Remember how Natalie Mendoza, the actress who developed the role of Archne in Julie Taymor’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, only to sustain a concussion backstage during the first preview performance, was replaced by T.V. Caprio? Well the role is clearly cursed, because not only is ArtsBeat reporting that Caprio been sidelined for 2-3 weeks following an injury during a performance on March 16, but a source tells the Post that when the show reopens on May 12 the part of Arachne will be “downgraded to a flying special effect.” Double-ouch!
Though press reps for the injury and accident-plagued $70 million production haven’t specified the exact nature of the injury, Gothamist is pretty certain it’s whiplash. Arachne understudy America Olivo will continue to perform in Caprio’s place for the next 2-3 weeks. And then of course on April 17 preview performances will be suspended while the cast and a half-new crew begin rehearsing a new version of the high-flying musical, which will then resume previews on May 12 and open on June 14 (assuming all goes according to plan, which it almost certainly won’t).
Bloomberg reports on some of those changes to the Spider-Man creative team, which now include the replacement of choreographer and Taymor cohort Daniel Ezralow by the much younger Brooklyn-based dancer and choreographer Chase Brock who, among gigs all over town and on Broadway, has staged shows for U2, whose Bono and The Edge wrote the music for the Spider-Man musical. Post Broadway gossip columnist Michael Riedel writes that a source with the production said: “They’re ripping chunks and chunks out of it.” Riedel continues:
Whole scenes are being jettisoned… [incoming director and Taymor replacement Philip William] McKinley’s going to turn the show into a shorter, special-effects-driven family spectacle more suited to the world of Steve Wynn than Steve Sondheim.
Well, to be fair, it was never going to be Sondheim, was it? (Photo)