When actors tell each other “break a leg” before a performance, they’re engaging in a bit of theater superstition that suggests wishing people good luck might actually bring about bad luck. Apparently someone wished actor Michael McKean good luck before a performance yesterday—he sustained a broken leg after being hit by a car while walking on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The 64-year-old McKean is best known as Lenny from Laverne & Shirley, David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap, a mainstay of Christopher Guest’s mockumentary factory, and an Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song for A Mighty Wind’s “A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow,” which he co-wrote with his wife, Annette O’Toole. He’s reported to be in stable condition at St. Luke’s Hospital. His press representative, Harriet Sternberg, assured reporters and possible future employers that the occasion marks “the first time he will have ever missed a curtain call in his entire life.”

McKean was in New York playing Dick Jensen in the all-star revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man; he’ll be replaced in the role by James Lecesne, a veteran stage actor and co-founder of The Trevor Project, “a 24-hour suicide-prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning teens.” The Best Man marks Lecesne’s Broadway debut; he’s been playing a smaller role until now. Presumably he wasn’t the person who told McKean “Good luck,” or possibly “Break a leg, no really, I actually mean it, seriously.”


[Via Playbill.]