Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Billy Elliot Audience Injured by Falling Prop
The pair were left with bloodied and bruised faces after being hit in the face with a stage prop while watching the Broadway show.
Elaine Rosen and Cynthia Noblit were rushed to hospital after the freak accident during an evening performance of the award winning musical in 2009.
The women have now filed a $4m negligence lawsuit against the producers of the show claiming they failed to take the correct action to prevent any injury.
According to legal papers filed in Manhattan the women, from Kansas City, Missouri, were sitting in the front row of the Imperial Theatre when the mishap occurred.
The women were hit in the face by a plastic crate that had either slipped out of one of the dancer's hands or accidentally been knocked off stage.
The incident took place just before the curtain came down on the first act.
Their lawyer Steve Halperin said: "The lights came on, they were taken out, and the show went on."
After being rushed to hospital Ms Rosen, 54, had several stitches inserted in a "deep gash".
Mr Halperin said she has been left scarred for life.
Ms Noblit, 60, was diagnosed with concussion after undergoing a MRI and CT scan.
Mr Halperin said the producers of the show invited the injured woman back to see the conclusion of the Tony award winning musical based on the British film about the son of a miner who yearns to be a ballet dancer.
The lawsuit claims the producers had been negligent for "arranging a hazardous and dangerous choreography".
It also says the show's producers NBC Universal and Billy Broadway failed to give notice to the audience about possible hazards in the show.
"They certainly didn't go to the theatre, sit in the first row and expect to assume the risk of getting clobbered in their seats," said Mr Halperin.
"It's not like going to a baseball game or hockey game."
Bill Elliot has been a sell out since opening in 2008.
With lyrics by Sir Elton John, the musical is based on the UK stage play which is still running.
The musical tells the story of a teenager boy who faces a struggle to achieve his dream of becoming a ballet dancer during the 1984 miner's strike in County Durham.