Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: December 15

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1919 Frank McGlyn is abraham lincoln in John Drinkwater’s drama. The story follows Lincoln’s life from 1860 to his assassination in 1865. There are 193 performances at the Cort Theater in New York.

1925 The Dybbuk takes place at the Neighborhood Playhouse. David Vardi and Alice Lewisohn stage the S. Ansky story of a wronged spirit possessing the body of his beloved. The directing team based this version on the production of the Israeli troupe Habimah. A more recent adaptation of the play, by Angels in Americait is Tony Kushnerlayers the story with allusions to the Holocaust and its devastation of European Jewry.

1948 The September tide arrives at the Aldwych Theater in London. Gertrude Laurent stars in the Daphne Du Maurier play, with a cast that includes Bryan Forbes and Michael Gough. Irene Hentschel directed.

1952 Bette Davis stars in Two company, Charles Shermanmusical review with the music of Duke of Vernonwords of Ogden Nashchoreography of Jerome Robbinsand a cast that also includes David Burns and Nora Kaye. It organizes 90 performances at the Alvin Theater.

1962 Actor Charles Laughton dies at the age of 63 in Hollywood. He made his stage debut in 1926 in The government inspector. He appeared in plays such as macbeth, measure for measureand the English version of Galileoon which he collaborated closely with Bertold Brecht. Laughton also appeared in various films throughout his career and directed the seminal thriller, The hunter’s night. He was married to Elsa Lanchester.

1964 Hacket Buddy and Coney Island might have looked like a can’t-miss combination, but the musical I had a ball only runs 199 performances at the Martin Beck Theater, on star call and the Jack Lawrence/Stan Freeman score.

1966 The Oscar brand-Paul Nassau rock musical A happy noise opens at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, where it only runs 12 performances until Christmas Eve. However, it offers Broadway a beautiful Christmas present: it is the first musical comedy choreographed solely by Michael Bennettwho continues to do Company, Follies, A chorus lineand other great musicals.

1977 One of the high waters of the circle in the square troupe in its uptown theater, a revival of George Bernard Shawit is Saint Joanstars Lynn Redgrave, Philip Bosco, Tom Aldredge, Robert Lupone, Paul Shyreand Joseph Bova. It plays a limited series of 77 performances.

1983 Betty Comden makes its dramatic debut in Wendy Wassersteinis revised Isn’t it romanticwhich opens Off-Broadway to Playwrights’ horizons. The stars also include Christine Rose and Lisa Banes on the show about big city romance and career opportunities. The production was transferred to the Lucille Lortel Theater the following year, for a series of 733 performances.

1991 Nick and Noraa new musical with a book of Arthur Laurents (Gypsy) and a score of Charles Strouse (goodbye birdie) and Richard Maltby, Jr. (Miss Saigon), plays its last performance. It had only opened a week before, on December 8. The musical stars of great theatrical talents such as Joanna Gleason, Christine Baransky, Barry Bostwick, Debra Monkand prince of faith.

2004 disney and Cameron Mackintosh join forces to present a stage adaptation of the cinematic classic Mary Poppinswhich opens at the Prince Edward Theater in London. Laura Michelle Kelly plays the role of the magical nanny. Two years later, a Broadway production of the musical opened at the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway.

2014 The world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter Pocatello opens Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. Knight TR plays the role of manager of an Italian restaurant chain in a city that is slowly being paved with malls and franchises.

Today’s birthdays: Leonard Willey (1882-1964). Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959). Kermit Bloomgarden (1904-1976). Heath Lamberts (1941-2005). Julie Taymor (born in 1952).

Browse photos from the 1991 Broadway production of Nick and Nora:

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Take a look back at the original Nick & Nora photos

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