Playbill Vault is Today in Theater History: August 11

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1924 Singer and vaudeville star Sophie tucker opens at the Palace.

1924 Helene hayes opens in Edgar selwyn and Edmond Gouldingthe game Dancing mothers about a girl who decides to become a “tap” over her parents’ objections. It remains for 312 performances and is later filmed with Clara Bow.

1933 Birthday of the avant-garde Polish director Jerzy Grotowski, whose techniques became very popular in the 1960s after the publication of his book, Towards a poor theater.

1965 Actress Viola Davis was born in South Carolina. Star of the stage and the cinema, she wins the Tony Awards for her performances in August Wilson’s King Hedley II and Fences, and an Oscar for the 2016 film adaptation Fences.

1999 Cheryl L. West‘s Jar the soil opens at Off-Broadway Second Stage Theater. The play takes a look at four generations of African American women who come together to celebrate the family’s great-grandmother’s 90th birthday. The bonds between the different mothers and daughters are revealed when the youngest member of the clan arrives with an unexpected guest. The production stars Irma P. Hall, Regina Taylor, Lynne thigpen, Linda powell, and Welker White.

2011 Three years after the original Broadway production closed, To rent returns to New York. A revival of Jonathan larsonThe award-winning rock musical about a group of friends, lovers and artists seeking expression in the AIDS era, opens Off-Broadway at New World Stages. The freshly designed production is directed by the original Tony Award-nominated director of the series, Michael Greif. The cast includes Adam Chanler-Berat as Mark, Matt Shingledecker as Roger and Annaleigh Ashford as Maureen.

2015 Annie Baker’s World Premiere John opens Off-Broadway at the Irene Diamond stage at the Signature Theater. Georgia Engel stars as Mertis, the happy innkeeper of a Bed & Breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

More birthdays today: Helene Broderick (1891-1959). Hugues Martin (1914-2011). IM Hobson (1935-2003). Arlene dahl (born in 1928). Ian mcdiarmid (born 1944). David Henry Hwang (born 1957). Sophie Okonedo (born in 1968).


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