Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: June 17

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1943 George Marion, Jr. and Thomas “Fats” Waller’s Goes to bed early opens on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre. A musical about a brothel in Martinique that pretends to be a girls’ school as its cover, it runs for 380 performances.

1969 Oh! Calcutta! opens at the Eden Theater in New York. The adult-oriented revue boasts of a mostly nude cast performing skits by the likes of John Lennon, Samuel Beckettand Sam Shepard. While the production had a long and successful run, it was the 1976 revival that went down in the history books as one of the longest-running musicals of all time, with 5,969 performances.

1972 The tradition is broken like fiddler on the roof becomes the longest-running Broadway production, its 3,225 performances allowing it to exceed the previous record set by life with father. the Jerry BockSheldon HarnickJoseph Stein musical based on Sholem Aleichem stories of Tevye and her daughtersreportedly played at a loss for over a year in an attempt to break the long-term record and will soon close.

1980 After playing 12 performances at the Morosco Theater on Broadway, Billy Bishop goes to war transfers to Lys Theater from Off-Broadway. The musical, written and composed by Gray Jeans in collaboration with Eric Petersonwas inspired by the book winged warin which a young pilot named Billy Bishop recounts his service in the First World War.

1999 The audiences present at the New York Shakespeare Festivalfirst glimpse of The Taming of the Shrew featuring Allison Janney at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, also enjoy its $4.35 million renovation. Changes include stage traps, rebuilt catwalks under the seats for the actors, streamlined concession areas, new cedar siding, and new bleachers and seating.

2001 measure for measure, opens the Shakespeare in the Park season. Directed by Mary Zimmerman, it stars Billy Crudup, Sanaa Lathan, Joe Morton and John Pankow.

2008 Tony-nominated Michael Stuhlbarg plays title role in Shakespeare in the Park production Hamlet, which officially opens at the Delacorte Theater. Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis directs the production, which also features Sam Waterston as Polonius, Lauren Ambrose as Ophelia, Margaret Colin as Gertrude and Andre Braugher as Claudius.

2013 Carla Gugino and Peter Grosz star in Daniel Pearle’s LCT3 production A child like Jakedirected by Evan Cabnet, about a young boy passionate about Cinderella and playing dress up

2015 The world premiere of On your feet!, the musical based on the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, opens at Chicago’s Oriental Theater (now the James M. Nederlander Theater). Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra are the stars. The production moved to Broadway a few months later.

2018 The world premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury Fairview opens Off-Broadway in Soho Rep. Through the style of a naturalistic family drama, the play examines race in America and how we view and judge each other every day. It won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

2019 Michael R.Jackson A strange loop makes its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons. The musical – with a book and score by Jackson – follows Usher, a black, queer writer working a job he hates while writing his original musical: a play about a black, queer composer working a job he hates. hates while writing his original musical. It won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

More birthdays from today: Samy Fain (1902-1989); Ralph Bellamy (1904–1991); Virginia Martin (1927-2009); Barry Manilow (born in 1943); Mark LinnBaker (born in 1954); Phyllida Lloyd (born 1957); Tracie Bennett (born in 1961); Georgia Stitt (born 1972); John Gallagher Jr. (born in 1984).


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