Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: June 15


1894 Birthday of Robert Russell Bennett, orchestrator of Broadway classics including the original Sunny, Show Boat, Anything Goes, Oklahoma !, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me, Kate, The King and I, My Fair Lady, Camelot, and The sound of music. In 2008, he posthumously received a Special Tony Award in “recognition of his historic contribution to American musical theater in the field of orchestration”.

1961 Goodbye Birdie opens at Her Majesty’s Theater in London. Chita rivera, the star of the original Broadway production, reprizes his role opposite Marty Wilde, Pierre Marshall, and Angela Baddeley. The West End staging of the Charles Strouse-Lee Adams musical lasts 268 performances.

1965 The legendary theater is created when the husband and wife team of Hume Cronyn and Jessica tandy open in The Cherry Orchard to Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Variety hails the production as “the exceptional presentation of Chekhov’s classic in a theatrical life and would bring credit to any company”. Cronyn and Tandy continue to grace the stage together for many years to come in productions such as Foxfire and The gin game.

1966 The New York Shakespeare Summer Festival is underway as the Delacorte Theater in Central Park opens for its summer season. Among the productions of this year: All’s well That ends well and Richard III, featuring talents such as Christophe walken, Barbara barrie, and Richard jordan.

1980 The life and loves of Franck harris are set to music in the musical Fearless frank, opening at the Princess Theater. The ephemeral tribute only has 12 performances.

1983 Samuel beckett is examined in three parts as its Ohio Impromptu, Disaster, and What or are shown Off-Broadway at the Harold Clurman Theater. The one-act evening takes place over 350 performances until it closes on April 15, 1984. Alain schneider conducts a casting with David Warrilow, Rand Mitchell, Donald davis, Daniel Wirth and Margaret Reed.

1995 Michael John La Chiusa made his Broadway debut writing additional music for Bob Telsonthe score of Chronicle of an announced death, a musical directed by Graciela Daniele, based on the novel by Gabriel García Márquez. It only presented 37 performances, but was nominated for Best Musical at the 1996 Tony Awards.

2000 Kelsey Grammer returns to Broadway for the first time since 1982 in the title role of William shakespeare‘s Macbeth. Although initially advertised to host 60 performances at the Music Box Theater, it closes 10 days later after receiving mixed to negative reviews.

2000 The Roundabout Theater Company production by Neil Simon Hotel suite opens at the Gramercy Theater. Winner Tony Randy Graff, nominee Tony Helen Carey, Leigh Lawson and star Ron Orbach.

2003 John Benjamin Hickey makes his directorial debut with Theresa Rebeck Bad dates. The solo exhibition opens the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons, with Julie White.

2005 The world premiere of Chekhov’s Tom Donaghy adaptation The Cherry Orchard opens at the Atlantic Theater Company. Scott Zigler directs the play on the development of society in pre-revolution Russia, with Brooke Adams, Larry Bryggman, Scott Foley, Alvin Epstein, Mary McCann, Todd Weeks and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.

2006 Duncan Sheik’s game is a game-changer Spring awakening premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company. The alternative pop musical starred a host of strangers early in their careers: Skylar Astin, Lilli Cooper, John Gallagher Jr., Gideon Glick, Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele.

2008 Lin-Manuel Miranda is making his way through the history books, becoming the youngest person to win the Tony Award for Best Original Music for In the heights. The musical also won Best Musical and two others. Tracy Letts was also a sensation at the 62nd annual Tony Awards. August: Osage County and the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein South pacific. Also note: Patti LuPone wins her second Tony as Rose in Gypsy.

2011 Lend Me A Tenor The Musical, based on the shot Ken ludwig stage comedy, opens in London at West End’s Gielgud Theater. The musical features a book and lyrics by Peter Sham and music by Brad Carroll.

2013 The musical world premiere King Kong, a rock twist on Beauty and the Beast, opens at the Regent Theater in Melbourne, Australia. It contains a book by Craig Lucas and features a six-meter tall puppet designed by Global Creatures that brings the huge silver-back monkey to life. Composer and arranger Marius de Vries has created and oversees a score that features reworked versions of the 1930s Broadway classics as well as new and existing songs by Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, Sarah McLachlan, Justice, Guy Garvey of Elbow and The Avalanches. A version of the musical, with a different creative team, opens on Broadway in 2018.

2015 Smash fans get their wish when a one-night-only concert Bomb from the NBC series makes its Broadway debut at the Minskoff Theater.

2015 The Vineyard Theater hosts the world premiere of Gloria by Branden Jacob-Jenkins. The cast include Kyle Beltran, Jeanine Serralles, Jennifer Kim, Catherine Combs, Michael Crane and Ryan Spahn.

2015 Dave Malloy’s new musical Preludes, directed by Rachel Chavkin, opens in a Lincoln Center Theater LCT3 production at the Claire Tow Theater.

2016 Beautiful — The Carole King Musical marks a milestone on Broadway with its 1,000th performance at the Stephen Sondheim Theater.

No more birthdays today Mickey katz (1909-1985); Laurie Anderson (born in 1947); Simon Callow (born 1949); Polly Draper (born in 1955); Julie Hagerty (born in 1955); Hélène Chasse (born in 1963); Adam Rapp (born 1968); Neil patrick harris (born in 1973); Rob McClure (born 1982).

Revisit the In the heights at the Richard Rodgers Theater:

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