Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spider-Man Co-Star Deserts Problem-Plagued Musical on Broadway: How Many Other Imperiled Performers May Follow?

News today, out of the Wall Street Journal, that Spider-Man co-star Natalie Mendoza will be leaving the musical, long in trouble. She is still recovering from a concussion she sustained after a fall during the first preview performance at the Foxwoods Theatre. Show's opening was set back a month, to February 7. Three other performers have been injured. Stunt man Christopher Tierney, a close friend of Natalie's, was taken to hospital after a fall, and underwent back surgery. He is now in recovery mode.

Mendoza is not talking. Lawyers said to be hammering out an exit package. This was to have been Mendoza's first appearance in a Broadway house.

It's a a sad sad story from many angles. Cast was reported "demoralized" over injuries, resentful of director Julie Taymor, deemed coldly indifferent to safety issues.

Comments left on one website are in hissing lockstep uniformly negative, either asking how many more actors will suffer injuries or worse and/or claiming that a big turkey is clucking the boards, and it's time to apply the knife.

But not all patrons are grousing, and the troubled tuner has been drawing near full houses. Some patrons have expressed great pleasure in the production.

Will Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark actually reach an opening night panel of NY critics -- perhaps the ultimate peril it faces?
[Photo of Natlie Mendoza with her Spider-Man co-star Reeve Carney. by Bruce Gilkas/FilmMagic]

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