Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: May 9

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1860 Birthday of James M. Barrie, British author and playwright whose creations include What every woman knows, the little minister, the admirable Crichtonand the work that makes him immortal, Peter Pan.

1921 Robert Atkins conducts william shakespeareit is Pericles for Lilian Baylis at the Old Vic Theater in London. This continues the cycle that began in 1914 and ends in 1923, when the Bard’s 37 works were performed.

1940 Laurence Olivier produces, designs, directs and acts in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway at the 51st Street Theatre. Playing Juliet in Olivier’s Romeo is his fiancée, Vivien Leigh.

1956 In The house by the lake lives a woman who was saved from suicide by her husband years before thanks to hypnosis. Now he plans to trick her into committing the act, again through hypnosis. Hugh Mills‘thriller draws audiences for 928 performances at the Duke of York’s Theater in London.

1972 The children’s classic The School Years of Tom Brown is adapted by Joan and Jack Maitland with a score by Chris Andrews. Adam Walton and Roy Dotrice are in the cast of the Cambridge Theater in London.

1978 Don’t misbehavea review based on the music of fat wallopens at the Longacre Theater on Broadway. Nell Carter, Ken Page, Charlaine Woodardand Andre DeShields are in the cast. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and ran for 1,604 performances.

1982 May ninth, Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston open their musical Nine at the 46th Street Theater on Broadway. Tommy Tune leads a cast that includes Raul Julia and a large number of women, including Karen Akers, Anita Morris and Liliane Montevecchi. The musical was inspired by the film 8 1/2 by Federico Fellini. Less than a month later, it won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

1994 Stephen Sondheim and James Rabbitis a musical about obsessive love, Passion, opens on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre. Based on the 1981 film passion of loveit stars Marin Mazzie, Jere Sheaand Donna Murphy under the direction of Rabbit. It organized 280 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

2005 Broadway theaters long known as Plymouth and Royale are renowned by the Shubert organization in honor of longtime leaders Gerald Schoenfeld and the end Bernard B. Jacobs.

2007 Audra McDonald and Steve Kazee star as bachelor Lizzie Curry and con man Bill Starbuck in this first Broadway revival 110 in the shade since its main inception in 1963. Based on the game The rainmaker by N. Richard Nash, the musical features a book by Nash with lyrics and by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.

2011 Lynn Nottage By the way, meet Vera Starkabout an African-American housekeeper and her white movie star employer in Hollywood’s Golden Age, opens Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theater. The world stars of production Sanaa Lathan as the main character, with Stephanie J. Block like his boss.

2012 top hata stage version of the 1935 film of the same name with music and lyrics by IrvingBerlin, opens at the Aldwych Theater in the West End. The production, which stars Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen in roles originated in the film by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogerswon the 2013 Olivier Award for Best Musical.

2019 The MCC Theater Celebrates the Opening of Aziza Barnes’ Off-Broadway Premiere BLKS. Robert O’Hara directs the new comedy, which follows a trio of women in their twenties searching for intimacy and purpose in New York City. Leading the cast are Paige Gilbert, Alfie Fuller and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy.

More birthdays today Leonard Sillman (1908-1982). Fay Kanine (1917-2013). Alan Bennett (born in 1934). Albert Finney (1936-2019). Glenda Jackson (born in 1936). Candice Bergen (born in 1946). Justin Vivian Bond (born in 1963). Christopher Shinn (born in 1975). Grace Gummer (born in 1986).

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A look back at Liliane Montevecchi and the cast of Nine on Broadway


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