Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: January 26

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1925 Birthday of actor Paul Newman, who plays on Broadway in Picnic, the sweet bird of youth, and The desperate hours before going to Hollywood and becoming a movie star. He made a comeback at the end of his career on stage in Our city (2002).

1927 Saturday’s children, an unlikely comedy written by Maxwell Anderson, follows the breakdown of a marriage. Produced by The Actors’ Theatre, it features Ruth Hammond and Richard Barbee in a relationship with Beulah Bondi and Ruth Gordon also in the cast. There are 310 performances.

1931 The Theater Guild produces Lynn Riggs’ cowboy play Grow lilacs green, featuring Lee Strasberg, tex cooper, and Your Franchot. It organizes 64 performances at the Guild Theatre. A decade later, it is suggested to the team to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II as a possible basis for a musical. They turn it into Oklahoma!

1938 Julie Haydon and Cedric Hardwicke are the Shadow and matter at the Golden Theater in New York. Paul Vincent CarrollThe play, set in Ireland, pits the simple faith of a servant against the scholarship of a priest.

1944 Mary Rolfe is a Wallflower– and it will remain so for more than six months. How long is it Reginald Denham and Mary OrrThe comedy of Clings to the Cort Theatre. Joel Marson is also in the cast.

1950 Paul Scofield, Claire Bloom, and Margaret Rutherford Ring Around the Moon at the Globe Theatre. Peter Brook lead it Jean Anouilh comedy adapted by Christopher Fry. It has 682 performances.

1975 Giant talking lizards emerge from the sea and talk philosophy with a human couple having a picnic Edward Albeeit is Seascape. It only offered 63 performances at the Shubert Theatre, with Frank Langelle as the main Lizard, but then wins the Pulitzer Prize.

1988 Look at that chandelier! Tonight is evening Andrew Lloyd Webberit is The Phantom of the Opera makes the Majestic Theater on Broadway his seemingly permanent haunt. Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman star of the musicalization of Gaston Lerouxis the novel. The production currently holds the title of longest-running show in Broadway history.

1989 black and blue opens at the Minskoff Theatre. The show is a musical revue, celebrating the influence of American jazz and blues. black and blue received ten nominations for the 1989 Tony Awards and won three, including one for Ruth Brown for best actress in a musical. Having opened for the first time on Broadway, a 15-year-old tap dancing genius named Soap Glover.

1996 The Opening of the Off-Broadway Musical To rent turns out to be both triumphant and tragic. Triumphant, as critics and public interest push the show to Broadway, where it becomes an award-winning hit. Tragically, because a day earlier, on January 25, 1996, the songwriter Jonathan Larson died of an aortic aneurysm.

2003 Cowardly Christmasthe short-lived 1946 operetta Pacific 1860 gets its long-delayed U.S. premiere as part of the Musicals in Mufti series at Off-Broadway’s York Theater Company.

2012 Manhattan Drama Clubthe production of Margaret Edsonit is Spirit— the first Broadway title of the Pulitzer Prize-winning title — opens at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater. Cynthia Nixon stars like Vivian Bearing, a steely poetry teacher dealing with terminal cancer.

More birthdays from today: Marie Auguste Trapp (1905-1987). Jimmy Van Heusen (1913-1990). Jules Feiffer (born in 1929). Christopher Hampton (born in 1946). David Strathairn (born in 1949). Celia Keenan Bolger (born in 1978). Michael R. Jackson (born in 1981).

Watch Broadway’s 25th Anniversary Cast Highlights The Phantom of the Opera, with Hugh Panaro and Sierra Boggess:


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