Today in Playbill Vault Theater History: January 29

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1860 Birthday of Anton Chekhov, one of the fathers of modern theater, whose relatively small work includes classics The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters, The Seagull, and Uncle Vanya.

1917 Robust prominent man’s birthday John raitt, star of the original Broadway Carousel and The pajama set, and father of pop singer Bonnie Raitt.

1931 Birthday of the composer / lyricist Leslie Bricusse, who collaborates with Anthony Newley on Stop the world – I want to get off, The Roar of Grease Paint – The Smell of the Crowd, and the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; and with Frank Wildhorn on Victor / Victoria and Jekyll & Hyde.

1943 the patriots stand guard at the National Theater in New York. Sidney kingsleyS play shines a light on the struggles of the Founding Fathers and wins the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. It stars Raymond Edward Johnson, Madge Evans, and Cecil humphreys.

1947 All my sons, Arthur millerThe drama of portraying post-war America and the end result of A Father’s Choice, takes place at the Coronet Theater in New York City. Arthur kennedy and Ed Begley are introduced as son and father. The play lasts 41 weeks, Miller’s first Broadway hit.

1957 What happened that afternoon at The potting shed? Graham GreeneThe drama at the Bijou Theater in New York explores the power of faith. Sybil thorndike and Robert flemyng direct the cast.

1966 Opening night of the musical Sweet charity, providing another hit for the director Bob Ditch, Star Gwen verdon, composer Cy colemanlyricist Dorothy Champs, and librettist Daniel Simon. The production performs 608 performances. The date is notable for another reason: it marks the reopening of the venerable Palace Theater in Times Square after a renovation. Once the pinnacle of vaudeville and a declining concert hall, it now serves as a regular Broadway theater.

1976 A bicentennial renewal of Dion Boucicault‘s Rip Van Winkle is staged at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC Joshua Logan directs and Anthony Quayle stars.

1986 Maurice hines designs the musical review, Uptown … it’s hot!, opening at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. It contains songs such as “Why do crazy people fall in love?”, “Tutti Frutti” and “Stop in the name of love”.

1998 Disappointment reigns on Broadway with the opening of Paul Simonis the highly anticipated first musical, The Capeman, about a real murderer who seeks salvation and forgiveness. Music is fascinating, but the Nobel Prize winner’s book Derek walcott turns out to be static, undramatic and unconvincing. Family members picketing the murder victims opening night. The musical features 68 performances at the Marquis Theater.

2002 Bea Arthurthe personal exhibition of, Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Among Friends begins performances at the Booth Theater. The co-star of Mamé and The Quat’sous Opera, not to mention televisions Maude and The golden girls, wins a Tony nomination for his show.

No more birthdays today Owen Davis (1874-1956). WC fields (1880-1946). Marie eaton (1901-1948). “Professor” Irwin Corey (1914-2017). victor mature (1913-1999). Michael higgins (1920-2008). Tom selleck (born 1945). Terry kinney (born 1954).


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