Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: February 11

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In 1997, Whoopi Goldberg reprized the role of Pseudolus in A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.

1901 A man marries his bride Quiet because his parents want him to finish Yale. Playwright Augustus Thomas based the comedy on a real incident. It is filming at the Madison Square Theater in New York.

1921 the The Ambassador Theater opens on West 49th Street in New York with the musical The girl with the roses by William Carey Duncan. Architect Herbert J. Krapp maximizes the use of space by designing the stage to run diagonally through space. It is the first of six theaters built by the Shuberts on 48th and 49th streets.

1929 Eugene O’Neill addresses industrialization in his drama Dynamofeaturing Claudette Colbert and Dudley Digges. Presented by The Theater Guildit tours the Martin Beck Theater for 50 performances.

1958 John Osborne and Anthony Creighton write a Epitaph for George Dillon at the Royal Court Theater in London. Robert Stephens is Dillon, a failed playwright who feels sorry for himself in search of an audience.

1960 Jack Richardsonit’s the prodigal opened Off-Broadway at the Downtown Theater and toured there for several months.

1979 They play our song opens on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre. The musical, with a book by neil simonis based on the life of the composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Carole Bayer Sayer.

1997 Whoopi Goldberg reprized the role of Pseudolus in Jerry Zaks-the directed revival of Stephen Sondheim, Burt Sheveloveand Larry Gelbartit’s A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The role was played by Zero Mostel in the original 1962 production and Nathan Lane in revival.

2002 A Broadway Who’s Who converges on the Minskoff Theater to salute the revered late theater guru Lee Strasberg and baptize a new award in his name. Among those present at the event: F. Murray Abraham, Brian StokesMitchell, Al Pacino, Marlo Thomas, Ellen Burstyn, Celeste Holmand Patrick Wilson.

2004 The end Christopher Plumer begins performances of King Lear at the Vivan Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. The performance earned him a Tony nomination.

2012 2 p.m. morning The Phantom of the Opera marks the 10,000th performance of the Broadway production. The curtain call celebration includes a note from director Harold Prince read by Phantom-at-the-time Hugues Panaro and congratulations from the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer Cameron Mackintosh per video stream.

Today’s birthdays: Fred Saidy (1907-1982). Sidney Sheldon (1917–2007). Eva Gabor (1921–1995). Kim Stanley (1925–2001). Tina Louise (born in 1935). Philippe Anglim (born in 1953). Damian Lewis (born in 1971). Brandy Norwood (born in 1979). Curtis Holbrook (born in 1982).

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See Brandy Norwood’s return to Broadway in Chicago


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