Playbill Vault is Today in Theater History: December 2

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1912 The firefly sets off the Théâtre Lyrique with music by Rudolf Friml and lyrics and a book by Otto Harbach. The story of an Italian street singer who dresses up as a boy to get closer to the rich man she loves stars Emma Trentini, Craig Campbell and Audrey Maple.

1919 Identity theft once again. This time Laurette Taylorthe character in One night in Rome pretends to be a fortune teller, The Enigma, who forces a young man to discover that he is in love with her. J. Hartley Manners created the role specifically for Taylor, his wife.

1924 The student prince opens at the Jolson Theater in New York. The show, based on the play old Heidelberg, has a book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly with a note of Sigmund romberg. The tunes include the “drinking song”. In the story, a prince falls in love with a waitress. It stars Howard Marsh and Ilse Marvenga.

1925 Julie harris was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She gains fame and respect for her performances in The marriage member and La Belle d’Amherst, among other plays.

1943 Oscar Hammerstein II carries Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen from the south of Spain to the south of the United States, and gives him the new title Carmen jones. An all-black cast performs Bizet’s music with the new book and lyrics by Hammerstein. Muriel Rahn and Muriel Smith share the demanding title role, each taking four performances per week. The show features 503 performances at the Broadway Theater and is then made into a movie starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.

1979 Martin shermanplay on homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps, Curve, opens at the New Apollo Theater. Richard Gere plays the role of a homosexual who is also Jewish. Other cast members include David Marshall scholarship and David dukes. The show lasts 241 performances.

1985 The mystery of Edwin Drood, adapted from Charles Dickens novel by Rupert holmes, opens on Broadway at the Imperial Theater. The show aired for free in Central Park the previous summer. Dickens never finished his novel, and because of that, the responsibility for choosing an ending falls on the audience each night. The cast includes Betty buckley, Georges rose, Donna Murphy, and George N. Martin.

1999 Audra mcdonald receives her fourth Tony Award nomination – and the first for Best Actress in a Musical – for the Lincoln Center Theater production of Marie-Christine, opening today at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The musical was written especially for McDonald’s by Michael John La Chiusa. An ambitious musical adaptation of Greek tragedy, Medea, Marie-Christine turns on Broadway for just 42 performances and receives five Tony Award nominations.

2004 Amon Miyamoto becomes the first Japanese director to stage a major musical on Broadway with the opening of Roundabout theater companythe rebirth of Pacific openings at Studio 54, with BD Wong and two members of the original 1976 production, Sab shimono and Alvin YF Ing.

2011 The New York premiere of David Adjmi’s Funny and Savage Portrait of Civilized Life, Elective affinities, opens Off-Broadway. Featuring Zoe Caldwell as witty octogenarian Alice Hauptmann, site-specific production takes place in a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where an audience of 30 are served tea and sandwiches before being invited to join Caldwell in an intimate living room for the play.

2012 Patti LuPone and Debra Winger debate faith, politics, persecution and redemption at the world premiere of David Mamet‘s The anarchist, opening at the John Golden Theater. The 70-minute work features LuPone as an inmate serving a life sentence and Winger as the woman who must determine if she is fit for parole, and it ends after 17 performances.

2015 Sheridan Smith stars in a sold-out cover of Funny girl at the Menier chocolate factory in London. Michael Mayer directs, with Harvey Fierstein writing a new and revised book. This is the first major London production of the musical since it was first shown in the West End in 1966 with Barbra Streisand. The production then moved to the Savoy Theater in the West End.

More birthdays today: Adolphe Vert (1914-2002). Ray walston (1914-2001). Peter of Esdras (1917-1994). Jonathan frid (1924-2012). Ron raines (born 1949). Wilson Jermaine Heredia (born 1971).


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