Spider-Man-Bound Jennifer Damiano to Depart Next to Normal

News   Spider-Man-Bound Jennifer Damiano to Depart Next to Normal Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano, who currently stars as troubled teen Natalie Goodman in Broadway's Next to Normal, has landed her next role. The young actress is reported to play Mary Jane in the U2-scored Broadway musical Spider-Man, according to the New York Times.
Jennifer Damiano
Jennifer Damiano

Sources close to Spider-Man, which is aiming to begin rehearsals in late summer, reveal that Damiano has signed to portray Mary Jane Watson, the love-interest of Peter Parker. Reeve Carney was previously announced to portray Parker, who moonlights as the red-and-blue lycra-clad superhero of the musical.

Representatives for Next to Normal told Playbill.com that they did not know of Damiano's future stage projects, but stated the actress would depart the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical July 18, the same day Tony Award winner Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James also make their exit. Understudy Meghann Fahy will succeed Damiano in Next to Normal July 19, according to representatives for the production.

Evan Rachel Wood ("The Wrestler," "Whatever Works," "Across the Universe") had previously been announced to portray Mary Jane, but departed the production after financing delayed the Broadway opening. Tony Award winner Alan Cumming, who was to play the Green Goblin, also bowed out of Spider-Man.

Tony Award-winning Lion King director Julie Taymor is at the helm of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, which features music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy Award winners Bono and The Edge of U2 and a book by Taymor and Glen Berger (Underneath The Lintel).

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According to producers, "Drawing from over 40 years of Marvel comic books for inspiration, Spider-Man spins a new take on the mythic tale of a young man propelled from a modest rowhouse in Queens to the sky-scraping spire of the Chrysler Building, the bustling offices of the Daily Bugle, through the dizzying canyons of Manhattan, to new vistas never before seen. The musical follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down — literally — when he's bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek — suddenly endowed with astonishing powers — soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains test not only his physical strength but also his strength of character. Spider-Man's battles will hurtle the audience through an origin story both recognizable and unexpected — yielding new characters as well as familiar faces — until a final surprising confrontation casts a startling new light on this hero's journey."

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