The stage comedy Seminar is nearing its Broadway premiere Sunday with Alan Rickman, who's already made history for how he handled a preview performance Thursday -- he cancelled it.

Producer Jeffrey Finn -- who explained on the show's site that the 65-year-old veteran famous for portraying the villain in Die Hard was suffering from a respiratory infection -- noted that of all the performances Rickman's committed himself to in 33 years, this is the first time he's taken a sick day.

We all feel it's in the best interest for everyone to be as healthy as possible prior to our opening this coming Sunday, Finn said. We will resume performances tomorrow night, Friday, Nov. 18.

I'm almost honored to have been slated to be there, then! critic Elisabeth Vincentelli wrote on the New York Post's Web site. Under regular circumstances an understudy would go on, but tonight was a press preview.

Rickman, whose most recent performance in a film was as Hogwarts' resident grouch Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2, is somewhat close to Daniel Radcliffe ... literally. Apart from the fact that Radcliffe's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Broadway revival isn't far from the theater where Seminar is having its premiere, reported Nov. 4 that they might be neighbors if Rickman takes a $2.5 million unit in the same building at 1 Morton Square where his Harry Potter co-star lives in New York, along with Will Arnett and Amy Poehler.

In fact, anybody who would jump at the chance to see Radcliffe returning to Broadway in the future might owe Rickman a debt of gratitude.

He told me, 'This makes me want to do a play, I have to do a play,' Rickman said of Radcliffe, telling the Los Angeles Times Nov. 9 that he saw him in the Seminar audience just two days earlier.