Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: December 26


1904 Maude Adams returns to Broadway with a JM Barrie cover The little minister. He only performs 73 performances. A year later, she returned with a better Barrie play, the original Peter Pan.

1921 Opening night of the original production of Drummond Bulldog, featuring AE Matthews like the relentless detective.

1925 Walter Hampden 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 includes the pair as Hamlet and Ophelia in Hamlet.

1926 Under pressure from both New York Governor Alfred E. Smith and Mayor James Walker over reform by theater owners of the moral quality of certain productions, a committee was formed to view “morally questionable” performances. Made up of actors, writers, and producers, the committee reviews current shows and lists those titles from the New York District Attorney. The first three to be searched are Sex, the virgin man, and the captive.

1931 George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind create Wintergreen, the current presidential candidate on a love platform. I sing about you, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical with music by George gershwin and words of Ira Gershwin, stars William gaxton, Grace Brinkley, and Victor moore. The campaign spans 441 performances, first at the Music Box Theater and then at the 46th Street Theater.

1935 Helene hayes is Victoria Regina at the Broadhurst Theater. The Story of the Queen by Laurence Houseman takes place over 515 performances.

1936 Clara Boothe Luce’s biting gaze on the more chatty side of the fairer sex is on display in The women, which opens today on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Margalo Gillmore stars as Mary Haines, whose affair between her husband and saleswoman Crystal Allen makes all the women in the Park Avenue company chat. The work will be adapted for the big screen in 1939, 1956 (in musical, The opposite sex) and 2008. It was relaunched on Broadway in 1973 and 2001, and the latter production was filmed for airing on PBS.

1940 Adapted by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov from a series of autobiographical short stories by Ruth McKenney, My sister Eileen focuses on two Ohio sisters 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 Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s Broadway musical. Wonderful city.

1960 Phil Silver stars as a guy whose latest get-rich-quick scheme involves jukeboxes in the musical Do Re Mi from Jule styne, Garson Kanin, Betty comden, and Adolphe Vert. Nancy walker plays the long-suffering woman from Silvers, who ends the show with the song “Adventure”. It offers 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 Longtime Broadway The Phantom of the Opera celebrates an impressive 5,000 performances.

2016 Actor George S. Irving, Tony winner in 1973 for best actor in a musical in Irene opposite Debbie Reynolds, dies at the age of 94. With 32 credits on Broadway, Irving starred in classics such as Oklahoma!, Gentleman prefers blondes, Cancan, Bells are ringing, the renewal in 1981 of The pirates of Penzance, and Me and my daughter, for which he got a Tony nomination.

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

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