1895 Birthday of Charles MacArthur, journalist turned playwright, whose Savoyard work includes Front page, 20th century (the play on which the musical In the twentieth century is based), Johnny on a Spot, Lulu Belle, Ladies and Gentlemen, and the libretto for the musical Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Giant. He was also married to Helen Hayes.
1941 Summoned by a psychic, a bride’s spirit returns in ghost form to flirt with her still-living husband and torment his new bride in Cowardly Christmasthe sparkling comedy, Joyful spirit, which opens at the Morosco Theater, and lights up wartime Broadway for 650 performances.
1943 Playwright’s birthday Sam shepard, one of the cornerstones of the Off-Off-Broadway movement in the 1960s, with pieces like The invisible hand and The tooth of crime, which is becoming a little more mainstream with works including True west, All for love, and Pulitzer-winner Buried child. He also contributes a skit to the longtime review Oh! Calcutta!
1951 Rogers Ginger appears on the cover of Life, “Back On Broadway” in To love and let love. However, the show, plagued by feuds during its trial period, only played 51 performances, losing around $ 30,000.
1973 Pierre Hall succeeds Laurence Olivier as Director of the English National Theater, leading the company through many years of success and a Queen appointed name change to the Royal National theater.
1980 Christophe reeve, Swoosie Kurtz, and Amy wright are the stars in July the 5th through Lanford Wilson, which opens at the New Apollo Theater. The show was an off-Broadway hit as a Circle Rep production in 1978, and reiterated its success on Broadway, with 511 performances and winning Kurtz a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle Award.
1987 Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s elaborate interweaving of multiple fairy tales, In the woods, opens on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theater. The fan favorite sheet music includes “No One Is Alone” and “Children Will Listen”, as well as the title track. Rabbit, who also wrote the book, directs a cast that includes Joanna gleason, Chip Zien, and Bernadette Peters. He performs 765 performances.
1995 Master class, Terrence McNally’s play about opera diva Maria Callas, opens on Broadway at the Golden Theater. Zoe Caldwell stars as Callas, with Audra McDonald playing one of her students. He went on to win the Tony Awards for Caldwell, McDonald and Best Play. Dixie Carter and Patti LuPone take on the role of Callas later in the 598 performance series.
2012 Samuel D. Hunter’s New York Premiere The whale, a poignant study into the roots of dysfunction in the life of a 600 pound man suffering from morbid obesity, opens Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons‘Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Shuler hensley stars like Charlie, the mentally vibrant but emotionally lost soul (and above all tied to the couch).
2015 On your feet!, the musical based on the life of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, opens on Broadway at the Marquis Theater, where it is held for 746 performances. Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra play Gloria and Emilio.
2018 Christopher Demos-Brown’s american son opens at the Booth Theater on Broadway. Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee star in the drama, about a estranged interracial couple reuniting at a police station and grappling with the disappearance of their teenage son. Director Kenny Leon will also direct a filmed version for Netflix, with all four reprising their performances.
More birthdays today: Nathalie Schafer (1900-1991). Vivien Leigh (1913-1967). Donald madden (1928-1983). Harris yulin (born in 1937). Howard mcgillin (born 1953). Sam rockwell (born 1968). Keala settle down (born 1975). Sebastien Arcelus (born 1976).
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Zoe Caldwell, Patti LuPone, Dixie Carter, Faye Dunaway and Tyne Daly in Terrence McNally’s Master class