Spider-Man Musical's Cast Dropping Like Flies

Spider-Man Musical's Cast Dropping Like Flies

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Another injury befalls a cast member of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, this time in the form of a concussion sustained during the show's first preview.

In the upcoming Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Natalie Mendoza plays Arachne, the spider who bestows Peter Parker with his spidey-senses. She won't be appearing in the role for the next few scheduled previews, though: Mendoza is suffering from a concussion received offstage during the first preview performance. She was standing offstage when, as ArtsBeat describes it, "she was struck in the head by a rope holding a piece of equipment."

Mendoza is unsure whether she was struck by the rope itself or the unspecified equipment attached to said rope. She elected to perform in the following evening's preview, going against the advice of her doctor, who may have been wary of a concussed Mendoza performing the upside-down aerial stunts that the role of Arachne requires.

ArtsBeat reports "representatives for the Actors' Equity union and the New York State Department of Labor, which monitors safety in public performances, said they were looking into the accident," adding "Ms. Mendoza is the third actor in "Spider-Man" to be hurt working on the production; during rehearsals this fall, one dancer broke his wrists after landing incorrectly during a flying stunt, while another actor injured his feet doing the same stunt." The complicated production involves 27 separate flying sequences in all.

Mendoza, her doctor, her understudy America Olivo, and lead producer Micahel Cohl have all declined to comment on the injury, and Olivio is temporarily playing Arachne in previews. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is scheduled to open on January 11, 2011.

Source: The New York Times ArtsBeat

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Its just the universe telling Broadway that Spiderman and other superheroes should not be musicals.

However, holy books, such as the Book of Mormon, are definitely prime candidates, provided that Matt Stone and Trey Parker create it.

Guys, it's a musical. These things happen! You gotta expect a few incidents. I mean, how many people die every year performing Little Shop of Horrors or LÚs Miserables?

So with; the costs the problems with the staff and the ridiculous ideas, doesn't this show that this is a fucking stupid idea

I'm going to agree with Gxas, this is a sign from the Flying Spaghetti Monster that Spider Man should not be a musical.

I think they should take this as a sign. They should quit with the musical.

So wait, the spider who gave Peter his powers actually has a speaking and singing role?

What??

Ouch. Did someone mention the Scottish play on set or something?

THis musical is getting hit with a tnon of bad luck... WOuld be interesting to see it turned around

Gxas:
Its just the universe telling Broadway that Spiderman and other superheroes should not be musicals.

However, holy books, such as the Book of Mormon, are definitely prime candidates, provided that Matt Stone and Trey Parker create it.

Anything that loses Bono Shit loads of cash and credibility is fine by me.

This production was a dumb idea to begin with, but now I'm upset that idiotic and overly extravagant overrated director, Julie Taymour, is now putting so many people's lives in dangers since they can't get any of this shit to actually work

Who idea was it to make a musical out of spider man. Im looking at you Disney.

The name of it is Turn off the Dark? The more I hear about this, the more I am disappoint.

First of all, this production could kill someone. B, why have so many damn flying scenes? Thirdly, why does the spider who bit Peter Parker need a human to portray it? Save a few bucks and get a plastic spider to do the part you idiots!

This story is the gift that keeps on giving.

And God says, "Stop. Stop now. I mean it!"

Not making light of the injury, and I hope Miss Mendoza gets back on her feet quickly, but how is this NOT a sign from the universe? Aren't actors supposed to be superstitious?

We need a pic/animation of Stan Lee doing a headdesk now...because I'm pretty sure that's what he's doing. For some reason I'm picturing this musical as the kind of idea that happens when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ken Penders do meth together.

Ah, I get it now - the ploy is to make a profit off the insurance money. I thought there might be a Producers like plot at play, but now I've figured out how they intend to make it work. :-P

huh...hearing about this musical is still fascinatingly...no

Sometimes the universe is subtle in its ways of guidance. Others it guides by way of broken wrists, feet, and a concussion caused by the inability of an actress to watch where she's walking. The moral of this story is, Spiderman the musical is an abomination unto the natural world.

Man. At first, it was kind of morbidly interesting how the people behind this disaster just kept pressing forward, but now it's just getting sad.

I wonder if the actors know that these are just signs of the giant titanic-like sinking their production is going to do. Hmmm... this just seems too complicated and elaborate for popularity.

Every time I see news about that glorious monstrosity of a musical, I'm struck by the following observation: There is a person out there responsible for unleashing that rich source of comedic fodder (part of a balanced breakfast for snarky internet pundits) on the world (to the collective laughter, bafflement, and ire of the world), and they did so because they thought it was a good idea.

What I'd really like to know though is who would actually give that person money so that they could make that absurdly bad idea reality, as the mind that produced the Spider-Man musical is clearly not playing with a full deck of cards. The internet has been collectively either laughing its ass off, nerd-raging, or expressing simple bafflement that it actually exists. Nobody expects it to make money (not after blowing an almost comically large wad of cash just getting it to this point). Everyone expects it to flop miserably, as there really isn't an audience for a musical about Spider-Man (the people who actually like Spider-Man are the ones most likely to find the entire exercise insulting, and the overlap between comic-book nerds and musical theater wasn't that large to begin with).

It is genuinely hard to believe that the doom and gloom that surrounds the whole ill-fated affair could come as a surprise to anyone, so it really puzzles me that there exist out there individuals who had a reaction other than "laugh at the person asking you to throw your damn money away on one of the worst ideas in history until such time as they go away" when they were asked for money to make this... thing; if ever a situation called for the derisive laughter approach, fund-raising for the Spider-Man musical was it.

Why is it that everytime I see an article on this musical it's something going -terribly- wrong

I'm calling it, this play is the new Macbe- I mean, "Scottish Play."

Nikki_Viper:
THis musical is getting hit with a tnon of bad luck... WOuld be interesting to see it turned around

It would be the next Macbeth.

Not that anyone would notice: most people who star in musicals act like they're concussed anyway.

Granted, this isn't as bad as people who watch musicals, who are primarily brain-damaged, but still...

Who was the moron who came up with this concept?! Seriously, I want to know so I can get the men in white coats to take him! Next thing you know, we'll have Mega man on ice!

Antidrall:
Next thing you know, we'll have Mega man on ice!

BE QUIET, you fool! They'll hear you!

The Rogue Wolf:

Antidrall:
Next thing you know, we'll have Mega man on ice!

BE QUIET, you fool! They'll hear you!

Too late...we've been jinxed. We've already had Super Mario Brothers on Ice...this will probably happen too.

To make things worse...Iceman, Frostman, and Blizzardman won't even appear as villians.

I feel mixed on this. I am all for a comic book musicals as the characters are larger than life and the premise itself is requires so much suspension of disbelief that the characters breaking out into song is only a marginal step further. This is coming from a novice fan of musical theater and long time fan of comic books.

Spider-man is a great character for a musical. He is a everyman, working his day job, and trying to be good nephew to his Aunt May, and then he is also one of the coolest superheroes around. His story can one moment be poignant (as with flashbacks with Uncle Ben) and the next be fantastic as web swings through Manhattan. These traits worked well for film and would work in a stage production as well.

However, the more I learn about THIS musical the more bothered I am. Everything from the gaudy costumes to the silly title, just screams of someone that has lost themselves to their own ego. Someone who failed to edit their own work, or be edited by anyone else. Acrobatic performance are done on adaily basis by Cirque De Sole but they practice like hell, and perfect their craft before they put a show on. None of that professionalism is apparent here.

So I fear we have a train wreck on our hands, but I want argue the point that it is not a train wreck because a: it was a musical b: it was based on a comic book c: a combination there of, but rather, d: it was handled by the wrong person

For those who are not fans of musicals and have no idea what oddities have come about in modern history here is some particular odd successes:

Spring Awakening: A rock-musical adaptation of a 1891 German play set in the same period and European location.

Sweeney Todd: A murderous barber who gets rid of the bodies by having them baked in pies.

The Lion King: the Disney musical played by a cast in what is a cross of puppets and anthropomorphic costumes with an African ascetic.

Bat Boy: mutant bat child (like the one in the Weekly World News) who was found in a cave.

and

Urinetown which is set in a dystopian future where people get the death penatly for peeing in public.

So if these can work, its not that big of a stretch that a musical about a man with spider powers who fights crime.

JaredXE:
And God says, "Stop. Stop now. I mean it!"

Not making light of the injury, and I hope Miss Mendoza gets back on her feet quickly, but how is this NOT a sign from the universe? Aren't actors supposed to be superstitious?

Well, actually, we have very set superstitions we follow. Call the wrath of god, and we shrug and get on with it. Say the McScottish play's name in the theater, we hit the deck/run for cover.

This should be a sign to stop right? Right?

Tyriless, I have to respectfully disagree (I'm not verbally attacking or trolling you, I just disagree with any action based series becoming a musical and using this opportunity to share my opinion and read yours and anyone else's response).

I see the point that you're trying to make. Musicals portray fantastical stories and the amazing story of Spiderman is fantastical so why not put the two together? The reason for that is presentation. Spiderman is at its core a story of action that has kept fans with its deep, constantly evolving plot. However, at the end of the day when Peter has learned his lesson, hugged Aunt May and kissed MJ we want to see him punch someone, in the air, on a line of web, while flipping unnaturally upside down.

Yes there have been some musicals, even some decent ones, that have had a sense of action. However the action is very little since the whole point is to portray the plot and characterization through songs. Sweeney Todd and The Lion King were used as examples. The Lion King was already a musical and the characters spent most of the time walking and talking so turninig it into a broadway number was not a stretch. Sweeney Todd is a story of mystery and suspense, and yes he kills people but that isn't the main event of Sweeney Todd, just results after he sings about his emotions, motivations and insanity.

Sure, there have been those musicals and plays with people on wires but there is only so much that you can do with suspended wires before you hurt or kill someone. Movies are suspect to the same dangers yet they can also implement greater measures of safety than stage productions.

Another point I want to touch on is the story itself. I get the feeling that this isn't a SpiderMan story but instead the director telling his own story through the use of SpiderMan elements. For example, why does the spider that bites Peter Parker need to have a vocal role? That defeats the purpose of the spider bite scene. It was quick and any viewer who was new to Spiderman would quickly dismiss the bite because nothing happened at that moment.

However, here is where the story starts its magic: when Peter starts to feel weird and becomes sick, the viewer starts thinking back and wondering, "wait a minute, is this from that spider bite? What kind of spider was that and what is it going to do to him?" The spider bite is supposed to be quick and thoughtless especially since the viewer is purposely distracted by Peter being bullied while he's trying to figure out what to do about his MJ crush.

So now that the spider sings along with other director inspired changes...well I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the director's vision of "Turn Off the Dark" twists the spideman story.

 

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