Saturday, February 24, 2024

“Spider Man” Actress Leaving, No Tears Back Stage


This is tough: Natalie Mendoza is leaving “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark,” but there are no tears backstage.

Mendoza famously suffered a concussion a couple of weeks ago playing the flying Arachne. Of course, everyone was concerned about her.

But my backstage sources–not the producers or creators, the real backstage types–are not shedding tears on news of her departure.

“She’s some kind of rock star in Australia,” observed one source. “She didn’t like her role in Spider Man. After she came back from the concussion, she really milked it. I don’t think anyone will be sad to see her go.”

On Sunday. T.V. Carpio played Arachne was just fine–I reported it on Sunday night. She didn’t fly in the second act, but not because she was scared. According to my sources, her rigging had a computer malfunction that was discovered right before her scene started. She did her big number from the stage–and was quite effective anyway.

Backstagers say there are changes to the “Spider Man” story being implemented this week. But they’d better do something about the ending. Broadway audiences love to give standing ovations–but at “Spider Man” they’re confused whether the show has ended or not. Musicals need to end with a flourish, not a pause.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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