamilton’s former flames.

Fat Pig premiered Off Broadway in 2004.

Read more:
Dane Cook will make Broadway debut in Fat Pig

'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' promotes cast member

More changes are afoot at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: Actress T.V. Carpio will officially assume the role of Arachne, a spider villainess, the show’s producers announced today. Natalie Mendoza originated the role but was injured during a performance and left the show at the end of December. Carpio, whose previous credits include director Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, starts her official run tonight but has already covered the role several times.

“I don’t have any fear in terms of safety,” Carpio said today on Good Morning America. “I have a great want to step into some big shoes and do the best I can do to service this piece.”

Read more:
‘Spider-Man’ producer: Injured actor can rejoin the show ‘anytime he wants’
‘Spider-Man’ stuntman set to be released from rehab center
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ exclusive: Bono and The Edge will be in NYC next week to attend all preview performances
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage

Actors' Equity Prez addresses 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' injuries

Nick Wyman, the president of the Actors’ Equity Association, has issued a statement on the AEA’s website regarding the widely reported injuries suffered during performances of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. “I have been very disturbed and distraught by the serious injuries sustained by our member Chris Tierney at the Dec. 20 performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” Wyman writes on the site. “That Chris is not the first actor, nor the second, but rather the fourth to be injured on Spider-Man is frustrating and maddening and, to some, infuriating.” (Tierney is set to be released from the rehab center where he is being treated for a hairline skull fracture, broken ribs, a broken scapula, and other injuries sustained during a performance of Spider-Man.)

The long statement also claims that Equity has met with the production, OSHA, and the Department of Labor to ensure safety on the stage, and is looking forward to an injury-free future during the Spider-Man‘s run. “I understand the wish to point fingers, to find someone who is culpable,” Wyman writes. “The more useful, productive exercise is to discover what we can do to improve things, to prevent a recurrence of this accident. This is what our staff has been doing.”

Read more:
‘Spider-Man’ stuntman set to be released from rehab center
Injured ‘Spider-Man’ actor leaves ICU
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: The first (unofficial) reviews are in
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ loses a lead actress: report
Exclusive: ‘Spider-Man’ musical’s new opening date set for Feb. 7

‘Spider-Man’ accident blamed on ‘human error’
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

'Spider-Man' stuntman set to be released from rehab center

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark stuntman Chris Tierney will be released from a physical rehabilitation center Wednesday, according to CNN. Tierney, who was injured when he fell 20 feet while performing a stunt, sustained a hairline skull fracture, four broken ribs, a broken scapula, a bruised lung, three cracked vertebrae, and a broken arm. Two subsequent performances of the high-flying musical were canceled while new safety measures could be implemented.

In an interview set to air tonight, Tierney tells Dana Tyler that the last thing he remembers from his fall “was just going, ‘Oh, God.’” According to the segment, Tierney wants to return to his role in Spider-Man.

Read more:
Injured ‘Spider-Man’ actor leaves ICU
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: The first (unofficial) reviews are in
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ loses a lead actress: report
Exclusive: ‘Spider-Man’ musical’s new opening date set for Feb. 7

‘Spider-Man’ accident blamed on ‘human error’
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

Injured 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' actor leaves ICU

Christopher Tierney, the stunt actor who suffered a skull fracture and a cracked vertebrae after falling during a preview performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has left the intensive care unit, according to the Associated Press. Tierney was discharge from the hospital and transferred to a rehab facility to begin inpatient rehabilitation. The actor is now able to walk with the assistance of a full-torso brace, according to his father. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has canceled two performances in the wake of the accident, while instituting new safety precautions.

More on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark:
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: The first (unofficial) reviews are in
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ loses a lead actress: report
Exclusive: ‘Spider-Man’ musical’s new opening date set for Feb. 7

‘Spider-Man’ accident blamed on ‘human error’
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

Billy Crudup will return to Tom Stoppard's 'Arcadia' on Broadway

Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, which played on Broadway in 1995, will return in spring 2011 in a new production directed by David Leveaux. The revival, which had a sold-out run in London, features an ensemble cast that includes Margaret Colin (The CW’s Gossip Girl), Raúl Esparza (Speed-the-Plow), and Billy Crudup. Crudup actually starred in the 1995 production of Arcadia, albeit in a different role: He played Septimus Hodge then, and will play Bernard Nightingale now. The plot of Arcadia crosscuts between a Derbyshire home in 1809 and a modern-day academic setting. The new production will begin previews on February 25 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, and will premiere on March 17.

John Leguizamo will star in Broadway solo play 'Ghetto Klown'

John Leguizamo will return to Broadway in early 2011 with a new solo play called Ghetto Klown. Directed by Fisher Stevens, Klown is billed as “the next chapter” in Leguizamo’s series of autobiographical plays (including Freak and Sexaholix…a Love Story.) In a press release issued today, Leguizamo explains that “Ghetto Klown is all the things I say to my therapist and my manager, but would never want the general public to know.” The show will begin previews on February 21 and officially open on March 22 at the Lyceum Theatre.

'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' musical to close Jan. 2

The musical adaptation of the Pedro Almodóvar film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will end its run at Lincoln Center’s Belasco Theatre on Jan. 2, three weeks early. Ticket sales, like critics’ grades, have been low for the production. EW’s Thom Geier gave the show, which stars Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott, Laura Benanti, and American Idol alum Justin Guarini, a D+ when it opened in November. “The tunes, by The Full Monty composer David Yazbek, are a forgettable mix of Latin-lite pastiches with some of the most unfortunate lyrics (and awkward rhymes) to hit a Broadway stage in years,” he wrote. “Take the opening number, sung by a Madrid taxi driver (Danny Burstein, mugging too broadly) who turns up sporadically as a kind of narrator: ‘Madrid is my mama. / Give me the nipple, everyday I’m gonna taste it… Give me little titty ’cause I’m hungry every minute.”

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