Playbill Vault is in theater history today: December 6

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1896 Birthday of Ira Gershwin, one of Broadway’s brightest lyricists, mostly in collaboration with her brother George Gershwin. Ira’s musicals include Porgy and Bess; I sing about you; Lady, be nice; Funny head; Oh, Kay! ; Crazy girl; Lady in the dark; and in the adaptations after his death, My one and only, crazy about you, I’ll never dance, and Good job if you can get it.

1916 For His boy soldier, Rida Johnson Young adapts his book to Emmerich Kalmanthe score by, with additional music by Sigmund romberg. The story of a soldier returning from war opens at the Astor Theater. It lasts 198 performances.

1939 What dreams does a male room attendant in a nightclub dream of? If this attendant is Bert lahr, he dreams that he is Louis XV and it must be Du Barry was a lady. Ethel merman co-stars. Cole porter provides the music and lyrics for the book written by BG DeSylva and Herbert Champs.

1944 The right time A bell for Adano rings at the Cort Theater. Frederic march plays the role of an American officer trying to help defeated Italians rebuild their lives. Paul Osborn adapts John herseyPulitzer Prize winning novel.

1956 Ethel Merman stars as an American widow who travels to Monaco in search of a husband for her daughter and a Grace Kelly wedding invitation for herself in Good hunt, which opens today at the Majestic Theater. Although the production lasted 412 performances, Merman will consider the production a failure due to a score from the untested duo of Harold Karr and Matt Dubey. The experience will inspire him to later reject Stephen Sondheim as the songwriter of Gypsy, pairing him up as a lyricist with more-established songwriter Jule Styne instead.

1972 Jennie Linden is My big friend, at the Globe Theater in London. The Charles Laurence the game continues until the following season.

1991 It is announced that the Dutch have decided to sell the Mark Hellinger Theater to the Church in Times Square, as it still stands to this day. The Hellinger was the theater where Julie andrews and Rex harrison starred in the original Broadway production of My beautiful lady in 1956.

2001 Less than three months after the September 11 attacks, the downtown flea theater opens a new play about a fire chief trying to compose praise for his dead. Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray are the stars. The boys becomes a long-standing success and is adapted for the cinema.

2004 Gem of the ocean, August Wilson’s Century Cycle ninth play opens at Walter Kerr Theater with Tony Award winner Phylicia rashad, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and LisaGay Hamilton, with John Earl Jelks and Raynor Scheine. Kenny Leon directed. The story, set in 1904, begins on the eve of Aunt Ester’s 287th birthday (a recurring character in Wilson’s play cycle). Citizen Barlow, a man in spiritual turmoil, arrives at Aunt Ester’s home in Pittsburgh’s Hill district and soon sets out on a spiritual journey in search of the mythical City of Bones.

2009 Playwright David Mamet confronts the issue of racial prejudice in America with its drama Race, which opens on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. James spader, David alan grier, Kerry Washington, and Richard thomas stars in the play about a law firm with a white partner and a black partner who take on the case of a white man accused of a sex crime against a black woman.

2011 The East Village stage of New York theater workshop takes the form of a Dublin pub – complete with liquor bottles, smoky mirrors and sepia incandescent bulbs – for the Manhattan premiere of the Irish pop and folk musical Once, based on the hit independent film. With the music of Glen hansard and Marketa Irglova, and featuring Steve kazee and Cristin Milioti, the production Broadway transfers the following year, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

2012 A revival of Golden boy, Clifford odets‘1937 drama about a young musician who takes the gamble of his own artistic dreams when he enters the boxing ring, opens at the Belasco Theater. Realized by Bartlett Sher, he stars Seth Numrich in the central role of Joe Bonaparte.

2015 School of rock – the musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first new show to open on Broadway in a decade, opens at the Winter Garden Theater, where his Cats ran for almost 18 years. The musical is based on the 2003 film about a broken down rock guitarist who gets a job as a substitute teacher. Alex Brightman and the star of Sierra Boggess.

2018 Bryan Cranston returns to Broadway in a theatrical adaptation of the 1976 film Network, opening at the Belasco Theater. The production, which premiered at the National Theater in London the year before, is directed by Ivo van Hove and has a script by Lee Hall, based on the script by Paddy Chayefsky. Cranston wins a Tony Award for his performance as news anchor Howard Beale.

More birthdays today: EH Sothern (1859-1933). Lynn Fontanne (1887-1983). Herman Shumlin (1898-1979). Joseph buloff (1900-1985). Agnes Moorehead (1900-1974). Wally cox (1924-1973). Bobby van (1928-1980). James naughton (born 1945). Tom hulce (born 1953). Jack Thorne (born 1978).


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