Playbill Vault is Today in Theater History: September 8


1914 A prank on the sale of soap called It pays to advertise, by King Cooper Megrue and Walter Hackett, opens at the Cohan Theater. It stars Grant Mitchell and Ruth Shepley.

1925 Actor Joe e brown top lines Captain Jinks, a musical version of Clyde Fitchhit comedy Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines. The show has 167 performances.

1932 Jean Barthmelodrama The man who got his head back opens on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theater for a 28-performance run. Claude Rain, Stuart casey, and Jean-Arthur stars in the play about a brilliant but misshapen man who goes mad when he finds out that his employer is having an affair with his wife.

1943 The war review Time to laugh opens a race of 126 performances with a cast featuring Ethel Waters, Bert wheeler, Fay wray, and the dance team of Buck and Bulles.

1953 Short-lived legendary musical Carnival in Flanders opens at the New Century Theater. Despite a score of Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny burke, a book of Preston Sturges, and a famous leading man in the person of John raitt, the show only has six performances. Notably, the principal lady Dolores Gris won the 1954 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the shortest race ever so honored.

1975 Jazz Titans Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Counting base make their Broadway debut in The concert at the Théâtre des Uris. The two-week sold-out engagement features Sinatra and Fitzgerald singing against the backdrop of Basie’s 18-man group (with 20 extra strings added for Sinatra’s ensemble).

1977 Zero Mostel, star of the stage and the screen, dies at 62 years. His most notable work included directing the original Broadway cast of Violin on the roof and A funny thing happened on the way to the forum and featured in the Mel brooks movie The producers.

1999 The Century Theater on Off-Broadway becomes The exact center of the universe as Joan Vail Thorne’s comedy moves to commercial release. The characteristics of the Southern-fried family comedy Françoise Sternhagen like a matron disturbed by her son’s romance. John tillinger directs the star and a cast that also includes Reed Birney, Marge Redmond, Tracy Thorne, and Sloane shelton. He performs 142 performances.

2004 British actor Fritha Goodey, 32, who was supposed to play with David Suchet in an upcoming Cambridge production of Terrence Rattigan‘s Man and boy, was found dead at her home in London.

2009 Jordan roth, who joined Jujamcyn Theaters in 2005 as resident producer and became vice president the following year, succeeds Rocco landesman as president of the company.

2009 Army Archerd, who chronicled show business projects and practitioners for half a century through his column in Variety, dies at the age of 87.

2016 Spamilton, a satirical musical by Broadway forbidden designer Gerard Alessandrini, opens at the Triad cabaret on Off-Broadway. Inspired by the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Hamilton, the show celebrates and parodies both the historic musical, as well as much of the rest of Broadway. Originally advertised as an 18-performance limited engagement, the show continued at the Triad before moving to an indefinite engagement at 47th Street Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in June 2017.

2019 Red Bull Theater Celebrates Keith Hamilton Cobb’s Off-Broadway Opening American Moor at the Cherry Lane Theater. The monologue play is a journey through Shakespeare and race, as an African-American actor auditioning for the role of Othello must respond to the dictates of a young white director.

Today’s birthdays: Howard dietz (1896-1983). Jean-Louis Barrault (1910-1994). Sir Harry Secombe (1921-2001). Sid Caesar (1922-2014). Michael Frayn (born 1933). Megan Lawrence (born 1972). Rogelio Douglas, Jr. (born 1978). Teal Wicks (born 1982). Justin Peck (born 1987).

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