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Concussed Actress Natalie Mendoza Is Quitting Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

More crappy news for the most expensive Broadway show of all time: The Times reports that Natalie Mendoza — the actress who plays Arachne, a major villain invented by Julie Taymor — is leaving Spider-Man. Mendoza suffered a concussion on November 28 while offstage, when a rope holding a piece of equipment swung into her. She continued with the show despite a doctor's recommendation, with her last performance coming on December 20. She also was shaken up by the serious injuries to Christopher Tierney, the actor who fell twenty feet and is currently recovering 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.” On the night of the accident, Mendoza tweeted: “Please pray with me for my friend Chris, my superhero who quietly inspires me everyday with his spirit. A light in my heart went dim tonight.” (Speaking of information culled from social-networking platforms: On her Facebook, Mendoza recently wrote of being down to a post-concussion diet of two nausea tablets and four painkillers a day.) Apparently, an official exit statement is being worked on to mitigate the PR blowback, and that may be released later today. Meanwhile, the role of Arachne is expected to be taken over by America Olivo, the understudy. Good luck, America.

A Lead Actress Departs ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark [ArtsBeat/NYT]

Photo: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic