1909 Birthday of Broadway star Jessica Tandy, who has created many landmark roles including Blanche DuBois in A tram named Désir, Agnes in A delicate balance, and Fonsia in The gin game. She won an Oscar for Best Actress for playing Miss Daisy in the film adaptation of Driving Miss Daisy.
1928 Composer Charles Strouse was born on this day. He writes the music for Broadway musicals Goodbye Birdie, Annie, applause, and Golden boy.
1974 Steve Silver’s Babylon beach blanket begins performances in San Francisco at Savoy Tivoli. The campy pop culture parody has been going on for 45 years, making it the longest-running musical revue in theatrical history.
1998 In a surprise victory, The Lion King wins best musical over predicted winner Ragtime at the 1998 Tony Awards held at Radio City Music Hall. Lion King also won the awards for best direction (Julie Taymor) and choreography, and for the design of costumes, sets and lighting. The British import of Yasmina Reza, Art, takes Best Play on Martin McDonaugh’s Leenane’s beauty queen, although the Irish drama still manages to walk away with four awards. Cabaret and A view from the bridge, both produced by the Roundabout Theater Company, won the awards for best cover of a musical and a play, respectively.
2001 that of John Guare Chaucer in Rome opens Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
2011 One of the weirdest and most influential chapters in American pop music history revealed with the Off-Broadway opening of Joy Gregory, John Langs and Gunnar Madsen’s musical The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World. Annie Golden, Steve Routman, Emily Walton, Peter Friedman, Kevin Cahoon, Jamey Hood, Cory Michael Smith and Sarah Sokolovic star in the Playwrights Horizons and New York Theater Workshop co-production at the Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater.
2012 Kenneth Lonergan World Premiere Medieval game opens Off-Broadway at the Irene Diamond Stage in the Pershing Square Signature Center. Set at the end of the 14th century, the comedy stars Josh Hamilton and Tate Donovan as two French mercenary knights.
2016 Performances by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts 1 and 2 to start at the Palace Theater in London. The game resumes where the final Harry potter romance stopped, with Harry and Ginny bringing their son Albus, and Hermione and Ron bringing their daughter Rose, to King’s Cross station on their first trip to Hogwarts. The production won a record nine Olivier Awards, including Best New Play. A Broadway production opens in 2018.
2017 Martyna Majok’s New York premiere Cost of life opens Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club. The play, exploring the interactions between able-bodied and disabled people, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Theater.
2017 World Premiere of MCC Theater A funny thing happened on the way to the gynecologic oncology unit at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City opens. Beth Behrs makes her New York stage debut leading the cast of Halley Feiffer’s play About Two Strangers who meet in a hospital.
More birthdays today: Dolores Gray (1924-2002); Anne Twomey (born in 1951); Liam Neeson (born 1952); Richard Jones (born 1953); Victor Slezak (born in 1957); Michael Cera (born 1988).
Watch highlights from the 1998 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, The Lion King: