1900 Opening night of the legendary musical Floradora at the Casino Theater for a run of 553 performances – the first major success of the 20th century. The production for Florodora’s sextet is best remembered in the song “Tell Me, Pretty Maiden”. The chorus line of beautiful women has become a staple of Broadway musicals.
1925 Birthday of Richard Burton, who starred in Hamlet, The lady is not to be burnedand Private life on Broadway, but perhaps especially as King Arthur in the musical Camelotand in the film version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in front of his then wife Elizabeth Taylor.
1964 Critics want a lot more Something more!, a musical that ran for only 15 performances at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. What they get is a welcome Barbara Cook but a seemingly undistinguished spectacle by the composer Samy Fainlyricists Alan Bergman and marilyn bergmanand librettist Nate Monastery. Jule Styne directed.
1965 Long before Driving Miss Daisy came the play with Broadway music, The Zulus and the Zaydas, whose plot – according to Best Plays annual – can be summed up as follows: “the family of a dashing Jewish grandfather hires a Zulu as a companion for him”. The show, featuring Menasha Skulnik, Ossie Davisand Louis Gosset, Jr., was scheduled to open Nov. 9, but the East Coast blackout postponed the opening by 24 hours. Mild reviews and Skulnik’s enduring appeal from its Yiddish theater days bring the show to 179 performances.
1970 Danny Kaye like Noah? It worked for Richard Rodgers and Martin Charninincluding the musical story of Noah’s Ark, Two by two, begins a ten-month run. The production is remembered for Kaye’s increasingly wild improvisations and ad-libs, which were barely affected by a broken leg that caused him to play the role in a wheelchair.
1985 The first day of pre-sale of tickets for the December 5 opening of Sam Shepardit is A lie of the mind sets a new one-day mark for Off-Broadway of $41,210. The star-studded cast includes Harvey Keitel, Geraldine Page and Amanda Plummer.
nineteen eighty one Oh brother!, Michael Valentiis a musical based on comedy of errors, moves Shakespeare’s mistaken identity story into revolutionary Iran. The taking of American hostages during its prep period does little to add to its appeal, and it ends after only three performances, despite the presence of Judy Kaye, David Carroll, Harry Gronerand Richard B. Shull. The cast album inspires modest fan worship.
1993 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice Joseph and the Incredible Technicolor Dream Coat opens on Broadway in its first revival production, a transfer of Steven Pimlott’s hit West End staging that included a full children’s choir on stage. Michael Damian and Kelli Rabke lead the cast as Joseph and the narrator.
1997 An array of wonderful props and puppets do not help the Gip Hoppe satire, Jackie, draws the crowd. The carnivalesque look at the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has 128 performances at the Belasco Theater.
2004 The Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera plays its 7,000th performance.
2011 Hugh Jackman returns to The Great White Way in his musical evening, Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, opening at the Broadhurst Theatre. During the limited run, Jackman broke records both at the box office and for money raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. In recognition of his “contributions to the Broadway community, both as a performer and humanitarian; his tireless dedication to charities of all kinds; and his personal generosity of spirit”, Jackman received a special Tony Award in 2012 .
2013 Shakespeare’s Globethe all-male productions of twelfth night and Richard III opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre. Directed by Tim Carrollthe star plays Marc Rylance, Stephen Fry, and Samuel Barnett. Rylance receives a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the title role of Richard IIIand wins for her performance as Olivia in twelfth night.
2019 The world premiere of The Transport Group and Public Theater Broadbend, Arkansas opens at the Duke on 42nd Street. With Justin Cunningham (When they see us) and Daniel Fulton (Jasper in Deadland), the musical traces three generations of an African-American family struggling with inequality, violence and repression in the South.
More birthdays from today: Maude Turner Gordon (1868-1940). Claude Rains (1889-1967). Roy Scheider (1932-2008). Marilyn Bergman (born in 1929). Claire Higgins (born in 1955). Jeanine Tesori (born in 1961). Jennifer Cody (born in 1969). Derrick Baskin (born in 1975). Andy Mientus (born in 1986).