Spider-Man Musical’s Cast Dropping Like Flies


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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