Playbill Vault is in theater history today: March 30

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1858 Birthday of DeWolf Hopper, vaudeville comedian and musical star, who appeared in Wang, Hoity-Toity, and many early productions by Gilbert & Sullivan. His signature track was a dramatic recitation of “Casey at the Bat”, which he is said to have done over 10,000 times.

1924 librettist Glen MacDonough died in Stamford, Connecticut, aged 57. He started his career as a reporter at New York World. He then worked with Victor Herbert to Girls in toy land.

1946 Although protested by some members of the cast against the humiliating stereotypes, Woman of Saint-Louis performs 113 performances. Harold arlen and Johnny mercer collaborate on the all-black musical. The cast of the plant includes the Nicolas Brothers, Pearl Bailey in his Broadway debut, and Juanita Room.

1970 Lauren bacall hear the Applause. Based on the film All about Eve, the musical has a book of Betty comden and Adolphe Vert and songs by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams. Ron Fields directs and choreographs all 896 performances at the Palace Theater. At the 1970 Tony Awards, Bacall won Best Actress in a Musical, Fields won Best Direction in a Musical and Best Choreography, and the production won Best Comedy musical.

1972 Phil Silver, who initially turned down the role of Pseudolus in A funny thing happened on the way to the forum, only to play the role of Marcus Lycus in the film, ends up playing the cunning slave in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical. He won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for what turned out to be his last Broadway role.

1978 Christophe Durang made his Broadway debut with A history of American cinema, which manages to usurp dozens of movie classics. It only presents 21 performances at the ANTA theater.

1980 Mark Medoff‘s Children of an inferior God, which tells the story of a romance between a deaf woman and a hearing person, begins on Broadway. It presented 887 performances and won the Tony Award for best play. Lead Phyllis frelich, who is deaf in real life, wins the Tony for Best Actress in a Play.

1982 Jean Pielmeier‘s Agnes of God takes over the Music Box Theater on Broadway. Geraldine Page, Elizabeth ashley, and Amanda plummer are the trio in the drama that unfolds over the body of a murdered baby. Plummer wins the Tony Award for his performance.

1998 When Danny Hoch, writer-performer of Some people, tried his new job at Off-Off Broadway’s Performance Space 122 in March 1997, hoping to perfect the show on the road and bring it back to New York City. And that’s exactly what happened as his solo show, Prisons, hospitals and hip-hop, returns to PS 122 for execution until April 18.

2000 Susan stromandance piece, Contact, opens at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. It presents 1,010 performances and wins the Tony Award for Best Musical despite having no original score or musicians (the dances are performed to recorded pieces of pop and classical pieces).

2000 The Lion King, the winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical Elton john and Tim Rice and led by Julie taymor, reaches its 1,000th performance at the New Amsterdam Theater. The show, based on the animated film of the same name, premiered on Broadway on November 13, 1997.

2003 British comedians Sean foley and Hamish mccolle pay a wacky tribute to Morecambe and Wise in the imported hit The play what I wrote, a little clowning with an unusual gimmick: a different “Mystery Guest Star” every evening. Among the MGS during the show: Nathan Way, Kevin kline, and Roger moore.

2008 Conor McPhersonthe game The sailor closes at the Booth Theater after 133 performances. Jim norton later won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance.

2012 Judith of Bethulia, actor-playwright Charles BuschThe latest stage comedy, which picks up the 1914 Hollywood silent biblical epic, begins a limited series at the Theater for the New City. Carl Andress directs a cast that includes Busch (in the title role), Marie testa, and Jennifer cody.

2014 Idina Menzel embodies a woman who walks two possible paths towards self-discovery in Tom kitt and Brian yorkeybroadway musical If so. While not as successful as Kitt and Yorkey’s previous musical, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize Next to normal– it manages to function a year at the Richard Rodgers Theater.

More birthdays today: Sean O’Casey 1880. Anne Pitoniak 1922. Richard A. Dysart 1929. Jean Astin 1930. George morfogen 1933. Rex robbins 1935. Warren beatty 1937. Dennis parlato 1947.

Watch highlights from the 2014 Broadway production of If so, with Idina Menzel:


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