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.