So I'm putting together a little piece on 1776 and HAMILTON for a science fiction fanzine this spring. We fans here know the story of Da Silva's heart attack four days before the opening and how he insisted on going on anyway. And an ambulance parked by the stage door took him to the hospital each night after curtain call, through the first few performances. Then he took a week off, and Rex Everhart played Franklin (and did the cast album).
What I didn't know until today was that the press was not told it was a heart attack. Rather, they stated "undisclosed" health reasons, a virus, or the Hong Kong flu.
I had the Hong Kong flu in December 1968; I was so sick my parents kept it from me that my dog had died.