Playbill Vault is in theater history today: July 21



1951 Birthday of Lillias White, whose Broadway appearances include Effie White in Dream girls, Miss Jones in How to be successful in business without really trying, and Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti in Fela! In 1997, she won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Sonja in Life.

1955 The Shakespeare Memorial Theater Company opens production of A lot of noise for nothing at the Palace Theater in London. John gielgud directs and stars, in front Peggy Ashcroft. A lot of noise is followed on July 26 by a production of King Lear.

1971 violin on the roof, which opened on September 22, 1964, exceeds Hello Dolly! as Broadway’s longest-running musical with 2,845 performances. The production closes on July 2 of the following year.

1976 A revival of Guys and dolls, directed and choreographed by Billy Wilson, opens with an all-African-American cast, directed by Robert Guillaume, Norma Donaldson, and Ken page. It offers 12 previews and 239 performances and wins three Tony nominations, including the most innovative production of a revival.

1998 Boxer turned TV star Tony Danza, known for his work on Taxi and Who is the boss, reprized the lead role of Eddie in the Broadway revival of Arthur miller‘s A view from the bridge. He succeeds the Tony award for best actor Anthony La Paglia in the prize for the best cover of a play, winner of a Tony, about a man who is afraid of losing his niece and the security of his own sexuality.

1998 At 8:30 a.m., a construction elevator fell from a high floor of the Conde Nest building on Broadway between 42nd and 43rd Streets, causing the scaffolding outside the half-erected building to collapse. Crash damage forces Broadway productions nearby Cabaret and Male side to cancel their performances. Male side can resume on July 28, but Cabaret is not so lucky. His home at the time, the Kit Kat Klub, proved inaccessible for nearly a month after the accident. By the time Cabaret resumes performances on August 20, new ladies Jennifer jason leigh and Blair Brown are in the cast, with original stars Natasha Richardson and Marie Louise Wilson having missed their scheduled final performances. Come November, Cabaret moved from Kit Kat Klub to a larger room 12 blocks away called Studio 54.

2011 The question of why mortals so passionately cling to life hovers in the air of Maury yestonThomas mehan musical, Death takes a vacation, opening in an Off-Broadway engagement world premiere at Roundabout theater companyLaura Pels Theater. Under study Kevin earley plays the title role on opening night, when the British star Julien ovenden falls ill with laryngitis. Ovenden tries to reprise the role on August 2, but after being unable to get past the first moments of the series, announces his final withdrawal from production the next day.

2012 Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh direct the production of the Sydney Theater Company Anton Chekhov‘s Uncle Vanya, opening at the New York City Center for a 10-performance race as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Directed by Tamás Ascher, the production stars Blanchett as Yelena with Roxburgh in the title role.

More birthdays today: Don knotts (1924-2006). Jonathan miller (1934-2019). Patricia elliot (1938-2015). Edouard Herrmann (1943-2014). Robin williams (1951-2014). Penny fuller (born 1940). Garry Trudeau (born 1948). Jasmine Cephas Jones (born 1989).

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