Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: October 2

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1890 Julius Henry Marx was born in New York. Under the nickname “Groucho”, he and his brothers form one of the most enduring comedy acts of all time, The Marx Brothers, moving from vaudeville to Broadway, and later recreating their Broadway hits in movies, including Coconuts and Animal Crackers.

1893 Brandon Thomas’ farce Charley’s aunt Broadway premieres at the Standard Theater. It was then repeated on Broadway five times – in 1906, 1925, 1940, 1953 and 1970 – and served as the basis for the Frank Loesser and George Abbott musical in 1948. Where is Charlie ?

1896 birthday of Bud abbott, the “right” half of the Abbott and Costello comedy crew. They appear together in a Broadway musical, Streets of paris, in 1939, but the team used burlesque as a route to cinematic glory.

1933 Ah, the desert!, a rare comedy by Eugene O’Neill, opens on Broadway at the Guild Theater. Featuring George M. Cohan like Nat Miller, it lasts 35 weeks.

1953 Comedy to music, Victor Borge’s solo review of jokes and piano virtuosity, opens on Broadway and has 849 performances, still a record for a solo musical review.

1958 Eugene O’Neill is the posthumous toast of Broadway as his A touch of poet opens at the Helen Hayes Theater. The casting, directed by Harold clurman, features Kim Stanley and Helen Hayes, playing mother and daughter. Brooks Atkinson calls the two ladies “the two best actresses of their respective generations”. The play, about a 19th-century Irish family living in New England, has 284 performances.

nineteen eighty one John raitt and Rosemary Yorba are married. The two got engaged in 1940, but since their families disapproved, they have continued to marry others. Today, they are finally together.

1994 The elaborate Harold Prince rebirth of Show boat opens at the Gershwin Theater. Elaine stitch, Rebecca Luker, and Marc Jacoby Star.

1996 The Therese Rebeck adaptation of Eugene Ionesco‘s Rhinoceros gets an Off-Broadway rebirth at the Theater Four. Directed by Michael Murray, this is the first major revival since the original Broadway production in 1961.

2001 award-winning musical by Richard Rodgers Production The Spitfire grill opens Off-Broadway. With music and a book by James Valcq, the show’s cast album is dedicated to the memory of lyricist / co-librettist Fred Alley, who died suddenly as the show prepared for its first reading.

2003 Home hunter and Kerry Butler featured in a Broadway production of Alain menken and Howard ashmanis musical Little shop of horrors, which operated for several years off-Broadway in the 1980s, but is only now making its Broadway debut. The production lasts 10 months at the Virginia Theater.

2008 Kristin scott thomas stars in a Broadway cover of Anton Chekhov‘s The Seagull. Thomas recreates his portrayal of Arkadina which won him an Olivier Award when the production originated in Royal Court Theater in London. The cast also includes Peter Sarsgaard like Trigorin, Mackenzie crook like Konstantin, and Carey mulligan like Nina. Ian rickson directed Christophe hamptonThe new translation of the drama about a master actor and the writers and artists who meet in his summer house.

2013 Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch Play as former vaudeville co-stars who must bury the hatchet when Hollywood calls Daniel Simon‘s Boys of the sun, opening to Center Theater Group‘s Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles.

2014 Manhattan Theater Clubthe production of Donald MarguliesCountry house opens on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater. Blythe danner stars in the Chekhov-inspired drama about a family of actors who struggle with fame, art, and against each other.

2019 After a sold-out race in the city center, Supreme Love Freestyle opens on Broadway at the Booth Theater. A mix of hip-hop, improv theater, music and vocal styles, Supreme Love Freestyle is created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, and features a core nightly cast as well as a number of guest stars throughout the race, including Miranda, James Monroe Iglehart, Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson.

More birthdays today: Dale Soules (born 1946). Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner aka Sting (born 1951). Lorraine Bracco (born in 1954). Samantha Barks (born 1990).


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