Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: October 10


1730 Birthday of Oliver Goldsmith, British author of She bends over to conquer.

1900 One of the most famous of all performing artists, Helene hayes, was born (as Helen Hayes Brown). She made her stage debut at the age of five and starred in Broadway hits like to the ladies, Victoria Regina, and Mary of Scotland. In 1958, she played in Eugene O’Neill‘s A touch of poet to what had once been the Fulton Theater but was recently called “The Helen Hayes Theater”. This theater was destroyed in 1982 to make way for the Marriott Marquis hotel. The former Little / Winthrop Ames Theater on West 44th Street is renamed Helen Hayes.

1927 Harry Ruby, Bert kalmar, and Guy Bolton open their musical The five o’clock girl at the 44th Street Theater. There are 280 performances left.

1927 Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward open their drama Porgy, about a crippled beggar who finds love. It serves as the basis for George gershwin and Ira Gershwinopera Porgy and Bess, opening precisely eight years later.

1927 Tamara Geva stars in the Gallic Broadway review Bat.

1930 British playwright’s birthday Harold Pinter, who is writing The Guardian, Treason, Birthday’s party, No Man’s Land, Back to home, and other plays.

1935 George and Ira Gershwin collaborate with DuBose Heyward on opera Porgy and Bess, which only presented 124 performances on Broadway, but continued its long life in covers, repertoire and film. Todd Duncan and Anne Wiggins Brown play the characters from the original title. In secondary roles are Ford L. Buck and John W. Bubbles, the former Vaudeville team of Buck and Bubbles.

1946 birthday of Ben vereen, featured in Broadway Reinette apple, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Grind, among other projects.

1947 Groundbreaking Musical Opens at the Majestic Theater: Allegro, through Richard rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Agnes of Mille stages the production, which features Lisa Kirk, John battles, and Roberta jonay. The most anticipated musical of the 1940s, Allegro sells 250,000 tickets and has $ 750,000 at the box office even before it opens. The sets are abstract and minimalist, the choir serves the same dramatic purpose as the Greek equivalent (commentary and performance), and a symphony orchestra provides much of the music. Using such non-traditional measures to achieve dramatic effect was not common for a Broadway show at the time, so the devices offered a rare outlet for less realistic and naturalistic theater. Although some critics think the work is unclear, several critics are mesmerized. Robert Coleman of the Daily Mirror states that “Perfection and great are not words to be used lightly … but Allegro is perfection, awesome. ”He also calls it an“ amazing blend of beauty, integrity, intelligence, imagination, taste and skill. ”By the name of Stephen Sondheim. That evening, at the opening, he met another ambitious young talent, Harold Prince, with whom he later creates Society, Follies, Sweeney todd, A little night music, and other shows.

1961 Composer Jerry Herman made his Broadway debut with the musical Milk and honey, located in Israel. It presented 543 performances and earned Herman his first Tony nomination. Before the end of the decade, he added Hello Dolly! and Mamé to his curriculum vitae.

1962 The Alley theater of Houston receives a grant of $ 2,100,000. This is the largest amount of money awarded by the Ford Foundation under its regional theaters grant program. The commitment is $ 6.1 million to nine different companies.

1965 Twelve days before she appeared on the cover of Life for doing it, Mary martin begins a 10-day tour of US military installations in Vietnam at Bien Hoa Air Base, performing with the tour company of Hello Dolly!, with herself in the title role. General William Westmoreland and South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky are in the audience.

1985 Yul brynner, the man who made the King of Siam famous in The king and me, died at the age of 65. Brynner’s work in the stage version of this show is known around the world, having racked up over 4,000 performances, starting in 1951 and not ending until June 1985, just two months before his death. Brynner has also appeared in films, including the 1956 film version of The king and me, Anastasia in 1956, and The Magnificent Seven in 1960.

1985 Orson Welles dies at the age of 70. Welles is remembered for his Oscar-winning work as a director, screenwriter, actor and producer, and especially for the 1941 classic, Citizen Kane, which some call the best film ever. Welles’ theatrical work included performing with the Mercury Theater and the Federal Theater Project, directing and performing in plays such as Dr Faustus and Julius Caesar. He also directed the 1956 production of King Lear in New York and first appeared in London in 1951, playing the main character in Othello.

1986 A revival of Pierre Augustin BeaumarchaisThe Marriage of Figaro, adapted and translated by Richard Nelson, opens on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theater. Andrei Serban leads a cast that includes Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christophe reeve, and Dana Ivey. The production lasts 77 performances before ending on December 15.

1996 Ten years after the opening of the Broadway revival of The Marriage of Figaro, Dana Ivey shares the spotlight with Sigourney weaver in Christophe Durangbroadway play Sex and nostalgia, which opens at the Cort Theater under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater. Critics react with disgust to the black comedy in which a woman has her hands dismembered. The production plays its limited series of 45 performances.

2002 Opening night for Off-Broadway’s The exempt, written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, taken from interviews with 40 former death row inmates who were later found not guilty and released. It organizes 608 performances and tours.

2002 The first performance of An unimportant man, a musical by Lynn ahrens and Stephen flaherty, whose previous work includes Ragtime and Seussic. Roger Rees plays bus driver and amateur theater director Alfie Byrne, opposite Faith Prince, Jessica Molaskey and Steven Pasquale. The show ends its limited airing until the end of the year at the Lincoln Center Theater and receives a recording from the cast.

2003 Goodspeed musicals revives A tree grows in Brooklyn, the rare 1951 Dorothée ChampsArthur schwartz musical based on the Betty smith romance and life in the working class, with the Georges abbott and director-edited Betty Smith libretto Elinor Renfield. Two songs are added to the score: “Tuscaloosa” (from the show before it came to Broadway) and “I’m Proud of You” (a main song by Schwartz-Fields).

2013 Randy Johnson‘s A night with Janis Joplin, featuring Mary bridget davies as a deceased rock singer, opens on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater. It presented 140 performances and earned Davies a Tony nomination.

2016 Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney bring their alter egos, 70-year-old native New Yorkers Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, to Broadway in Oh hi at the Lycée Theater. The comedy is set for a limited engagement of 120 performances.

More birthdays today: Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). Duke of Vernon (1903-1969). Daniel Massey (1933-1998). Gary Beach (1947-2018). Victoria clark (born 1959). Julia sweeney (born 1961). Jodi benson (born 1961). Jeffrey Kuhn (born 1969). Dan Stevens (born 1982).

Watch Highlights from the 2016 Broadway Production Oh hi:

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