Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: June 7

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1909 Broadway star’s birthday Jessica Tandy, who created many notable roles including Blanche DuBois in A tram called DésirAgnes in A delicate balanceand Fonsia in The gin game. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Miss Daisy in the film adaptation of Driving Miss Daisy.

1928 Composer Charles Strouse was born on this day. He writes music for Broadway musicals Goodbye Birdie, Annie, Applauseand golden boy.

1974 by Steve Silver Babylon beach blanket begins its performances in San Francisco at the Savoy Tivoli. The campy parody of pop culture has been running for 45 years, making it the longest-running musical revue in theater history.

1998 In a surprise victory, The Lion King wins Best Musical on Predicted Winner Ragtime at the 1998 Tony Awards held at Radio City Music Hall. Lion King also won Best Direction (Julie Taymor) and Best Choreography, as well as Costume, Set and Lighting Design. The British import of Yasmina Reza, Arttakes the best game on Martin McDonaugh Leenane’s beauty queenalthough the Irish drama still manages to walk away with four awards. Cabaret and A view from the bridgeboth produced by the Roundabout Theater Company, won Best Revival of a Musical and a Play, respectively.

2001 by John Guare Chaucer in Rome opens Off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center.

2011 One of the most bizarre and influential chapters in American pop music history is revealed with the Off-Broadway opening of the musical by Joy Gregory, John Langs and Gunnar Madsen The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World. Annie Golden, Steve Routman, Emily Walton, Peter Friedman, Kevin Cahoon, Jamey Hood, Cory Michael Smith and Sarah Sokolovic star in the co-production between Playwrights Horizons and New York Theater Workshop, at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theatre.

2012 The world premiere of Kenneth Lonergan medieval game opens Off-Broadway at the Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Set in the late 14th century, the comedy stars Josh Hamilton and Tate Donovan as two mercenary French knights.

2016 Interpretations by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two to start at the Palace Theater in London. The game picks up where the final Harry Potter novel stopped, with Harry and Ginny bringing their son Albus, and Hermione and Ron bringing their daughter Rose, to King’s Cross station for their first trip to Hogwarts. The production won a record nine Olivier Awards, including Best New Play. A Broadway production opens in 2018.

2017 The New York premiere of Martyna Majok Cost of life opens Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club. The play, exploring the interactions between able-bodied and disabled people, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

2017 World premiere at the MCC Theater of A funny thing happened on the way to the gynecological oncology unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York opens. Beth Behrs makes her New York stage debut leading the cast of Halley Feiffer’s play about two strangers who meet in a hospital.

More birthdays from today: Dolores Gray (1924–2002); Anne Twomey (born 1951); Liam Neeson (b. 1952); Richard Jones (b. 1953); Victor Slezak (b. 1957); Michael Cera (born in 1988).

Watch highlights from the 1998 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, The Lion King:


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