Memorial held in New York for Broadway actor who died at 21
NEW YORK (AP) — About three dozen friends, colleagues and former classmates of Kyle Jean-Baptiste have gathered in Central Park to mourn the accidental death of a rising Broadway actor who had already made history at just 21.
Clutching flowers at Bethesda Fountain, the tearful group honored Jean-Baptiste, the first African-American and youngest person to ever play the role of Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables" on Broadway. They hugged and told stories of the young man, concluding the Monday memorial by singing the rousing "The People's Song" from that musical.
Jean-Baptiste was sitting on a fourth-floor fire escape of an apartment in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn with a 23-year-old woman Friday night when he stood up, slipped and then fell backward to the ground.