Christopher Tierney Catches Spider-Man Performance and Boosts Morale of Cast

By Andrew Gans
January 8, 2011

Sporting a back brace adorned with Spider-Man stickers, Christopher Tierney, the actor who plummeted 30 feet during the Dec. 20 performance of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, attended the Jan. 7 performance of that new musical at the Foxwoods Theatre, according to the Associated Press.



The actor, who suffered a skull fracture and cracked vertebrae, among other injuries, wished his fellow cast members good luck prior to the performance and then enjoyed the new Julie Taymor musical from a seat in the orchestra.

Following the performance, Tierney told AP, "It's what I've been waiting for for the past two weeks — to see my friends and finally watch the show." Tierney said that while he was watching the scene in which he was injured, he thought, "Tonight, as the [platform's] going up, and it keeps on going, keeps on going, I was like, 'Wow.' I kind of felt like a tang of pride. I was like, 'That's right — I fell from that!' And I'm going to see it two weeks later."

His co-stars were also thrilled to have Tierney in attendance. Reeve Carney, who stars in the title role, called Tierney's return a "miracle," adding, "He's got the most positive attitude of anyone I've ever met...It's definitely a morale booster." Jennifer Damiano, who plays Mary Jane Watson, said Tierney's presence "surely propelled us through."

Tierney was released from the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine Jan. 5. He walked out of the rehabilitation center on his  own two feet. He had entered the Rusk Institute following a stay at Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent back surgery.

The young artist, who was making his Broadway debut in Spider-Man, said he hopes to return to the Taymor-directed production — as a performer, rather than a spectator — when he has fully recovered.

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Tierney also recently spoke with WCBS-TV's Dana Tyler about his injuries and recovery as well as his desire to return to the production.

The accident at the Foxwoods Theatre, Tierney told the television reporter, "was just, you know, a bit of human error. I'm supposed to jump off the bridge... And I was tethered to my back, but it just didn't get tethered to the stage. So when I went out, as I do with everything, I just go for it, [but] there was no pulling myself back.

"I was falling," he continued, "and then I saw, once I hit the darkness of the stage, I had to just turn it real quick so I wasn't going to fall on my head. And I crashed on my back. The last thing I remembered was just going, 'Oh, God!' [Laughs.] And that's it. Then I kind of passed out."

Tierney, who was making his Broadway debut in the Julie Taymor-directed production, said he "broke four ribs, I broke three vertebrae. Fractured my scapula, fractured my elbow, and I fractured the back of my head." The dancer, however, bears no ill will against anyone involved in the accident. "They came and visited [me in the hospital], and [it's] completely water under the bridge and forgiven and forgotten," he said.

In fact, Tierney added, "I'm glad to be working on the show. Not glad, overjoyed to be working on the show...I'm meant to be Spider Man."

Tierney, who explained that the "immediate outpouring of love that happened [following the accident] is so unbelievable," said he can't wait to return to the Broadway production, although he realizes his recovery will take months.

"I'll come out and I'll swing around and then I land on the balcony! I'll look around and there'll be, like, five or six kids right there. And it's a mixture of abject fear and admiration," Tierney recalled about his brief run in the musical. "They scream, and I can't wait to make them scream [again]."

Spider-Man will officially open on Broadway Feb. 7.