Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: August 27

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1878 Birthday of Sam S. Shubert, co-founder of the titan owner and theater producer Shubert Organization. The Shubert Theater on Broadway is named after him.

1929 Writer Ira Levin was born in New York. In 1978, Levin wrote the mother of all Broadway thrillers, death trap. Other parts include No time for sergeants and General Seeger.

1934 Opening night of the magazine Life begins at 8:40 a.m.written by Harold Arlen, EY Harbourgand Ira Gershwin. The stars include Luella Equipment, Frances Williamsand future Wizard of Oz co stars Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr. The score includes “You are a Builder-Upper”.

1963 After a successful Off-Broadway run and national tour, Arthur Kopitthe comedy Oh daddy, poor daddy, mommy hung you in the closet and I feel so sad opens on Broadway at the Morosco Theater for a six-week run. Again led by Jerome Robbinsproduction stars Hermione Gingold, Alix Elias, Sandor Szaboand Sam Waterton.

1991 Thornton Wilder The matchmaker opens again at Off-Broadway’s Roundabout Theater Company‘s Haft Theatre. the original production of the piece opened on Broadway on December 5, 1955. The play was later adapted into a musical Hello Dolly! by Jerry Hermann and Michael Stewart.

2001 Musical comedy Urineville begins Broadway previews at Henry Miller’s Theatre.

2011 New York City comes to a halt under the threat of Hurricane (later downgraded to Tropical Storm) Irene. All Broadway shows and most Off-Broadway shows are canceled, and there is a system-wide shutdown of New York’s public transportation system.

More birthdays from today: Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945). Sam S. Shubert (1878-1905). Frederick O’Neal (1905–1992). Martha Raye (1916–1994). David Shaw (1916–2007). Ira Levin (1929-2007). Paul Rubens (born in 1952). Peter Stormare (born in 1953). Yolanda Adams (born in 1961). Alexa PenaVega (born in 1988).

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A look back at Hunter Foster, Jennifer Laura Thompson and more at Urinetown on Broadway


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