Today in Playbill Vault Theater History: December 8

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1903 Mam’selle Napoleon is Anna Held in the musical at the Knickerbocker Theater. Produced by Held’s husband, Florenz Ziegfeld, with a score by Gustav Luders, the show has 43 performances.

1911 Actor’s birthday Lee J. Cobb, who created many memorable roles in the 1930s to 1950s, including Willy Loman in Death of a seller.

1925 “Why a duck? The ineffable question is first asked on Broadway on opening night of the George S. Kaufman/Irving Berlin musical Coconuts at the Lyric Theater with four young stars who even eclipse the august writing team: The Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo. The lawless absurdity about the Florida Land Rush takes place over 377 performances and is made into a classic movie (minus most of the songs).

1925 Artist’s birthday Sammy Davis Jr., who started out in small clubs and went on to become a Las Vegas star, movie star and member of the 1950s swingers “Rat Pack”. Her Broadway work included leading roles in musicals Mr. Wonderful and Golden boy.

1930 Cole porter scandalizes Broadway with prostitute’s lament, “Love For Sale”, in the musical New Yorkers, which opens at BS Moss’s Broadway Theater for a series of 168 performances. Included in the huge cast are Jimmy durante and Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians.

1937 It’s a short Seat at the Longacre Theater. the Irwin Shaw the drama about a group of Spanish loyalists only lasts five performances.

1943 John Van Drutenthe romantic comedy of The voice of the turtle opens at the Morosco Theater and continues with a remarkable series of 1,557 performances.

1948 Rex harrison is Henry VIII and Joyce Redman is Anne of the Thousand Days in the room of Maxwell Anderson. The drama about the king’s engagement and marriage to Anne Boleyn has 286 performances.

1949 Carol channing blinks her big round eyes and chirps “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” at the opening night of the musical Men prefer blondes at the Ziegfeld theater. He performs 740 performances and makes Channing an icon.

1965 Lauren bacall and Barry nelson star in Cactus flower. Abe terrier directs and has also adapted the work of Cactus flower through Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Grédy. He performed 1,234 performances.

1979 Today’s Saturday morning of Fat is the 3,243 performance, making it the longest-running show in Broadway history to date. Fat past violin on the roof, who had exceeded Life with the father in 1972, when Fat was 128 performances in its pre-Broadway run. The long-term title is now held by Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s The Phantom of the Opera.

1991 Nick & Nora opens at the Marquis Theater and closes 9 performances later, despite a book by Arthur Laurent, a note of Charles Strouse and Richard Maltby, Jr., and performance of Joanna gleason, Barry bostwick, and Prince of faith.

1994 Faith Prince opens on Broadway as deceased housewife comes back to life Donald MarguliesWhat’s wrong with this image? He presents 12 performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theater.

1996 The epic musical Ragtime, with a book of Terrence McNally and a note of Lynn ahrens & Stephen flaherty, has its world premiere in Toronto. Reviews are good for the show’s further editing on Broadway, but the high cost of the show, coupled with other financial issues, ends up destroying its production organization, Livent, Inc. SFX Productions buys what is left of the company, to then be taken over by Clear Channel.

1999 Liza Minnelli opens his new show, Minnelli on Minnelli, on the site of her mother’s triumphant appearance on stage decades earlier: the Palace Theater. Minnelli on Minnelli is a musical tribute to Vincent minnelli, featuring songs from movies that had been directed by Minnelli, sung by her daughter, Liza, such as “The Boy Next Door” by Meet me in Saint-Louis and “I have rhythm” from An American in Paris.

2002 Baz Luhrmannthe staging of the opera Bohemian opens on Broadway, with a director’s concept that makes it sound like a Broadway musical. The show features 228 performances and wins a Special Tony Honor for its three rotating castings.

2011 The LeVay family of Lydia R. Diamond‘s Fly Stick gather at their lavish home in Martha’s Vineyard for a summer weekend of scrabble and secrets. Winner Tony Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Hill of Dulé, Mekhi Phifer, and Tracie thoms featured in the comedy that opens on Broadway at the Cort Theater.

2016 The Itamar Moses and David Yazbek Musical World Premiere The group’s visit, based on the award-winning film of the same name, opens Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. David Cromer directs a cast that includes John Cariani, Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub. The production moved to Broadway the following year and won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

More birthdays today: Georges feydeau (1862-1921). James thurber (1894-1961). Maximilian Schell (1930-2014). Herb gardener (1934-2003). David Carradine (1936-2009). Graciela Daniele (born in 1939). Jean Rubinstein (born in 1946). Bob Martin (born 1962). Ingrid Michaelson (born 1979).


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