Last night, BroadwayWorld.com was the first to reported that Natalie Mendoza, who plays the lead role of Arachne in SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark had received a concussion and the role will be played through Tuesday (at minimum) by understudy America Olivo.
We've confirmed that Mendoza was indeed injured during the show's first preview when she was hit in the head by a rope (or by a piece of equipment - no one seems to know for sure). The actress knew on Tuesday that she had a concussion, but still performed in the show against doctors orders on Wednesday night. It's been speculated that this might have to do with the limited time that an understudy would have had to rehearse, but nothing has been confirmed as to the specifics of why she went on Wednesday, which they say was her decision.
We checked with Actors Equity who has confirmed that they are looking into the matter and also has no comment at the current time.
Update: 6:15 PM - A (short) official statement has been released from lead producer Michael Cohl, which states "Natalie Mendoza suffered an injury earlier this week and, on doctor's orders, will be out of the show for a brief time. We look forward to welcoming her back very soon."
BroadwayWorld naturally wishes Mendoza a speedy recovery and safety to all else involved!
Natalie Mendoza made her stage debut at the Sydney Opera House as a girl in Romeo and Juliet. She was discovered by Cameron Mackintosh and asked to play Eponine in Les Miserables and later went on to star in many other musicals and plays, including multiple seasons with The Melbourne Theatre Company and workshops of Matthew Warchus' Lord of the Rings and the stage adaptation of the film Ghost. She signed as a teenager internationally to Virgin Records with her pop punk band Jackson Mendoza and had several hits that led them onto stadium tours. She is currently recording her first solo album as well as a Jazz project called "ThE Eddy", produced by Glen Ballard. Natalie's also created a comic book /multi platform project with Simon Bisley, which is scheduled to be released at next year's Comic-Con. Her credits for TV and film include: the cult hit feature The Descent (and its sequel), The Great Raid, Code 46, Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, the hit BBC series "Hotel Babylon" and more.
America Olivo is a Swing and understudy for Arachne. With a degree in Operatic Theatre from The Juilliard School, America Olivo formed the music group Soluna. Their DreamWorks Records hits "For All Time" and "Bring It To Me" topped the charts. They opened for Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony on tours through the United States and Latin America at Radio City, Madison Square Garden, and the Staples Center. America has performed with Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, No Doubt, Elton John, Shakira, Nelly, Destiny's Child, Alanis Morisette, andStevie Wonder. America starred in Paramount Television's "Soluna" pilot, and on "How I Met Your Mother", "Jake in Progress", "The Brothers Garcia", "Cuts", "General Hospital", and "House". Her film credits include The Thirst, Blood Wars, Love Shack, The Last Resort, Friday the 13th, Transformers 2, Bitch Slap, and Neighbor. She has appeared on the covers of Playboy, CMD Magazine, Latino Future, People en Español and in Maxim UK and Español.