Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: November 6

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1854 Birthday party of John Philip Sousa, composer of countless marches, who also found time to write Broadway musicals including Chris and the wonderful lamp (1900), The Free Lance (1906), and the american maid (1913). In The man of music, it is his arrival in town that Professor Harold Hill describes in the song “76 trombones”, which is written in the Sousa style. Composer Meredith Willson played in Sousa’s group early in her career.

1899 Opening night at the Garrick Theater for the melodrama Sherlock holmes written by and with Guillaume Gillette, based on Arthur conan doyle stories about a brilliantly analytical detective. Gillette revived and rotated the play almost constantly over the next three decades. In all, the play has been produced on Broadway eight times, more recently in 1974 with John wood in the signature role of Gillette.

1905 Peter Pan flies over Broadway for the first time, in a production of James M. Barrie at the Empire Theater, with Maude adams in the title role. The play was reprized on Broadway seven times over the next 50 years, then adapted twice as a musical (first by Leonard Bernstein, then by Moose Charlap and Jule Styne), which earned him more productions.

1911 Henrik ibsen‘s The lady of the sea gets its American premiere.

1931 Elmer ricethe drama Jural advisor opens on Broadway at the Plymouth Theater, with Paul Muni and Constance McKay. There are 416 performances left.

1966 Jean-Claude Van Italliethe production of three of his short satires, American Hurray, opens Off-Broadway at the Pocket Theater. Maintenance, TV, and Motel are all three pieces and the cast includes Brenda Smiley, Ronnie Gilbert and Bill macy. These plays on industrial America and urban life are directed by Joseph Chaikin and Jacques Levy and ran for 634 performances until the troupe had the opportunity to perform the plays at the Royal Court Theater in London in 1967.

1975 Seven years after receiving a Special Tony Award for his groundbreaking and audience-favorite performance on Broadway’s Hello Dolly!, Pearl Bailey is getting her own cover of the Jerry Herman-Michael Stewart musical, opening today at the Minskoff Theater. Lucia Victor and Jack Craig recreate the original direction and choreography of Gower Champion (respectively) in this new cut from the original production. As she was during her stint in the original race, Bailey is joined by an all-black company, this time including Billy Daniels, Terrence Emanuel, Grenoldo Frazier, Chip Fields, Karen Hubbard and Mary Louise.

1988 A star cast includes the rebirth of Waiting for Godot To Lincoln Center TheaterMitzi E. Newhouse Theater. The Samuel beckett the staple is led by Mike Nichols and stars Robin williams and Steve martin, in the same way F. Murray Abraham and Bill Irwin, but only has a limited series of 25 performances.

2000 Interviews with innocent death row inmates form the basis of Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen The exempt, which presents artists Richard Dreyfuss, Steve Buscemi, Vincent D’Onofrio, Hazelle Goodman, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson at the Culture Project at 45 Bleecker. The play uses a simple staging with the actors reading interconnected monologues based on the interviews. Two other evenings are performed by stars such as Susan sarandon, Tim Robbins, Edie Falco, Sarah jones, and David Morse.

2002 In an abrupt change of style, character, and subject, the badass playwright David Mamet open Boston wedding, a Oscar wilde– a comedy-style comedy about two Victorian-era lesbians who work their jealousy on a pretty, young intruder.

2003 The Biltmore Theater on Broadway gets its first opening night in 16 when Richard greenberg‘s Violet hour bows before space which has become the flagship of the Manhattan Theater Club after a multi-million dollar renovation.

2005 The close harmonies and personal dramas of the doo-wop group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are transformed into a songbook musical that everyone will love, Jersey Boys, who became the Dark Horse winner of the 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical. John Lloyd Young and Christian Hoff also won Tony Awards for their respective performances as Frankie Valli and Tommy DeVito, and the show is on Broadway for 4,642 performances.

2010 A group of about thirty people picketed the Scottsboro Boys, saying the musical, which uses 19th century minstrel performance conventions, is racist. Director Susan stroman is quoted in the New York Times responding that the creators of the series “did not celebrate the tradition of the minstrels but rather used it to reveal the evils of the system”.

2011 The world premiere of Michael John La Chiusais musical Mist queen opens at Judson Memorial Church Gymnasium. Presented by The Transport Group, the stars of production Marie testa as Anna Edson Taylor, the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

More birthdays today: Gus Kahn (1886-1941). Ole olsen (1892-1963). Juanita Room (1901–1968). Ruth selwyn (1905-1954). Jonathan harris (1914-2002). Pierre Matz (1928-2002). Mike Nichols (1931-2014). Sally Field (born 1946). Michel Cerveris (born in 1960). Eddie Korbich (born in 1960). Ethan hawke (born 1970). miller patina (born 1984). Emma Stone (born 1988).


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