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Actresses to leave Spider-Man musical

NEW YORK -- Broadway's Spider-Man musical is about to lose two of its original cast members.

Producers said Friday that original stars Jennifer Damiano and T.V. Carpio will end their run in “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” next month when their contracts expire.

Damiano, who has played Mary Jane Watson since performances began last November, will be replaced by Rebecca Faulkenberry, who made her Broadway debut in “Rock of Ages.” Carpio, who has been playing the spider-woman named Arachne, will be replaced by Christina Sajous, who starred in “Baby, It's You!” and “American Idiot.”

Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker and the webslinger, and Patrick Page, who is the Green Goblin, are sticking with the US$75 million show, which after a difficult birth, has become a top Broadway earner.

The musical, Broadway's most expensive, was plagued by accidents and delayed premieres before finally officially opening in June.

By that time, the original director and book co-writer Julie Taymor had been ousted, and the musical's songs by U2's Bono and The Edge and the storyline were reworked.

Carpio originally landed a part in the so-called Geek Chorus — four comic book fans who framed the plot and represented Taymor, Bono, The Edge and co-book writer Glen Berger. But Carpio had been the understudy for several roles since joining the show in 2007 and was a natural choice when the original Arachne — Natalie Mendoza — pulled out after suffering a concussion in December.

During the show's rocky spring, the role of Arachne was reworked and Carpio suffered whiplash when one of the performers playing Spider-Man toppled onto her in March.

Damiano's last performance will be Nov. 6. Carpio's will be Nov. 13.

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 Actresses to leave Spider-Man musical 
In this May 12, file photo, the cast of “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark,” from left, Patrick Page, T.V. Carpio, Reeve Carney, and Jennifer Damiano pose for photographers outside the Foxwoods Theater in New York after the first preview performance. (AP)

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