Actress leaves tuner due to injury

Michael Cohl, lead producer on “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” confirmed the exit of Natalie Mendoza from the show, in a statement late Thursday.

In the statement, Mendoza added, “It has been a difficult decision to make, but I regret that I am unable to continue on ‘Spider-Man’ as I recover from my injury. I wish Julie and the cast and crew every success with this production.”

Julie Taymor, who is directing the show, stated “Natalie is a talented performer. We’ve appreciated her contributions to the show and we wish her all the best.”

Mendoza’s exit had been expected (Daily Variety, Dec. 29).

Mendoza had helped create the role of Arachne in the last six months. She suffered a concussion while standing backstage on Nov. 28 during the first preview and had appeared only sporadically since then. The last time she performed was on Dec. 20, when Christopher Tierney fell into the orchestra pit. The following day, the actress tweeted, “Please pray with me for my friend Chris, my superhero who quietly inspired me every day with his spirit. A light in my heart went dim tonight.”

Tierney was released from Bellevue hospital this week and is receiving rehab at a Gotham facility.

The show, in previews at the Foxwoods Theatre, is skedded to open Feb. 7. It features a book by Taymor and Glen Berger, and songs by U2’s Bono and The Edge.

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