T.V. Carpio, who stepped in to replace another actress injured in Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” has now herself been sidelined after an accident on stage.
Producers of the $65 million musical said Tuesday that Carpio was hurt March 16 during a battle scene with an actor. Details on her injury were not immediately available.
Carpio plays an evil spider woman called Arachne, one of the handful of large roles in the complicated, stunt-heavy production. She will be out of the show for the next two weeks and will be replaced by America Olivo.
Carpio was elevated from a smaller role when her predecessor, Natalie Mendoza, pulled out after she suffered a concussion in December when she was hit in the head offstage by rope.
The 29-year-old actress had understudied several roles, including Arachne and Mary Jane, since joining the show in 2007 and was a natural choice when Mendoza left. Arachne had six songs and dominates the second act, appearing as a goddess of all spider powers who wants Mary Jane’s boyfriend Peter Parker for herself.
The show, which features original songs by U2’s Bono and The Edge, is the most expensive in Broadway history but it is also proving to be among the most troubled.
Producers earlier this month announced that Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor would no longer direct the show, and a new creative team was brought in to change and polish the musical, which has also been plagued with a series of injuries to cast members and aerial stunt mishaps. Its opening has been delayed for a sixth time, to June 14.
Carpio’s biggest moment until the Spider-Man musical was appearing as the cheerleader Prudence who sings a rendition of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in “Across the Universe,” a Taymor movie set to the music of The Beatles. She also appears in the current film “Limitless” with Bradley Cooper.
During an interview in February, Carpio insisted that she felt safe in the show — almost too safe. She said she was a trained trapeze artist who loves amusement park rides and squealed with delight at the memory of repeatedly plunging from the top of the Las Vegas Stratosphere.
“Here I have four strings attached to me at any given time. Each one of those cables I think can carry 9,000 pounds,” she said. “So when people ask me am I scared, no.”
When it opens — if it does, that is — “Spider-Man” will have set a record for becoming the first musical with more than 100 preview performances. For comparison, among musicals currently on Broadway, “Wicked” had 25 previews, “American Idiot” had 26 and “The Lion King” had 33. All benefited from out-of-town tryouts before coming to Broadway.
The “Spider-Man” show is unusual in that it has been built specifically for the 1,928-seat Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd Street, meaning a traditional tryout outside New York to fix glitches and smooth out problems wasn’t possible.
Producers have asked for patience as they try to finish their acrobatic take on the Marvel comic book hero, which includes new characters and villains grafted onto the traditional story, along with dozens of aerial stunts performed over the audience’s head.
By early February, most theater critics from Variety to the Los Angeles Times had had enough and decided to weigh in, a violation of the established agreement by critics to wait for opening night. They unleashed mostly savage pans, with The New York Times saying the show may rank among the worst shows in Broadway history.
Most of the reviewers cited the show’s unprecedented string of delays and the fact that producers hadn’t discounted tickets yet during the preview period, meaning theatergoers were paying up to $300 for a single seat to a show that wasn’t finished.
The musical continues to enjoy a near sold-out run, though some discounted tickets have begun appearing. So far, it has had more than 113 performances, which translates into more than 217,000 tickets sold for a show that despite being open in previews for more than three months is clearly far from finished.
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