A stagehand at the hit Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying died unexpectedly on June 22 backstage at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre shortly prior to showtime, causing the evening performance to be cancelled. The New York Times reports the 29-year-old, whose name has been withheld, died of a drug overdose in a bathroom.
The evening performance on June 22 was supposed to be the 100th performance of the musical in the run at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, but the show didn’t start as scheduled. Instead, the audience (including 100 theatergoers who won free tickets that morning given out by star Daniel Radcliffe) waited for over an hour while emergency vehicles arrived, taking the victim to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Shortly after 9PM, according to Twitter posts from audience members, Radcliffe and co-star John Larroquette took to the stage to tell the crowd that a tragedy had happened backstage and the show was cancelled.
A statement from the show stressed that the death was not caused by an accident related to the production.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opened on March 27, 2011 and won four 2011 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards including Favorite Musical Revival. The production was also nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning one for Larroquette.