Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: November 23

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1920 In Rollo’s wild oats, the main character rents a theater and hires actors to be able to act in Hamlet. Roland Young has the lead in Clare Kummer’s play.

1937 John steinbeckthe adaptation of his novel Of mice and Men opens at the Music Box Theater. Director George S. Kaufman opted for the dramatic rights earlier that same year at his wife’s suggestion, less than two weeks after the book was originally published. The stars of production Wallace Ford and Broderick Crawford as traveling companions Lenny and George.

1938 Eddie albert, Ronald graham, Hart teddy bear, Jimmy savo, and Burl ives are The boys of Syracuse. Georges abbott adapted the story of William Shakespeare‘s Comedy of errors. Music and lyrics are provided by Richard rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and Georges balanchine provides the choreography.

1944 The man who had all the luck is definitely not the main actor Karl Swenson or any other person involved in the drama by Arthur miller. The show, about a man who realizes his luck is the result of careful planning and hard work, only plays four times.

1959 Tom Bosley, later known as Mr. Cunningham on television Happy Days, stars in the title role of Fiorello!, which opens at the Broadway Theater. George Abbott, Jerome Weidman, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s musical take on the life of famous New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia will win three 1960 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for Bosley, and the Pulitzer Prize for the theater, the third musical in the spotlight after I sing about you in 1932 and South Pacific in 1950.

1993 In order to get a review of Frank Rich from the New York Times before he left, Tony kushner‘s Angels in America: Perestroika opens at the Walter Kerr Theater. Rich, who is known to rave about the first part of the play, soon leaves his post, to be replaced by a critic known not to be enthusiastic about the play. On leaving the review, the piece is defined as a “true work of art millennia”. Perestroika works in the directory with Approaches to the millennium.

2003 Donna Murphy and Jennifer westfeldt star of the 50th anniversary revival (and first Broadway) of Wonderful city. Kathleen marshall directs the production, which originated as part of the downtown Encores! series.

2005 A film adaptation of the musical To rent opens, starring most of the original Broadway actors.

2008 Opening night for the Broadway stage adaptation of Irving Berlinthe holiday movie White christmas, about a pair of army buddies trying to help their ex-commander who’s been going through tough times. Stephen bogardus, Jeffry Denman, Kerry O’Malley, and Meredith Patterson star of the production, directed by Walter Bobbie. The score includes songs from the Bing crosby film, supplemented by other arias from Irving Berlin’s songbook.

2009 Fela!, a biographical musical celebration of the Nigerian musical pioneer and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, opens on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theater. Sahr Ngaujah, who premiered the Off-Broadway show in 2008, alternates in the title role with Kevin mambo.

2014 Long-standing revival and rewarded with a Tony Chicago plays its 7,486th performance, exceeding Cats to become the second longest-running show in Broadway history. Ann reinking, Baby Neuwirth, James naughton, and Joel gray– who is behind the roles of Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Billy Flynn and Amos Hart in the production – each make a cameo at various points in the landmark performance.

2018 The Illusionists back to Broadway for the fourth time with a new show titled Holiday Magic at the Théâtre du Marquis. The limited engagement promises close-quarters magic, mentalism, breakouts and a tech show performed by Darcy Oake (The Grand Illusionist), Adam Trent (The Futurist), Colin Cloud (The Deductionist), Shin Lim (The Manipulator), Chloe Crawford (The Sorceress) and the Light Balance dance group.

More birthdays today: Guy Bolton (1884-1979), Boris Karloff (1887-1969), Erté (née Remain de Tirtoff) (1892-1990), Michael Gough (1916-2011), Pierre Gennaro (1919-2000), Jerry Bock (1928-2010), Bruce vilanch (born in 1948), Maxwell Caulfield (born 1959).

Watch the highlights of Fela!:


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