The forthcoming Broadway musical Spider-man: Turn off the Dark has gained quite
the reputation since the show went into production. The show known more for its
production of injuries rather than the performance itself, that has been
classified as one of Broadways most defying, and costly, shows to be produced on
Broadway received another blow today when one of the recently injured cast
members, Natalie Mendoza, opted to bow out of the production.
Back in November 28 during a performance for reviewers, Mendoza, who played
director Julie Taymor’s created villain for the production Arachne, suffered a
concussion when a rope tied to a piece of equipment struck her in the head while
standing backstage during the performance. Despite suffering from the injury,
and against the recommendation of her doctors, Mendoza continued playing the
spider goddess until she opted to take a sabbatical from the show which would
have lasted until fall 2011 when she expected to return to the stage.
However, several weeks after Mendoza’s injury another actor, Christopher
Tierney, an actor and aerialist, one of the performers playing Spider-man was
injured on December 20 when the harness securing the actor snapped letting him
fall from a 30 fleet platform during the play’s final scenes. The injury
resulted in the show being shut down and the audience in attendance being told
to leave the theatre after several intense moments. Tierney suffered severe
injuries and avoided death and potential paralysis. In a statement to TMZ this
past Friday, Tierney’s father reports the actor is progressing from his injuries
and cannot wait to return to the show.
As the saying goes “The show must go on,” and it is. Replacing Mendoza is her
first understudy, America Olivo who has been playing the villain Arachne since
Mendoza’s injury. Olivo is not new to the acting, or singing, community and has
been around for quite some time. Aside from making several guest appearances in
hit shows like House, M.D., General Hospital, and How I Met Your Mother, Olivo
has also starred on the big screen in films like 2009’s Bitch Slap and Michael
Bay’s Friday the 13th reboot. Before building her resume as an actress, back in
1998 Olivo was a member of an all Hispanic musical group called Soluna whose
single and music video For All Time premiered on MTV’s Total Request Live back
in 2002. The group gained some notoriety as the opening act for Ricky Martin and
Enrique Iglesias, unfortunately the group parted ways in 2004 after filming a
pilot for a sitcom based on their lives within the music industry for UPN that
was not picked up.
Slated to open in January the show has been pushed back into February,
fingers-crossed that the Spidey musical doesn’t claim another before curtains go
up. If they ever really do.