Playbill Vault is in theater history today: July 25

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1853 Birthday of Broadway impresario David Belasco, namesake of Belasco Theater, who wrote and / or produced dozens of plays including The return of Peter Grimm and Laugh, Clown, Laugh!, and two that inspire great operas, Madame Papillon and Golden West Girl. His ghost is said to haunt the Broadway theater that bears his name.

1968 Art Carney stars in Lovers, a double program by Brian Friel in one act, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The limited engagement broke box office records and then moved on to a second limited series at the Music Box Theater, for a total of 148 performances.

1975 After a smashing run at the Public Theater in New York, the Marvin hamlischEdouard Kléban musical A choir line made the trip up town to the Shubert Theater on Broadway. The Michael bennett-a bar show, featuring songs such as “What I Did for Love” and “One”, presents Donna McKechnie, Kelly Bishop, and Robert LuPone. A choir line really turns out to be, as its lyrics put it, “a singular sensation”, racking up 6,137 performances to become Broadway’s longest-running show at the time. (In June 1997, Cats beats that record.) A 1985 film version of A choir line, directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, presents Michael douglas and Terrence Mann in its cast.

1996 Tony Award-Winning Music Star Patti LuPone returns to the Broadway stage in Terrence McNally‘s Master class, taking over the reins of the play’s original Tony Award-winning star, Zoe Caldwell. When LuPone finishes her run as opera diva Maria Callas in the Tony Award-winning stage play, stage and television star Dixie Carter becomes the third and last actor to play Callas in the production. Faye Dunaway plays the role on tour.

2001 Director-choreographer Graciela Danièlethe rebirth of Annie takes your gun celebrates its 1,000th performance at the Marquis Theater on Broadway. Prospects on this date are Cristal Bernard and Tom wopat.

2002 Judd Hirsch returns to Broadway in the role that won him the 1986 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play: Nat in Herb gardener‘s I am not Rappaport. The production not only brings back much of the original creative team (director Daniel Sullivan, scenographer Tony Walton, and lighting designer Pat collins), but it also opens in the same theater, the Booth. With Hirsch in the recovery, it is Ben vereen, playing the role of Midge originally played by Little Cleavon.

2013 Jeff Blumenkrantz and Brett Ryback play suspects and detective, respectively, in the New York premiere of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair’s two-person musical Murder for two, opening at the McGinn / Cazale Theater as part of the Second Stage Theater Uptown series. The production is a success and is then transferred to New World Stages for an extended period.

2019 Red Mill! the theatrical adaptation of the 2001 musical, opens on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. With a book by John Logan and staging by Alex Timbers, the musical stars Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit as lovers Satine and Christian, with Danny Burstein as the happy empresario Harold Zidler, Sahr Ngaujah in Toulouse-Lautrec, Tam Mutu as The Duke of Monroth, Ricky Rojas as Santiago and Robyn Hurder as Nini.

More birthdays today: Nat C. Goodwin (1857-1919). Jack Gilford (1908-1990). Estelle Getty (1923-2008). Barbara harris (1935-2018). Charlie Smalls (1943-1987).


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