Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: June 25


1887 Birthday of legendary director George Abbott, whose long life (107 years) and colossal catalog (more than 110 Broadway shows, sometimes also as a producer, screenwriter, or even actor) remain unmatched. Among his projects were the original productions of A funny thing happened on the way to the forum, Out of town, Wonderful town, Once upon a mattress, Fiorello !, Damn Yankees, On your toes, The pajama game, Where’s Charley, Pal Joey, and literally dozens more.

1952 Harold Romeis musical wish you were Here, located in the world of summer mountain resorts, opens a race of 598 performances at the Imperial Theater. Jack cassidy, Larry blyden, and Sheila bond star, and Bond later won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The show is memorable for having featured a swimming pool on stage.

1973 The Theater Development Fund’s TKTS booth opens on Broadway and 47th Street. The booth is establishing itself as a landmark in the New York theater world, offering same-day tickets to the public for numerous shows, both on Broadway and Off, at discounted prices.

1979 After delaying the start of previews twice — and opening night once—Got Tu Go Disco finally opens on Broadway at the Minskoff Theater. The musical about a nightclub-hating saleswoman who becomes queen of her local dance club ends a week later, after eight performances. At the time, it was the most expensive musical ever to appear on Broadway.

1980 Gus Weil’s play Bury a cousin, first saw the stage in 1967. He is now receiving an Off-Broadway cover at the Cherry Lane Theater, where he is directed by Philippe Oesterman and features Harry goz and Diane tarleton.

1990 Robert-Louis Stevenson swings and rolls off-broadway as his Jekyll and Hyde is made into a rock musical, courtesy of the composer Michael skloff, with a book and lyrics by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Seven years later Frank Wildhorn dabbles in split personality drama on Broadway.

1991 Two couples find themselves celebrating July 4th on Fire Island together when Terrence McNallythe game Lips together, teeth apart, opens at Manhattan Theater Club downtown. The stars of the game Nathan Way and Swoosie Kurtz, and Christine baranski and Anthony heald, like the two married couples. After a successful engagement, the production moved to the Lucille Lortel Theater on Off-Broadway for commercial release in January 1992.

1998 Warren leightthe game Male side opens to Roundabout theater company‘s Stage Right Auditorium as a last minute replacement production. Under the direction of Michel mayer is a cast including hardwood, Wendy makkena, and Robert sella. When it closes at the roundabout, the jazz-themed comedy-drama sets up for indefinite commercial airing at the John Golden Theater on Broadway, featuring a movie star Christian slater replacing Sella as narrator, Clifford. In June, the play, which has now been named a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won the Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor for Wood, as the accompanist himself.

2004 Musical Theater Works, the off-Broadway nonprofit company that has created and developed new musicals for 21 years, announces it will close its doors immediately.

2009 A Shakespeare in the Park musical production by Twelfth Night, featuring Raul esparza, Anne Hathaway, Audra mcdonald, and Stark Sands, opens at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Realized by Daniel sullivan, it presents an original score by the folk-rock group from Brooklyn Hem.

2013 A new musical version of Roald dahl‘s Charlie and the chocolate factory, with a score of Marc Shaiman and Scott wittman, opens in London at the Theater Royal, Drury Lane. The production is directed by Sam mendes, and stars Douglas hodge like Willy Wonka. A revised version of the musical, directed by Jack O’Brien and starring Christian Borle, opened on Broadway four years later.

2018 David Ireland Cyprus Avenue, with Stephen Rea, opens Off-Broadway at the Public Theater. In it, Rea plays a ‘non-negotiable’ Belfast trade unionist who sees an eerie resemblance between his newborn granddaughter and Irish Republican leader Gerry Adams.

2018 The world premiere of Log cabin, by Jordan Harrison, opens at Playwrights Horizons, directed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon. Inside, a group of gay and lesbian friends view the new mainstream through the eyes of their transgender friend. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Phillip James Brannon, Cindy Cheung, Ian Harvie, Talene Monahon and Dolly Wells are the stars.

More birthdays today: Charlotte greenwood (1890-1977). Peter Lind Hayes (1915-1998). Sidney lumet (1924-2011). Marie beth peil (born 1940). Lee wilkof (born 1951). John benjamin hickey (born 1963). Home hunter (born 1969). Brandi Burkhardt (born 1979). Killian Donnelly (born 1984). Annaleigh ashford (born 1985).

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