1899 “I’d rather play Ibsen than eat – and that’s often what it comes down to,” said Eva Le Gallienne, born today in London. Her determination and drive led her to make her stage debut in Monna Vanna at the Queen’s Theater in London in 1914; his Broadway debut came a year later in comedy Mrs. Boltay’s Daughters. She appeared in countless shows, and in 1937 played Hamlet with Uta Hagen as Ophelia. In 1926 she founded the Civic Repertory Theater with the motto “The theater should be an instrument for giving, not a machine for getting”.
1927 Opening night of the musical porcineby Lew Brown and friend of the cliffgame based The rich Mr. Hoggenheimer. The show takes place at the Royale Theater and is one of the few musicals in history to have decided to change its title after opening night. The new nickname: I told you.
1976 Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman Pacific Openings opens at the Winter Garden Theatre. The musical uses Kabuki-like staging and elements of oriental music. Harold Prince directs an Asian-American cast.
1996 Frank Langella stars in The father at the Criterion Center Stage Right. Adapted by Richard Nelson from the Swedish play of the same name by August Strindberg in 1887.
2000 The Belasco Theater on Broadway hosts the transfer of The Deaths of James Joyce of Off-Broadway. The musical has a book of Richard Nelson (who wins a Tony for it), music by Shaun Davey, and lyrics adapted by Nelson and Davey. Featured in the cast are Christopher Walken, Blair Brown, Emily Skinner, Alice Ripleyand Stephen Spinel.
2009 Tom O’Horganthe Drama Desk Award-winning and Tony-nominated director who brought a downtown ethos to his Broadway projects, including the original Broadway productions of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstardies at 84.
2016 David Margulies, an actor who successfully transitioned from stage to TV to film with memorable portrayals of tormented ethnic characters, dies at 78. Margulies made 13 Broadway appearances from The ice cream man is coming in 1973 at wonderful city in 2003.
2018 Tony and Emmy winner John Lithgow opens solo exhibition, stories by heart, at the American Airlines theater on the roundabout. In two acts, the performer traces his roots as a storyteller, working through classic short stories by PG Wodehouse and Ring Lardner that were read to him as a child.
More birthdays from today: Hamtree Harrington (1886–1954), Eva Le Gallienne (1899-1991), Alain Patton (1903-1988), Ruth Goetz (1912–2001), Dorothy Jeakins (1914–1995), Ed Hall (1931–1991) Mary Rodgers (1931-2014), Joel Zwick (born in 1942), Alyson Reed (born in 1958), Sharon Catherine Brown (born in 1962), Max von Essen (born in 1974), Tamika Lawrence (born in 1987)
Browse photos of Max von Essen’s stage appearances: