Playbill Vault is Today in Theater History: August 9

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1967 Playwright Joe Orton is found dead in his London apartment. His companion, writer and actor Kenneth Halliwell was also found dead. It appears that Halliwell murdered the Booty playwright then committed suicide.

1978 A newspaper strike in New York leads producers to use television and other media to advertise their shows.

2003 Julie andrews made her directorial debut at Long Island’s Bay Street Theater with a cover of The boyfriend, the musical with which she made his Broadway debut in 1954. Meredith Patterson plays the role of Andrews (Polly).

2012 A revival of In the woods, Stephen Sondheim and Jacques LapineThe Tony Award-winning musical that interweaves classic fairy tales, opens at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The stars of the Shakespeare in the Park production Donna Murphy like the witch, Denis O’Hare like the baker, Amy Adams and the baker’s wife, and Jessie mueller like Cinderella.

2014 Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s musical here opens its engagement as a world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in California. Betsy Wolfe and Matt Bittner lead the musical, which takes place inside the head of a computer repairman (Bittner) with a vivid imagination. Alex Timbers directs.

2018 The New York premiere of Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz’s musical Be cooler opens Off-Broadway at Pershing Square Signature Center. Will Roland stars in the series about a clumsy high school student who succumbs to the influence of the Squip, a pill-shaped supercomputer believed to make its user colder. The production sold its limited engagement and moved to Broadway the following year.

2019 Producer Ken Davenport launches the first Rave Theater Festival, giving more than 20 emerging artists the chance to showcase their work to a wider audience.

Today’s birthdays: Paul Kelly (1899-1956). PL Travers (1899-1996). Anne Brun (1912-2009). Robert shaw (1927-1978). Dick anthony williams (1934-2012). Melanie Griffith (born in 1957). Anna Kendrick (born 1985).

Watch highlights from the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park production of In the woods:


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