Broadway’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” was expected to commence its 100th performance on Wednesday (June 23), but was forced to call it off at the last minute.
Despite initial reports that the cancellation was due to a backstage accident, the New York Times confirms that a 29-year old male stagehand was found unconscious and in cardiac arrest shortly before the 8 p.m. curtain raise. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police believe a drug overdose is to blame.
“It was a stagehand who had done something terrible to himself,” a theater industry explains. “Apparently it happened in a bathroom backstage, and it was very, very serious.”
Approximately an hour after the show was slated to begin, actors Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette addressed the audience, citing a behind-the-scenes tragedy for the cancellation. According to a show statement, audience members will be issued a refund.
“The two of them said they had mulled it over whether to go on with the show,” an audience member recalls. “They apologized to everyone, but said it wouldn’t be fair to us because they would not have been able to give a good performance.”
The late stagehand’s name has not yet been released pending family notification.