Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: January 4

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1905 Shaky-voiced actor Sterling Holloway was born in Cedartown, Georgia. It becomes a Broadway staple The Garrick Gaieties periodicals of the 1920s and 1930s, and achieved a kind of immortality by providing the voice of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh in cartoons from the 1960s.

1924 future director George Abbott and actor Clara Blandick appear in Hatcher Hughes‘ hillbilly feud drama, Hell-Bent Iron Heavenwhich opened at the Klaw Theater and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

1934 Billie Burk produced the first The follies of Ziegfeld after the death of the founder Florenz Ziegfeld. The Ziegfeld Follies of 1934 Features Fanny Brice, Eve Arden, Friend Ebsen, Vilma Ebsen, Jeanne Froman, Eugene Howard, Willie Howardand the music of Duke of Vernon. It works in the winter garden.

1956 Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne are The Great Sebastians, a pair of fraudulent performers with an act of mind-reading. The comedy of Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse is staged by Bretaigne Windust at the ANTA performance hall.

1965 TS Eliot dies in London at the age of 77. He is credited with the revival of poetic drama after writing Murder in the Cathedral in 1935. He also wrote The cocktail, The family reunionand The confidential clerk. His collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Catsis the inspiration for the musical Cats.

1969 Adrienne Kennedy wrote two one-act acts titled Cities of Bezique at public theater. Joan Harris and Cynthia Belgrave are part of the cast led by Gerald Freeman.

1976 Yul Brynner stars in Home Sweet Homera musical based on the final chapters of The Odysseywith a score of Man from La Mancha composer Mitch Leigh. Despite the presence of The English Channel star Joan Dienerthe show ends on opening night.

nineteen eighty one Another one-off show opens and closes on Broadway: Frankensteinby Victor Gialanella. The cast includes John Carradine, David Dukes, John Glover and Dianne Wiest.

2004 Director Sam Mendeschoreographer Rob Marshalland former cast members attend the 2,378th and final Tony Award performance of 1998 Cabaret revival at Studio 54.

2014 Spider-Man quenches the darknessthe multimillion-dollar high-flying musical with music by bono and The edge, ends its Broadway run at the Foxwoods Theater after 1,066 performances. The production broke Broadway records for the longest preview run (182 performances) and for the most expensive musical (it cost $75 million). During its extended preview period, the original director Julie Taylor left the project, and the writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and director Philip Wm. McKinley were brought in to try and fix the show. Production members suffered numerous injuries during the run, including cast members Christopher Tierney and Daniel Curry.

More birthdays from today: Guillaume Bendix (1906-1964), Sorrell Booke (1930–1994), Dyan Canon (born in 1937), Jim Norton (born in 1938), Martin Vidnovic (born in 1948), Patrick Cassidy (born in 1962), Natascia Diaz (born in 1970), Dave Malloy (born in 1976), Clyde Alves (born in 1980).

Watch the highlights of Spider-Man quenches the darkness:


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