Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: July 12

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1895 Birthday of Oscar Hammerstein II, scion of a notable theatrical family who became its most famous and honored member as a lyricist and librettist. Hammerstein enjoys a great career as a lyricist for composer Jerome Kern on numerous musicals and operettas, including Show boat. After a series of flops in the 1930s and Kern’s death in the early 1940s, Hammerstein embarked on a second career, and one of the greatest partnerships in American musical theater history, with composer Richard Rodgers. . Hammerstein writes the lyrics to classics, including Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and Iand the sound of music, among others. He also serves as a mentor to a friend of his children, whom he recruits as a go-fer on his 1947 musical. allegro. The young man who decides to follow in the footsteps of Hammerstein? Stephen Sondheim.

1984 the Roundabout Theater Company revive Guillaume Ingeit’s Come back, little Sheba in its Off-Broadway theatre. Philip Bosco, Mia Dillon, Shirley Knightand Steven Weber are part of the cast made by Paul Weidner. The production marks the first major revival of the play in over 30 years.

1993 Andrew Lloyd Webberthe new musical sunset boulevard has its world premiere in London with Patti LuPone.

1995 something wonderfula one-night-only 100th birthday tribute to Oscar Hammerstein II, sold out at the Gershwin Theater with performances by Michael Bell, Liz Callaway, Rebecca Luker, audra mcdonaldand Maureen McGovern.

2000 Charles Nelson Reilly celebrates 50 years in showbiz with Save it for the Stage: The Life of Reilly, opening at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California. The autobiographical solo show, directed by Paul Linke, looks back on the life of the ascot-adorned actor, from his fourth-grade portrayal of Christopher Columbus to his Tony Award-winning turn in the original production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in his television appearances Matching game.

2001 The revival of The Roundabout Theater Company George Bernard Shawit’s classic Major Barbara opens on Broadway at the American Airlines Theater. Cherry Jones stars as the good Salvation Army major who must wrestle with her heritage as the daughter of a cheerfully evil (and infuriating) Victorian industrialist.

2012 As part of his world tour, Fela! returns to Broadway for a month-long run at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. The musical which explores the life of a Nigerian musician and political figure Fela Anikulapo-Kuti previously performed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater on Broadway for 463 performances from 2009 to 2011.

2013 Steala new musical based on JM Barrie Peter Pan, officially opens at the Dallas Theater Center. Tony Award-winning producer Jeffrey Seller makes his directorial debut, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and Tony Award-winning music In the heights orchestrator/arranger Bill Sherman, book by Rajiv Joseph and lyrics by Joseph and Kirsten Childs.
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2016 Musical comedy Motown returns to Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. The production was originally seen on Broadway in 2013, where it ran at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater for 738 performances.

2016 Ektor Rivera makes his Broadway debut as Emilio Estefan in On your feet!.

2018 Second Stage Theater celebrates the official opening of Marie Page Marlowe, the new play by Tony Award-winning playwright and actress Tracy Letts which reconstructs the portrait of a woman from 11 key moments of her life, told in chronological order and interpreted by six different actors: Blair Brown, Emma Geer, Tatiana Maslany, Susan Pourfar, Mia Sinclair Jenness and Kellie Overbey. Lila Neugebauer directs.

More birthdays from today: Milton Berle (1908-2002). Joey Fay (1909–1997). John Lahr (born in 1941). Jamey Sheridan (born in 1951). Cheyenne Jackson (born in 1975). Anna Friel (born in 1976). Alison Wright (born in 1976).

Watch Jonathan Groff and Laura Osnes sing a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs:


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