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'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' loses a lead actress: report

Natalie Mendoza, one of the lead actresses in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, is negotiating an exit from the Broadway show, The New York Times reports. Mendoza, who plays Arachne, a spider villainess created by the show’s director, Julie Taymor, has not performed since Dec. 20. The Times says the production has explained her absence as a doctor-ordered vocal rest, but hints that she was badly shaken by the fall her cast mate and friend Christopher Tierney suffered on Dec. 20. Mendoza herself sustained a concussion during the Nov. 28 performance when she was struck in the head by a rope holding equipment while standing offstage. Arachne, a role which involves slower-speed flying sequences, is instrumental to the show’s plot, and delivers its title song and sings on five others. Representatives for Mendoza and the production have not confirmed her departure, but are said to be working on an official announcement. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is set to open Feb. 7.

More Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark:
Exclusive: ‘Spider-Man’ musical’s new opening date set for Feb. 7
‘Spider-Man’ accident blamed on ‘human error’
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

'Spider-Man' back in action tonight

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the celebrated and controversial $65 million Broadway musical, will fly again tonight after canceling Wednesday night’s performance in order to rehearse under new safety guidelines, according to the Associated Press. Monday night, stuntman Christopher Tierney was hospitalized after crashing to the stage from 30 feet in the air, and he is now reportedly preparing for back surgery. Human error was initially blamed for the accident, and a second person will now make sure that all the actors subjected to aerial maneuvers are harnessed properly. “At this point we are satisfied they have put in place the appropriate controls,” said Maureen Cox, director of safety and health for the state Department of Labor.

Read more:
‘Spider-Man’ accident blamed on ‘human error’
‘Spider-Man’ stunt double injured after crashing to stage
‘Spider-Man” musical’ new opening date set for Feb. 7
‘Spider-Man’ producer Michael Cohl on last night’s messy preview: ‘It went much better than I expected.’
‘Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark’ musical details revealed: Are you getting drawn into its web?

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

'Spider-Man' accident blamed on 'human error'

The accident that sent a Spider-Man stunt double to the hospital was the result of “human error,” according to the Actors’ Equity Association. In a statement, the union said they had “worked today with the Department of Labor, OSHA and the production to determine that the cause of the accident at last night’s performance of Spider-Man was, in fact, human error.”

Christopher Tierney had to be hospitalized after falling approximately 30 feet during an acrobatic scene towards the end of Monday night’s performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Scott Fisher, president of the company that builds equipment for the show’s aerial stunts, told the Washington Post that Tierney’s rope was supposed to have been clipped to the stage at one end and his back at the other. “The stage crew would have been responsible for making the connection for hooking him up,” Fisher said. “The actor is responsible for making the final check that he’s good to go. It’s sort of like packing your own parachute.”

Several members of the Broadway fraternity went online to criticize the production, which has suffered several delays and high-profile accidents. Rent star Adam Pascal wrote on Facebook: “I hope [Tierney] is ok and sues the sh– out of Julie, Bono, Edge and every other a–hole who invested in that steaming pile of actor crippling sh–!”

Tony-winning actress Alice Ripley wrote on Twitter, “Spider-Man should be ashamed of itself. Thiis is completely unacceptable and embarrassing to working actors everywhere.” She then added, “Does someone have to die? Where is the line for the decision makers, I am curious.”

9 to 5 actor Marc Kudisch also wrote on Facebook, “I wish employment for all my friends. But I wish them safety and security in their employment even more.”

Director Julie Taymor said in a statement: “An accident like this is obviously heartbreaking for our entire team and, of course, to me personally. I am so thankful that Chris is going to be alright and is in great spirits. Nothing is more important than the safety of our Spider-Man family and we’ll continue to do everything in our power to protect the cast and crew.”

Update: The Wednesday evening performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been cancelled to allow crew members to fully implement a new safety plan. However, a spokesman for the show, Rick Miramontez, denied media reports that the show was being shut down indefinitely. “Absolutely false,” Miramontez told The New York Times. “The performance is on for tomorrow night.”

Read more:
‘Spider-Man” musical’ new opening date set for Feb. 7
‘Spider-Man’ producer Michael Cohl on last night’s messy preview: ‘It went much better than I expected.’
‘Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark’ musical details revealed: Are you getting drawn into its web?

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

'Driving Miss Daisy' recoups $2.6 million investment

There might be trouble on the set of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but one Broadway show is seeing plenty of success. The producers of Driving Miss Daisy announced via press release that the play has recouped its $2.6 million investment in just a little over nine weeks. (It is the first Broadway show of the 2010-11 season to fully recoup.) Miss Daisy — which stars James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, and Boyd Gaines — also recently announced it is extending its run through April 9, 2011.

Read more:
‘Driving Miss Daisy’ opens on Broadway
‘Driving Miss Daisy’ EW stage review

'Spider-Man' stunt double injured after crashing to stage

Christopher Tierney, the main stunt performer in the Broadway production Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, fell approximately 30 feet during last night’s performance and needed to be hospitalized for minor injuries, according to the Associated Press. The accident occurred about seven minutes before the end of the show, which was then halted. “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Actors Equity and the New York State Department of Labor have met with the Spider-Man company today to discuss additional safety protocols. It was agreed that these measures would be enacted immediately,” the show’s spokesperson, Rick Miramontez, said in a statement. “Tomorrow’s matinee has been postponed and will be rescheduled. Tomorrow evening’s, and all subsequent performances will proceed as scheduled.”

Read more:
‘Spider-Man” musical’ new opening date set for Feb. 7
‘Spider-Man’ producer Michael Cohl on last night’s messy preview: ‘It went much better than I expected.’
‘Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark’ musical details revealed: Are you getting drawn into its web?

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

'Spider-Man' musical delayed again: report

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the long-delayed musical that was scheduled to open on Broadway on Jan. 11, has pushed its opening date back to sometime in February, reports The New York Times.  Since it began preview performances earlier this month, the $65 million show — directed by Julie Taymor with songs by U2′s Bono and the Edge — has been plagued by problems, including cast injuries and technical malfunctions. According to the Times, the current delay will be used to produce a new final number, rewrite dialogue, and potentially add new music. A rep for the show declined to comment on the report.

Read more:
‘Spider-Man’ producer Michael Cohl on last night’s messy preview: ‘It went much better than I expected.’

‘Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark’ musical details revealed: Are you getting drawn into its web?

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ sells $1 million in tickets

Dick Van Dyke's one-man show canceled

Dick Van Dyke’s upcoming one-man autobiographical show, Dick Van Dyke – Step in Time! – A Musical Memoir will not open this winter as planned, due to an achilles injury to the 85-year-old Tony-winner. The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles announced the news last night, one week before the show was to open. In a statement, Van Dyke said, “Unfortunately, this injury is forcing me to be off my feet for a while. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to revisit this sometime in the future, but in the meantime, I thank everyone for their understanding and support.”

Jeffrey Tambor to star in Broadway's 'La Cage Aux Folles'

Arrested Development and Larry Sanders star Jeffrey Tambor has his sights set on his next starring role — he’ll take over Kelsey Grammer’s part as Georges in Broadway’s La Cage Aux Folles, which won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical this year. Recently, it was announced that Harvey Fierstein would play Albin, which is currently portrayed by Douglas Hodge, who won a Tony for the role. Grammer and Hodge are set to depart the production after the Feb. 13, 2011 performance. Tambor and Fierstein will debut in their roles on Feb. 15, 2011.

Read more:
Excess Hollywood: Harvey Fierstein joins Broadway’s ‘La Cage Aux Folles’

Sam Mendes and Kevin Spacey announce dates for 'Richard III'

Kevin Spacey will star as Richard III in Sam Mendes’ production of the Shakespeare classic. The show will open on June 29 at the Old Vic, where Spacey is the artistic director, and then play at BAM in New York in early 2012. “I am absolutely delighted to be working with Kevin again for the first time since American Beauty,” Mendes said in a statement announcing the play. “Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play.”

'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' sells $1 million in tickets

Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark sold more than $1 million worth of advance tickets, producers announced yesterday. The long-delayed show, directed by Julie Taymor with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, finally previewed on November 28, but the performance stalled several times due to technical glitches and wound up running more than three hours. The show begins its official run in January, with more preview performances this month. [Playbill]

More on Turn Off the Dark: Spider-Man producer Michael Cohl on last night’s messy preview: “It went much better than I expected.”

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