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'Spider-Man' announces replacement for actress who suffers concussion

By the CNN Wire Staff
T.V. Carpio will replace Natalie Mendoza as villainous Arachne in the troubled Spider-Man musical on Broadway.
T.V. Carpio will replace Natalie Mendoza as villainous Arachne in the troubled Spider-Man musical on Broadway.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Injured actor Christopher Tierney says he's not worried about the safety of the show
  • T.V. Carpio officially assumes the role with Tuesday night's performance, the show says
  • The $65 million production has been beset by problems
  • A stunt actor fell 20 feet on December 20

New York (CNN) -- The troubled musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" announced a replacement early Tuesday for Natalie Mendoza, who played villainous Arachne but officially dropped out after suffering a concussion during a performance last month.

T.V. Carpio, who covered the role several times throughout the preview period, officially assumes the role beginning with Tuesday night's performance, the show said.

"She is fantastic," said producer Michael Cohl added. "When she was covering the role, we kept seeing the crowd leap to its feet as she took her bow. After about the sixth or seventh night, we realized we'd be fools not to give her the part."

Carpio appeared in the movie 'Across the Universe,' which was directed by "Spider-Man" director Julie Taymor.

Mendoza officially announced her departure last week.

"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," Mendoza said in a statement last week. "I wish Julie and the cast and crew every success with this production."

The behind-the-scenes drama at the $65 million production has held enough twists and turns to rival the actual plot of the Broadway show.

A December 20 accident sent stunt actor Christopher Tierney to the hospital.

Tierney suffered four broken ribs, a hairline skull fracture, a broken scapula, or shoulder blade; a bruised lung, three cracked vertebrae and broken bones below his elbow when he fell 20 feet, his father said.

Several of the shows were canceled following Tierney's fall, and new safety precautions were put in place before they resumed following a meeting between the show's company, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the New York State Department of Labor.

But Tierney said Tuesday that he is looking forward to returning to the show and is not concerned about his own safety.

"I'm not worried about it," Tierney said. "They've got it well taken care of."

Another actor in the show, Patrick Page, said the new measures have increased communication between actors and safety personnel.

"When you have somebody injure themselves, as Chris did, then everybody feels a little bit on edge at first," he said. "It's great to have him have a full recovery and for us to all be able to do our work."

The show, with music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge, is said to be the most expensive in Broadway history. It officially opens on February 7.

CNN's Jason Kessler contributed to this report.

 
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