Injured Lead Actress to Leave ‘Spider-Man’ Musical
It was only a matter of time before one of the endangered cast members of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally escaped, and that time is now. The New York Times is reporting that Natalie Mendoza, who was concussed last month when a piece of rigging hit her in the head while she wasn’t even on stage, is in the process of exiting the beleaguered Broadway musical. Mendoza played the part of Arachne, a new Spider-Man villain created by Turn Off the Dark director Julie Taymor.
Citing anonymous sources, NYT’s Arts Beat suggests that Mendoza’s departure from Turn Off the Dark was hastened by the terrible injuries suffered by her friend and castemate Christopher Tierney, who is recovering in hospital from a hairline fracture in his skull, a broken scapula, a broken bone close to his elbow, four broken ribs, a bruised lung and three fractured vertebrae. Speaking to Arts Beat, Tierney’s father said, “My understanding is that Chris is fortunate to be alive.”
An official announcement concerning Natalie Mendoza is expected later today, following what the report describes as “fine-tuning the language,” presumably to minimize even more controversy. Indeed, the loss of one of its lead actresses just a few weeks before the latest premiere date (it’s been delayed several times over the last year) is just the latest in an increasingly dire series of setbacks for Turn Off the Dark, which is the most expensive Broadway musical in history.