'How To Succeed' Stagehand Found Dead of Possible Overdose
A 29-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was found dead right before the curtain was about to rise on the hit show, which features a Tony-winning performance by John Larroquette. Producers have been quick to say that the incident was not caused by an "accident related to the production," and police are saying the man died of a drug overdose.
Two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the New York Times that it was a "personal tragedy" that had nothing to do with the production.
"It was a stagehand who had done something terrible to himself," a theater industry executive told the Times. "Apparently it happened in a bathroom backstage, and it was very, very serious."
After being found in cardiac arrest, the stagehand was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. A spokesperson for the medical examiner's office said an autopsy is pending.
Inside the theater, confusion, uncertainty and dialogue from Radcliffe and Larroquette. The NYT:
According to audience member Barbara Germain, the actors spoke directly to them. "They said they debated it for a long time, and that there was a tragedy and they didn't feel comfortable performing."
Two announcements of a delay in the 8 p.m. performance were made on the theater's public address system, at about 8:20 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., Ms. Jewell said. At about 9 p.m. the two stars of the show, Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette, stepped out on stage to address the audience, who were there to see what would have been the show's 100th performance. Audience members said they could tell by Mr. Radcliffe's and Mr. Larroquette's tone that something grave had happened.
Another audience member, Suzanne Jewell, said the men "apologized to everyone, but said it wouldn't be fair to us because they would not have been able to give a good performance."
Those in attendance will receive full refunds.
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