Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: February 18

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1859 Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz was born in Ukraine. Under the pseudonym Sholem Aleichem, he wrote many stories in Yiddish, several of which were adapted for the stage, including fiddler on the roof.

1915 Flower Seeley, Nora Bayes, and Joe Jackson are Maid in America. Music for the war-focused show is provided by Sigmund Romberg and Harry Carroll.

1930 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart collaborate with comedian Ed Wynn on a musical vehicle called simple simon, which staged 135 performances at the Ziegfeld Theater. The sheet music includes “Ten Cents a Dance”.

1948 Mr Roberts, Thomas HegenThe portrait of life aboard a WWII military ship opens a series of 1,157 performances, featuring Henry Fonda and david wayne. It won the 1948 Tony Award for Best Play.

1954 Audrey Hepburn stars with husband Mel Ferrier in the medieval novel Undine, directed by Alfred Lunt. It organizes 157 performances at the 46th Street Theater.

1964 It is Any Wednesday or one of 982 Days the Comedy Happens at the Music Box Theater. Don Porter plays the role of a pompous businessman balancing a wife and a mistress. Sandy Dennis, Rosemary Murphy, and Hackman Gene are in the cast.

1982 Ed Graczykit is Come back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean opens at the Martin Beck Theatre. Robert Altman direct the stars Sandy Dennis, Dear, Karen Black, Kathy Bates, Marta Heflin, and Sudie Bond for the production, which has 52 performances.

1999 The Mineola Twins opens at Roundabout Theater CompanyOff-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre. Paula Vogel, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for How I learned to drive, wrote the piece which features Swoosie Kurtz as identical twins Myrna and Myra. Joe Mantello steps.

2003 Off Broadway Playwrights’ horizons christens its new $27 million main stage on West 42nd Street with the first preview of My life with Albertine, the musical adaptation of Proust’s Ricky Ian Gordon and Richard Nelson Remembrance of things past.

2016 After an acclaimed Off-Broadway tour the previous fall, Stephen Karam’s family drama Humans opens on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The production ran for 365 performances and won four Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play (Reed Birney), and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Jayne Houdyshell).

2019 After opening on Broadway in 2017, Come from afar made its way to London, opening in the West End.

2020 Alice Birch’s Anatomy of a Suicide makes its US premiere, premiering at the Atlantic Theater Company. The Susam Smith Blackburn Award-winning play explores mothers and daughters across three generations, as their lives unfold simultaneously on stage.

More birthdays from today: Billy DeWolfe (1907-1974). Jack Palance (1920–2006). Marie Ure (1933-1975). Sinead Cusack (born in 1948). John Travolta (born in 1954). Jayne Atkinson (born in 1959). Matt Dillon (born in 1964). Molly Ringwald (born in 1968). Christopher Siber (born in 1969). Susan Egan (born in 1970). Rupert Goold (born in 1972).


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