Playbill Vault is Today in Theater History: July 12

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1895 Birthday of Oscar Hammerstein II, descendant of a notable theater family who became their most famous and honored member as lyricist and librettist. Hammerstein had an important career as the lyricist of composer Jerome Kern in numerous musicals and operettas, notably Show boat. After a series of flops in the 1930s and Kern’s death in the early 1940s, Hammerstein embarked on a second career, and one of the greatest partnerships in the history of American musical theater, with composer Richard Rodgers . Hammerstein writes lyrics to classics including Oklahoma !, South Pacific, The King and I, and The sound of music, among others. He also serves as a mentor to a friend of his children, whom he recruits to spearhead his 1947 musical. Allegro. The young man who decides to follow in Hammerstein’s footsteps? Stephen Sondheim.

1984 The Roundabout theater company revives Guillaume Inge‘s Come back, little Saba in his Off-Broadway theater. Philippe Bosco, Mia dillon, Shirley knight, and Steven weber are in the cast directed by Paul Weidner. The production marks the first major revival of the piece in over 30 years.

1993 Andrew Lloyd Webberthe new musical Sunset Boulevard has its world premiere in London with Patti LuPone.

1995 Something wonderful, a one-night 100th anniversary tribute to Oscar Hammerstein II, the Gershwin Theater is complete with performances by Michel bell, Liz callaway, Rebecca Luker, Audra McDonald, and Maureen McGovern.

2000 Charles Nelson Reilly celebrates 50 years in showbiz with Save it for the stage: The Life of Reilly, opening at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California. The autobiographical solo exhibition, directed by Paul Linke, looks back at the life of the ascot-adorned actor, from his portrayal of Christopher Columbus in his fourth year to his Tony Award-winning turn in the original production of How to be successful in business without really trying to his TV appearances Association game.

2001 The revival of the Roundabout Theater Company George bernard shawis classic Major Barbara opens on Broadway at the American Airlines Theater. Cherry Jones stars as the Salvation Army’s good major who must fight her legacy as the daughter of a cheerfully mean (and infuriating) Victorian industrialist.

2012 As part of his world tour, Fela! returns to Broadway for a month-long tour of the Al Hirschfeld Theater. The musical that explores the life of a Nigerian musician and politician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti previously performed at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theater for 463 performances from 2009 to 2011.

2013 Fly, a new musical based on the song by JM Barrie Peter Pan, officially opens at the Dallas Theater Center. Tony-winning producer Jeffrey Seller makes his directorial debut, choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, music by Tony-winning In the heights orchestrator / arranger Bill Sherman, book by Rajiv Joseph and lyrics by Joseph and Kirsten Childs.
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2016 Musical comedy Motown returns to Broadway at the Nederlander Theater. The production was originally seen on Broadway in 2013, where it was shown at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater for 738 performances.

2016 Ektor Rivera makes his Broadway debut as Emilio Estefan in On your feet!.

2018 Second Stage Theater celebrates the official opening of Mary page marlowe, the new play by award-winning playwright and actress Tracy Letts which portrays a woman from 11 key moments in her life, told out of order and performed by six different actors: Blair Brown, Emma Geer, Tatiana Maslany, Susan Pourfar, Mia Sinclair Jenness and Kellie Overbey. Lila Neugebauer directs.

More birthdays today: Milton Berle (1908-2002). Joey faye (1909-1997). John lahr (born in 1941). Jamey sheridan (born 1951). Cheyenne jackson (born 1975). Anna Friel (born 1976). Alison Wright (born 1976).

Watch Jonathan Groff and Laura Osnes sing a mix of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs:


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