Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: October 17


1888 Operetta WS Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan Broadway Premiere The Yeomen of the Guard.

1915 Arthur miller was born in New York. The multiple winner of Tony and Pulitzer becomes one of America’s greatest post-war dramatists, with dramas like All my sons, The crucible, and his magnum opus Death of a salesman, who look deep into the soul of the nation.

1946 Mega-producer is born in Scotland Cameron Mackintosh including four major international hits, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, and Cats make him the richest and most successful director of all time.

1951 Walter kerr‘s first day as a “guest reviewer” at the Herald-Tribune. He ended up staying 15 years, leaving only because of the disappearance of the newspaper. In his first review, he classifies the program A prisoner’s sleep through Christophe fry as “vigorous, dignified and overly intellectualized”. Kerr is best known for his work at The New York Times, which he joined in 1966. The Ritz Theater was renamed in his honor in 1990.

1954 The birth of Susan stroman, which dominated Broadway at the turn of the 21st century with productions including The Producers, Contact, Crazy of you, and Show boat, placing her at the forefront of her generation of choreographers-directors.

1960 Jerry Bock and Sheldon harnick follow their Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Fiorello! with Net, opening at 46th Street Theater for a run of 216 performances. Maurice evans Play as Reverend Brock, a preacher determined to rid 1890s New York City of its red light district. The sheet music includes the song “Artificial Flowers”, which became a popular hit when recorded by Bobby Darrin.

1965 Barbara harris and John cullum star in reincarnation musical On a clear day you can see forever, with the music of Burton Street and words of Alan jay lerner. A revised version of the musical, starring Harry Connick, Jr., David Turner, and Jessie mueller, opens on Broadway in 2011.

1966 The MaMa Experimental Theater Company hit the headlines when the artistic director Ellen stewart threatens to close the theater because of Association for stakeholder equityrefusal to allow its actors to work below the scale. His 74-seat theater prevents his company from making enough money to pay its actors the minimum wage demanded by Equity. After a month, Equity concedes and allows its actors to work below the scale.

1973 Preparations for a family’s wedding are the subject of David floorthe game The contractor, which opens at the Chelsea Manhattan Theater. Joseph maher is in the cast, with Reid shelton and Lynn Ann Leveridge. The show has 72 performances.

1982 A revival of Sam shepard‘s True West opens at the Cherry Lane Theater. Gary Sinise directs and performs in the show, which features 762 performances. The co-stars are John malkovich, Sam schacht, and Margaret Thomson. Although the original Public Theater production in 1980 was repudiated by its author, he says he appreciates the new version, as do critics and viewers, who come to regard the mount as a landmark. True West finally reached Broadway in 2000, with Philippe Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly alternate roles at Circle in the Square.

1999 “Hello my little possums!” is the rallying cry on Broadway Lady Edna Everage (aka Barry Humphries) opens The royal tour on Broadway. Dame Edna charms American audiences in her talk show performance in which she uses her wit and presence to rant and lecture on just about anything. The show performs 297 performances.

2001 Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s By Jeeve begins Broadway premieres — 26 years after debuting under the title Jeeves in London. The musical is 10 weeks long, Lloyd Webber’s shortest on Broadway.

2002 A revival of Richard rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II‘s Flower Drum Song opens on Broadway, featuring a new book from the Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang, which addresses what he calls long-standing ethnic sensitivities about the show. Hwang says he tried to write the libretto Hammerstein would have written if he had been an Asian American.

2003 Janice rule, who played pretty sister Madge on Broadway Picnic, facing a young Paul newman in the early 1950s, died at her home in Manhattan at the age of 72. Rule’s Broadway credits included Diana’s role in The happiest girl in the world (1961), a musical version of Lysistrata; The night circus (1958); Clifford odetsBlooming peach (1954); and the Irving Berlin musical, Miss Liberty (1949).

2012 Future Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots opens its engagement as a world premiere at the Bank of America Theater in Chicago. With music and lyrics by Cyndi lauper and a book of Harvey Fierstein, production began on Broadway the following April.

2013 Roger rees stars in the Roundabout theater companythe rebirth of Terence rattiganthe classic drama of family loyalty, The boy Winslow, opening at the American Airlines Theater. Lindsay posner runs a cast that also includes Michael cumpsty, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Alexander Nivola.

2018 A Gender Revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Musical Society opens at the Gielgud Theater in London. Rosalie Craig plays the central role of Bobbie (single Bobby in previous productions), a single woman who is celebrating her 35th birthday with her married friends. Director Marianne Elliott worked with Sondheim on the revisions, which also include the change of flight attendant April to Andy, and cold-footed bride Amy to cold-footed groom Jamie. Patti LuPone (Joanne) and Jonathan Bailey (Jamie) both win Olivier Awards for their performances, and the production wins the award for best musical cover.

More birthdays today: Jean-Arthur (1900-1991). Irene Ryan (1902-1973). Montgomery Clift (1920-1966). Tom poston (1921-2007). Mary bryant (1932-2004). Weeping Gretchen (born in 1935). Michael McKean (born 1947). Patti cohenour (born 1952). Rob marshall (born in 1960). David Cromer (born 1964). Tarell Alvin McCraney (born 1980).

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