British actor Daniel Radcliffe took to the New York stage on Wednesday night (22Jun11) to announce the evening performance of his Broadway musical had been cancelled after a crew member died shortly before the start of the show.
An unnamed 29-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest backstage at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre shortly before the curtain was due to go up on a performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
The man was rushed to the nearby St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, reports the New York Times, while a police spokesperson tells the publication they are investigating reports the worker suffered a drugs overdose.
A source adds, "It was a stage hand who had done something terrible to himself. Apparently it happened in a bathroom backstage, and it was very, very serious."
The night's production was initially delayed for an hour, before the Harry Potter star and actor John Larroquette walked out on stage and told the waiting crowd the performance was off.
Audience member Jeffrey Gingold, of Milwaukee, tells the New York Post, "You could tell something was going on. They were telling the crowd to stay quiet. We waited for an hour and a half. We were wondering why they had to stop the show. I mean, the show must go on, right? They had the look on their faces of a relative having to break the news that someone had died."