Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: May 2

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1887 Birthday of Vernon Castle who, along with his wife and dance partner Irene Castle, redefines not only what dance stood for on Broadway, but the kind of music used for that dance. It is featured in About the town, The girl behind the counter, The summer widowers, and hen peaks before being killed at the front during the First World War.

1895 Birthday of Lorenz Hart, sparkling Broadway lyricist whose most famous collaboration, with Richard Rodgersproduct Girls in arms, Friend Joey, on your toes, A Connecticut Yankee, The Boys of Syracuse, By Jupiterand other witty musicals of the 1920s-1930s.

1916 Commemorating the tercentenary of william shakespearethe company of the Memorial Theater of Stratford-upon-Avon presents a special morning of Julius Caesar at the Drury Lane Theater in London. Society members include Frank Benson, Gladys Cooper, Ben salutesand Ellen Terry.

1930 Playwright Bernard Sladewho is writing Tribute and Same time, next yearwas born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

1957 Your Franchot and Wendy Hillier reflect A Moon for the Wicked at the Bijou Theater in New York. Carmen Capalbo stages the Eugene O’Neill drama that has only 68 performances.

1977 Yul Brynner returns to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The king and me. The Revival plays at the Uris Theater for 696 performances. Towers of Constance Anna plays.

1984 Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine pass Sunday in the park with George as their new musical opens on Broadway at the Booth Theatre. The show, which brings Georges Seurat’s famous painting to life, features Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. It organized 604 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize for theatre.

2000 Manhattan Drama Clubthe staging of Evidence, by David Aubrunbegins Off-Broadway performances. Larry Brygman, Johanna day, Ben Shenkmanand Marie-Louise Parker star in the later-running play, transfers to the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway, and wins newcomer Auburn the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

2001 It’s a Publicist’s Dream: A Lush Musical Comedy Revival 42nd street opens on the revitalized 42nd Street (at the Ford Center) and wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

2003 First Off-Broadway performance at Playwrights’ horizons for Doug Wrightit’s playing I am my own wifewhich moved to Broadway and won both the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play.

2004 Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner Caroline or Change opens at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neil after its successful world premiere at Off-Broadway’s Public Theater. Tonya Pinkins plays the title role in this George C. Wolfe-directed musical, which would go on to win Anika Noni Rose’s Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role.

2005 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opens on Broadway after a long climb from Off-Off-Broadway to regional theater at Off-Broadway. The musical, with a score by William Finnwon the Tony Awards for Best Book (Rachel Sheinkins) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Foger).

2010 Lynn Redgrave, member of the legendary clan of English actors, dies at 67. Redgrave made his professional debut in 1962, as part of the cast of Dream of a summer night at the Royal Court Theatre. His many Broadway credits included Black Comedy / White Lies, my fat friend, Mrs. Warren’s occupation, Knock Knock, Saint Joan, Aren’t we all?, sweet sue, love letters, A small hotel on the side, The master builderShakespeare for my father, Moon Over Buffaloand The constant woman.

More birthdays from today: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927). Tyrone Power, Sr. (1869-1931). Hedda Hopper (1885-1966). Brian Aherne (1902-1986). Theodore Bikel (1924-2015). Roscoe Lee Browne (1922-2007). David Suchet (born in 1946). Christine Baransky (born in 1952). Stephane Daldry (born in 1960). Michel Grandage (born in 1962). Kate Baldwin (born in 1975).

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Return to the original production of Caroline on Broadway, or change


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