Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: October 9

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1893 Arthur Wing Pinero woos scandal with his play The second Mrs. Tanqueray, about a man who brings misery to all with a second marriage. Mrs. Patrick Campbell plays the main character in the London debut.

1900 Alastair sim was born. The British actor works extensively on the London stage and in the cinema, where he creates a memorable Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

1922 The Broadway opening of RUR (Rossum’s universal robots), a science fiction drama by the Czech playwright Karel Capek, which introduces the word “robot” into the English language. It is derived from the word for “worker” in Czech.

1929 June moon, Lardner ring and George S. Kaufman‘s comedy about the business of writing pop songs, opens at the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway. It offers 273 performances, despite its opening a few days after Wall Street’s “Black Friday”.

1940 Rock musician John lennon of the Beatles was born. He contributes a sketch to the magazine Oh! Calcutta!, which continues to perform 5,959 performances on Broadway. In 2005, his life and songs were celebrated in the Broadway musical Lennon.

1946 The ice man is coming, Eugene O’Neillimposing drama about the chimerical dreams of a band of barflies, debuts on Broadway, with James barton like Hickey. It performed 136 performances, but was not considered a major work until a posthumous Off-Broadway production in the 1950s with Jason robards bases its reputation.

1947 High buttoned shoes, Stephen longstreetsemi-autobiographical musical based on his book, The sisters loved them beautiful, opens on Broadway at the Century Theater. Music and lyrics are provided by Jule styne and Sammy Cahn. The show receives mixed reviews and features 727 performances. Choreographer Jerome Robbinsfamous ballet scene earned him a Tony Award. The cast includes Phil Silver and Nanette Fabray, who sings “Daddy, won’t you dance with me?” The musical opens in London the following year, where it lasts nine months.

1963 Two pieces in one act in a single project by Peter Shaffer, The private ear and The public eye, opened on Broadway at the Morosco Theater. The plays, which deal with shyness, love and infidelity, feature Brian Bedford, Geraldine McEwan, and Moray Watson, which also appeared in the 1962 London production. Shaffer continues to write the hit plays Equus and Amadeus.

1967 Tom stoppard caused a sensation in his Broadway debut, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, which tells the story of Shakespeare Hamlet entirely from the perspective of two of the lesser characters. Brian Murray and John wood Play as the two would-be assassins who try to figure out what is going on around them before they themselves are killed. It wins the Tony Award for Best Game.

1972 Guy, Gérôme Ragni and Galt MacDermotthe megahit musical suite Hair, opens onto Broadway and falls prone, being roasted by critics and presenting only 16 performances.

1997 With a musical theater piece, New York rock, already to her credit, musician-artist Yoko Ono returns to the world of theater in collaboration with writer / director Ron Destro. Hiroshima, an epic play with music about Japanese families affected by the 1945 atomic bomb, opens at New York’s Theater For The New City.

2003 It took 43 years, but the playwrights Samuel beckett and Edouard Albee join forces in New York as Beckett / Albee—An evening of three selections from Sam and one from Ed — officially opens at the Century Center for the Performing Arts. Albee made her first big splash when her Zoo history was paired with Beckett Krapp’s Last Band in 1960.

2004 Christophe reeve, the actor whose work on soap operas and on stage (A matter of gravity, July the 5th) was eclipsed when he played the Man of Steel in the movie Superman, and his aftermath before being paralyzed in a horseback riding accident, died of heart failure at age 52.

2013 The world premiere of the musical by Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson Princess of light opens to National theater in London. Realized by Marianne Elliott, it stars Rosalie Craig as a princess who, when she finds herself unable to mourn her mother’s death, becomes so light with grief that she floats.

2014 Nathan Way, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally, and Rupert grint look forward to the reviews on Terrence McNallythe comedy It’s only a game, a parody of what it takes to make a show a success, opening at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on Broadway. Although originally advertised as an 18-week limited engagement, production continued several times, until June of the following year.

2019 The world premiere of The bad man, a new musical from multi-platinum songwriter Ross Golan, officially opens Off-Broadway. Directed by Thomas Kail, the musical stars Joshua Henry as the man wrongly accused of murder in Reno, Nevada, and stars Ciara Renée, Ryan Vasquez, Anoop Desai, Tilly Evans-Krueger, Malik Kitchen, Libby Lloyd, Amber Pickens, Kyle Robinson, Debbie Christine Tjong and Julius Williams.

More birthdays today: Fyvush Finkel (1922-2016). John Lennon (1940-1980). Tony Chalhoub (born 1953). John O’Hurley (born 1954). Scott Bakula (born 1954). Sailor Mazzie (1960-2018). Chris O’Dowd (born 1979). Colin Donnel (born 1982).


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