Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: December 24

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1904 Lillian Russellaka Diamond Lil, stars in Lady Teazlea musical based on The school of scandal. John Kendrick Bangs and Roderic C. Penfield provide the music to a score by A. Baldwin Sloane. The 86 singers fill the theater for only 57 performances.

1914 The lie by Henry Arthur Jones opens at the Harris Theater in New York, where it runs for 172 performances. The cast includes C. Aubrey Smith and Margaret Illington.

1917 You get the Living room, bedroom and bathroom at the Theater de la Republique. The comedy of CW bell and Mark E. Swan short for 232 performances. Inhabit the rooms are Helen Menken, Francine Larrimoreand May Vallen. The show becomes a cinematic vehicle – a walkie-talkie – for Buster Keaton.

1950 Jose Ferrer and Gloria Swanson star in the first Broadway revival of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthurthe comedy Twentieth century. Originally advertised as a limited two-week engagement at the ANTA Playhouse, it was quickly moved to a commercial run at the Fulton Theater where it ran for an additional six months.

1962 british actor Jean Forbes Robertson dies at the age of 57. She appeared in Berkeley Squareas a leader in Peter Panand in Time and the Conways.

2000 Victor Borge dies at 91. Borge was a comedy legend who acted nearly his entire life. His one-man show on Broadway, musical comedyran for 849 performances and was Borge’s biggest American break.

2001 Boldly go where he’s been three times before, star trek star patrick stuart returns to Broadway with his solo performance of Charles DickensA Christmas Carol.

2008 Harold Pinterthe former British actor who tried his hand at writing in the 1950s to become one of the most prominent and influential playwrights of the second half of the 20th century, dies at 78. The winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature, his plays included Birthday’s party, The Guardian, Back to homeand Treason.

2012 Jack Klugmanwho brought a simple, down-to-earth quality to many roles over a long career, and rose to fame as the television incarnation of neil simonis Oscar Madison in The odd coupledies at age 90. Klugman was Tony nominated for his performance as Herbie in the original production of Gypsy. His other Broadway credits included productions of The odd couple, I am not Rappaportand The boys of the sun.

Today’s birthdays: Harry Warren (1893-1981). Brooke Johns (1893-1987). Carol Haney (1924-1964). Norman Allen (born in 1939). Jeremy Davidson (born in 1971). Ricky Martin (born in 1971). Daniel N. Durant (born 1989).

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Evita on Broadway with Elena Roger, Ricky Martin and more in 2012

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