Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: November 28


1923 Lionel Barrymore plays in David Belasco Laugh, clown, laugh!, the Pagliacci-like story of a middle-aged clown who adopts a young girl, but later, as she becomes a woman, discovers that his feelings for her turn into love, just as she falls in love with a boy his age. The Classic Weeper runs 133 performances at the Belasco Theater and is made into a movie starring Lon Chaney.

1934 Libby Holman presents the Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz standard “You and the night and the music” in the musical revenge with musicco-starring Georges Metaxa.

1951 John Van Drutenit’s play I am a camera features the story of Sally Bowles, the Berlin cabaret singer presented for the first time in Christopher Isherwood‘s stories, which is then musicalized in Cabaret. Julie Harris starred as Sally in the non-musical drama which ran to 214 performances at the Empire Theatre.

1957 Anthony Perkins plays the sensitive young man in Fringes KettiLook home, angelwhich opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theater and runs 564 performances.

1962 For two weeks Ahab alone pursues Moby-Dick. Orson Wellesadaptation of the Herman Melville novel starring Rod Steigeralso lasts long at the Ethel Barrymore Theater.

1968 Morning noon and eveningthree avant-garde plays by Israel Horovitz, Terrence McNallyand Leonard Melfi respectively, opens at the Henry Miller Theater. Theodore Mann directs all 52 performances. The cast includes Robert Klein and Sorrell Booke.

1972 Via Galactica opens at the new Uris Theater with a prize of $900,000. The musical, set on “a forgotten asteroid called Ithaca” in the year 2972, is directed by Stone Roomand has a score of Galt MacDermot. It lasts seven performances.

1978 What are Home pornstars Like? Leonard Melfi’s play highlights a birthday party with imaginary guests from this industry. It runs for two months Off-Broadway at the Courtyard Playhouse.

2000 In a collaboration, Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to interview people about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. The resulting game, The Laramie Project, is presented to Laramie for the first time, after tours at the Denver Center Theater Company and Off-Broadway’s Union Square Theater. Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten to death on the outskirts of town. The crime sparked outrage, debate and mourning around the world. Many residents are portrayed on the show and are expected to show up to see how Kaufman, his co-writers, and the cast portray them.

2007 A settlement is reached in a 19-day strike by stagehands against most Broadway shows that is believed to have cost the theater industry and New York economy nearly $40 million.

2012 My name is Asher LevAaron Posner’s play based on Chaim Potok’s bestselling novel, opens at Off-Broadway’s Westside Theater. Brand Ari stars in the title role, opposite Mark Nelson and Jenny Bacon as parents Aryeh and Rivkeh. The production has 341 performances.

More birthdays from today: John Willard (1885-1942). Gertrude Jeannette (1914-2018). Berry Gordy (born in 1929). Randy Newman (born in 1943). Ed Harris (born in 1950). S. Epatha Merkerson (born in 1952). Richard Bean (born in 1956) Colman Domingo (born in 1969).


Michael Cerveris, Randy Newman, Laura Osnes and Tony Vincent prepare for Faust: The Randy Newman Concert

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