Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: December 26



1904 Maude Adams returns to Broadway with a revival of JM Barrie The little minister. It only has 73 performances. A year later, she returns with a better piece of Barrie, the original Peter Pan.

1921 Opening night of the original production of Drummond Bulldogfeaturing AE Matthews like the relentless detective.

1925 Walter Hamden and Ethel Barrymore are Shylock and Portia in The merchant of Venice at Hampden’s Theater in New York. The production is part of a limited season for Hampden and Barrymore, which also features the pair as Hamlet and Ophelia in Hamlet.

1926 Under pressure from New York Governor Alfred E. Smith and Mayor James Walker regarding reform by theater owners of the moral quality of certain productions, a committee is formed to view “morally questionable” shows. Comprised of actors, writers, and producers, the committee studies current shows and lists those titles from the New York District Attorney. The first three to be searched are Sex, The virgin manand The Captive.

1931 George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind create Wintergreen, the presidential candidate running on a platform of love. Of you I singthe Pulitzer Prize-winning musical with music by George Gershwin and the words of Ira Gershwinstars William Gaxton, Grace Brinkleyand Victor Moore. The campaign has 441 performances, first at the Music Box Theater and then at the 46th Street Theater.

1935 Helen Hayes is Victoria Regina at the Broadhurst Theatre. Laurence Houseman’s Queen’s Story has 515 performances.

1936 Clara Boothe Luce’s biting look at the feline side of the fairer sex is exposed in The women, which opens today on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Margalo Gillmore stars as Mary Haines, whose affair between husband and shop assistant Crystal Allen has every woman in Park Avenue society gossiping. The work will be adapted to the big screen in 1939, 1956 (in musical comedy, The opposite sex), and 2008. It was revived on Broadway in 1973 and 2001, and the latter production was filmed for broadcast on PBS.

1940 Adapted by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov from a series of autobiographical short stories by Ruth McKenney, My sister Eileen centers on two sisters from Ohio who move into a basement apartment in Greenwich Village, opening today at the Biltmore Theater on Broadway. In addition to film adaptations in 1942 and 1955, the work would become the source for the Broadway musical by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. wonderful city.

1960 Phil Silver stars as a guy whose latest get-rich-quick scheme involves jukeboxes in the musical Do Re Mi of Jule Styne, Garson Kanin, Betty Comdenand Adolf Green. Nancy Walker plays Silvers’ long-suffering wife, who shuts down the show with the song “Adventure”. It runs 400 performances and introduces the “Make Someone Happy” standard.

1962 Writer SJ Perelman and actor Bert Lahr may seem like an unbeatable combination, but their collaboration The beauty part organizes only 85 performances at the Music Box.

1999 The long run of Broadway The Phantom of the Opera celebrates an impressive 5,000 performances.

2016 Actor George S. Irving, winner of the 1973 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in Irene opposite Debbie Reynolds, dies at 94. With 32 Broadway credits, Irving starred in classics such as Oklahoma!, Gentleman prefers blondes, Cancan, Bells are ringing, the 1981 revival The Penzance Pirates, and Me and my daughter, for which he earned a Tony nomination.

Today’s birthdays: Dion Boucicault (1820-1890). Richard Widmark (1914-2008). Donald Moffat (1930-2018). Mabel King (1932-1999). Bob Avian (born in 1937).


Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Heather Headley and more in Do Re Mi at City Center Encores!

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