Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: February 17


In 2015, hamilton opens Off-Broadway at the Public Theater.

1902 Joseph Hart’s Popular Musical foxy grandpa opens a run of 120 performances at the 14th Street Theatre.

1916 Al Jolson embodies the driver of a millionaire who dreams of being Robinson Crusoe, Jr. Sigmund Romberg scores and Jolson improvises with his favorite songs. The musical takes place at the Winter Garden for 139 performances.

1919 The royal wanderera parody of operettas with a score by Anselme Goetzl, George M. Cohanand IrvingBerlinorganizes 208 performances at the Cohan and Harris Theater in New York.

1925 John Barrymoreit is Hamlet reigns at the Haymarket in London. Fay Compton, Constance Necklaceand Malcolm Keen join him for all 67 performances of the show.

1932 It’s time to Face the music at the New Amsterdam Theatre. IrvingBerlin give the score to foam deerthe book. For 21 weeks, the public is asked “Let’s have another cup of coffee”.

1976 Opening night for the infamous ephemeral Rockabye Hamlet. cliff jones‘ rock musical version of Shakespeare’s tragedy runs for seven performances at the Minskoff Theatre. The cast includes larry marshall like Hamlet, Beverly D’Angelo like Ophélie (who commits suicide by choking herself with her huge microphone cord), and Meatloaf as a priest.

1982 Instructor-teacher Lee Strasberg, the greatest defender of the acting method, dies at the age of 80. “Art is longer than life,” he once said, and his acting style lives on at the Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institutes in New York and Los Angeles. .

1999 The Drama Desk organization officially celebrates its 50th anniversary. Six years after the organization was founded, the Drama Desk Awards were created to recognize excellence in Broadway and Off-Broadway theater.

2003 Several Broadway shows are canceling performances after a blizzard dropped more than 20 inches of snow in Times Square.

2015 hamilton, Lin-Manuel Mirandathe musical exploring the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, opens Off-Broadway at public theater. Miranda plays the title role, alongside a cast that includes Brian d’Arcy James, Philip SooChristopher Jackson and Leslie Odom, Jr. After its sold-out run to audiences, it transferred to Broadway in July of that year. hamilton won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Today’s birthdays: Arthur Kennedy (1914-1990). Kathleen Freeman (1919-2001). Hal Holbrook (1925-2021). Tom Jones (born in 1928). Patricia Routledge (born in 1929). Barry Humphriesaka Dame Edna (born 1934). Alan Bates (1934-2003). Cris Groenendael (born in 1948). Don Cardin (born in 1948). Becky Ann Baker (born in 1953). Kevin Rigdon (born in 1956). Lou Diamond Phillips (born 1962). Billie Joe Armstrong (born in 1972). Jerry O’Connell (born 1974). Conrad Ricamora (born in 1979).

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