"Spider-Man" musical gets a new actress

Tue Jan 4, 2011 12:11am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The producers of the ill-starred Broadway play "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" have promoted a supporting player to the role held by an actress who quit the show after suffering a backstage concussion.

Teresa Carpio will officially take over as Arachne from Natalie Mendoza on Tuesday, having filled in for several performances, the producers said in a statement.

Mendoza left "Spider-Man" on December 30, saying she needed to recover from a head injury sustained when she was hit by a rope during the play's first performance on November 28.

The ambitious, high-tech $65 million musical -- the most expensive Broadway show ever -- is a hot ticket on Broadway, despite playing in "previews" as its producers fine-tune elements ahead of its official February 7 opening.

But it has been a difficult journey, with the production plagued by cost overruns, four delays in its opening date, and three other injuries. Two stunt doubles were injured during rehearsals, while a stuntman fell about 30 feet into the orchestra pit during a performance.

Carpio, who originally was cast as Miss Arrow, has been involved with the "Spider-Man" production since it was initially workshopped. The play's director, Julie Taymor, had previously cast Carpio in her Beatles-related fantasy feature "Across the Universe." Carpio will be replaced as Miss Arrow by Alice Lee.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech)