Last night, BroadwayWorld.com 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 just confirmed that Mendoza was indeed injured during the show's first preview when she was hit in the head by a rope and the extent of the injury was not realized until later in the week. We're told that an official statement with more information will be revealed shortly. We checked with Actors Equity who has confirmed that they are looking into the matter and also has no comment at the current time.
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.
SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark is now in previews at the Foxwoods Theatre on Broadway. Opening night is scheduled for January 11, 2011.
Featuring direction by Tony® Award-winner Julie Taymor (The Tempest, Across The Universe, The Lion King), music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy® Award-winners Bono and The Edge, a book co-written by Taymor and Glen Berger (Underneath The Lintel) and one of the most iconic title characters of all time, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is the most ambitious production ever undertaken on Broadway and finds astonishingly fresh ways to tell a story inspired by over 40 years of Marvel comic books. The show follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down when he's bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek suddenly endowed with incredible powers soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains put both his physical strength and strength of character to the test. SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark will thrill the audience through a unique entertainment experience in ways never-before-dreamed-possible in live theater.
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