Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: September 9



1873 Birthday of an influential director Max Reinhardt in Austria-Hungary. It stages innovative productions of The eternal roadSumurunand Dream of a summer night. In 1935, he also made a film adaptation of Dream of a summer nightone of the first Shakespeare productions to be made into a sound film.

1947 Bowing to pressure from HUAC, the Actors Equity Council reiterates its stance against communism.

1970 During the morning today, Hello Dolly! outrun my lovely lady as the longest-running Broadway musical in history. A celebration at Sardi’s follows the performance.

1973 Playwright SN Behrman dies at age 80. His plays included Host 38, Jacobowsky and Colonel, No time for comedyand the book to the musical Cat.

1975 As part of its season celebrating the bicentennial of the United States, The Kennedy Center presents a revival of Thornton Wilderit is The skin of our teeth on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. Realized by Jose Quinteroproduction stars Elizabeth Ashley like Sabina, and alfred drake and Martha Scott like Mr. and Mrs. Antrobus. Despite rave reviews for Ashley, the revival proved to be a disappointment and ended after 7 performances.

1980 Harold Clurman dies at 78. Shows he has directed include Wake up and sing!, The wedding member, Tiger at the gates, The Waltz of the Toreadorsand Bus stop. Clurman has also served as a drama critic for The New Republic and The Nation.

1998 Trinity Rep of Providence, Rhode Island opens its season with Bertold Brecht and Kurt Wellthe classic musical The Threepenny Opera. The production, directed by Alan MacVey, is set in the London of tomorrow, during the coronation of King William V. Ellen McLaughlinof Tony Kushnerit is Angels in America fame, stars like Jenny.

2001 Brooke Shields hosts the tenth annual “Broadway on Broadway” concert in Times Square, featuring songs from the recent hit The producersand preview Urineville. It’s the crossroads’ last light event for quite some time, as the two-day news events are set to overwhelm the city.

2004 The musical version of Alice Walkerit is The purple color has its world premiere at Alliance Theaterfeaturing LaChanze. This opens on broadway the following year, winning LaChanze the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

2004 Mandy Patinkin and the choristers of 42nd street are on hand to cut the ribbon at Dodger Stages, a complex of five new Off-Broadway theaters (formerly a multiplex movie theater) just west of the Times Square Theater District on 50th Street. The complex was renamed New World Stages two years later.

2009 Beginning of the first season of the television series Joy, on the life of high school students in theater and music. The stars of the series Lea Michele and Matthew Morrisonand continues to feature many Broadway stars as guests.

2017 Composer-lyricist awarded by Obie Michael Friedman died at age 41 from complications related to HIV/AIDS. He has written music and lyrics for musicals, including Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Fortress of Solitudeand Missing in action.

More birthdays from today: Joseph E. Levine (1905-1987); John Drew Colt (1913.-1975); cliff robertson (1923-2011); Sylvia Miles (1924-2019); Topol (born in 1935); Tom Wopat (1951); Edouard Hibert (born in 1955); michelle williams (born in 1980).

Watch the best moments from the 2010 Broadway production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson:

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