Leading "Spider-Man" actress quits show: report

Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the latest disappointment for the ambitious Broadway production of "Spider-Man," one of the lead actresses who suffered a concussion during its first preview performance is quitting the show.

Natalie Mendoza, who plays the villainess Arachne and is the second lead female role after Spider-Man's girlfriend, has been working out an exit agreement for the past several days, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. A spokesman for the production did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Mendoza was one of four actors who was so far been injured in the $65 million production that features hi-tech stunts and flying sequences. The actress, who is a major presence in several of the show's songs, written by U2's Bono and The Edge, was struck on the head by a rope offstage during its November 28 preview.

She returned for a performance but then took several weeks off. Then, last week, she posted a Twitter message when a leading stuntman on the show was injured after he plunged from a high platform, saying "a light in my heart went dim tonight."

The stuntman is recovering in hospital after breaking ribs and fracturing vertebrae, causing "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" to suspend several shows over safety concerns.

The production is still in previews, allowing producers to warn the audience it is not seeing a finished product. Its current official opening is scheduled for February 7.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>The marquee for the Broadway show "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" is seen outside the Foxwoods Theatre in New York December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>