A 54-year-old stagehand fell to his death from scaffolding inside Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre this morning as workers were restoring the venue following the departure of the Beetlejuice musical and in preparation for next year’s arrival of The Music Man.
A representative for the Shubert Organization, which owns and operates the venue, confirmed the incident.
“At 8:45 a.m. Thursday morning, November 12, a stagehand fell from the fly floor above the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre and died from injuries sustained,” the organization said in a statement. “NYPD and OSHA arrived at the scene to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. We mourn the loss of our valued colleague. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.”
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According to the NYPD, the victim fell from a ladder “while performing routine maintenance.” No criminality is suspected. An investigation is ongoing.
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Sources say earlier reports that the stagehand was removing Beetlejuice sets and props were incorrect, and that the venue had already been cleared of that production. The work being done at the venue was described as “restoration” needed before the arrival next year of The Music Man. (A spokesman for The Music Man referred questions to the Shubert Organization.)
Until Broadway went dark last March, the Winter Garden was home to Beetlejuice, with The Music Man, produced by Scott Rudin and starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, set to begin performances on Dec. 20, 2021.
The news was first reported by The New York Post, which quoted a theater porter named Mike saying, “I was cleaning up under the stage when I heard a loud noise. It was right above me. It sounded like a bomb. It scared me. I ran up the steps to what it was. I said, ‘Oh my God!’ My heart started pounding. He was on his back. He had one shoe on. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. I don’t know if it came off when he fell. Stagehands always wear helmets.”
The deceased stagehand, who has not been identified pending notification of family, was transported to Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital but could not be revived.
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