When "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" premieres on March 15, there will be one change that is readily apparent to the audience. Spider-Man won't be doing much more than walking or crawling. Spinning a web, flying across the stage, and climbing up tall buildings on the set are all now strictly prohibited by the New York State Department of Labor.
"What the hell kinda super hero walks to his next life-saving event?" asked one of the producers of the show, who claims that this change is really going to do some damage, money-wise, to the production.
Regardless of the complaints by those putting on the show, the safety inspector is adamant "There will be no more cavorting on stage by Spider-Man. He either walks or crawls, horizontally, to capture the bad guys or the show won't go on, period."
In addition to grounding Spider-Man, the Labor Department has also issued a mandate that the audience must watch the play on a 15-second delay so that if Spider-Man gets so much as a splinter while performing, the production crew will have 15 seconds to get him to safety before the audience knows what hit him.
"That's gonna put quite a crimp in the timing of the play," said producers. "Let's just hope we can figure this all out before curtain time." They admit, though, that while the new mandates are somewhat prohibitive, in the long run, it's a lot cheaper than defending the liability insurance claims brought so far by their leading men. "To be honest, the 'break a leg' jokes were wearing pretty thin around here."