Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: June 12



1961 American ideals and practices are put to the test The red eye of love opens at the Living Theater in New York. The satire of Arnold Weinstein lasts 169 performances.

1967 Michael Langham is directing his final season as Artistic Director of Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival. His latest production with the Festival is a new staging of Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra.

1970 Parliamentary history is made as Sir Laurence Olivier becomes the first actor to sit in the British House of Lords when he is made a life peer. At the time, he played Shylock in a National Theater production of The merchant of Venice.

nineteen eighty one Sam Bobrick and Ron Clarkthe comedy Wally’s Cafe opens on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, where it runs for 12 performances. James Coco and Rita Moreno star as a couple from New Jersey who open a roadside cafe in the California desert, with Sally Struther as an aspiring actor who is hired as a waitress.

1996 The world of pornography enters the theater with Ronnie Larsen do porn plays at the Actor’s Playhouse. The erotic comedy-drama, in which a straight man becomes a pornstar in the gay adult video industry, stars Rex Chandler. Larsen also directs and co-stars in the production, which has 395 performances.

1998 The Jello is always reda musical review of songs and sketches by Clark Gesnerwho created You are a good man, Charlie Brownplays Off-Broadway at York Theater Company. James Morgan directs the production with Celia Gentry, Neal Young and Gesner himself.

2012 The world premiere of Gina Gionfriddo Rapture, Blister, Burn opens Off-Broadway at Playwrights’ horizons. Amy Brenneman, Beth Dixon, Virginia Kull, Kellie Overbey, and Lee Tergesen star in the comedy-drama about the fallout of the choices made by two women of the generation that followed the modern women’s movement. The play was nominated as a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

2017 A wanted woman embarks on an epic adventure through the Wild West in Kirsten Childs‘ new musical Bella: An American Taleopening at Playwrights Horizons. Robert O’Hara leads a cast that includes Ashley D Kelley, Kenita R. Miller, Paolo Montalbanand Natasha Yvette Williams.

2018 The world premiere of Mike Lew teen cock begins previewing at the Public Theater Off-Broadway in a production by Ma-Yi Theater Company. The reinvention of Richard III featured Gregg Mozgala, a 16-year-old underdog in the winter of his deepest discontent: his freshman year. Chosen because of his cerebral palsy (as well as his sometimes frightening Shakespearean way of speaking), Richard is determined to get revenge and make a name for himself by becoming senior class president. The cast also includes Marinda Anderson, Alex Breaux, Shannon DeVido, Sasha Diamond and Tiffany Villarin.

Today’s birthdays: E. Ray Goetz (1886-1954). Claudia Morgan (1911-1974). Uta Hagen (1919–2004). Richard M. Sherman (born in 1928). Lorraine Serabian (born in 1945).

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