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Broadway show performance canceled after stagehand's death

By Jason Kessler, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The performance was to have been the show's 100th
  • The stagehand goes into cardiac arrest and later dies
  • Poloce: There is "no apparent criminality"
  • The show emphasizes the death was not a production-related accident

New York (CNN) -- The Wednesday night performance of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" was called off after a stagehand died shortly before the curtain was supposed to go up.

The musical, which stars John Larroquette and Daniel Radcliffe, was to have staged its 100th performance.

New York City Police said the stagehand, 29, went into cardiac arrest shortly before 6 p.m. He was transferred to St. Luke's Hospital where he later died.

A police spokesman said there was "no apparent criminality" involved in the death, but an investigation was underway.

Michael Hartman, a spokesman for the show, emphasized that the death was "not caused by an accident related to the production."

The show's spokesman and the police both said the stagehand's name was being withheld pending family notification.

Audience member Elizabeth Walkling told CNN there was a clear "commotion" at the show's scheduled start time. After about half an hour of uncertainty, "they said there's been an incident, the show should be starting in 10 to 15 minutes."

Almost an hour later, the musical's stars, Larroquette and Radcliffe, came onstage. They said that that "there'd been a tragedy, and that they wouldn't be able to go on with the show," Walkling said.

Jeffrey Gingold, an audience member in town from Milwaukee, said Larroquette and Radcliffe appeared "unnerved" and delivered the news somberly. "They spoke as if a relative had died," he said.

In December, the musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" drew national attention when a stuntman suffered serious injuries as a result of a 20-foot fall.

 
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