Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: November 7

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1904 The timeless anthem “Give My Regards to Broadway” is sung for the first time on the Broadway stage at the opening of George M. Cohan Little Johnny Jones at the Liberty Theater. The story of an American jockey in England only has 52 performances, but the song lives on.

1910 Opening night for Victor Herbertthe operetta Naughty Marietta, which ran 136 performances at the New York Theater, and quickly became a theater staple, enjoying countless tours and three Broadway revivals in the decades to come.

1919 Birthday of Ellen Stewart, whose La MaMa Experimental Theater Club is one of the cornerstones of the Off-Off-Broadway movement.

1921 Actor Ed Wynn earns a nickname with the musical The Perfect Fool, written by himself and performed by himself, which begins a run of 275 performances at the Cohan Theatre. Wynn stars in numerous Broadway productions and films, but is perhaps best known to modern audiences as the giggling Uncle Albert who hosts the tea party on the ceiling in the Disney film. Mary Poppins.

1922 Jane Eagles creates the role of Sadie Thompson, a prostitute at odds with a jungle missionary, in Rain, based on a W. Somerset Maugham short story. It organized 256 performances at Maxine Elliott’s Theatre. Joan Crawford immortalized the role in the cinema in 1932.

1934 Opening night of dark victory, one of the great mourners in Broadway history, and endlessly imitated. Tallulah Bankhead plays at the Plymouth Theater as a spoiled heiress who discovers she has only months to live and must fix her bad ways, live life to its fullest, and make peace with the world before she’s gone. Bette Davis took the role in the 1939 film version.

1956 Long day trip into night opens (against the deceased playwright Eugene O’Neillwishes) at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The cast includes Jason Robards Jr., Frederic March, and Florence Eldridge, all led by Jose Quintero. Variety reports that this play is “a monumental and crushing drama, terrible in its cruelty, searing in its self-revelation, exhilarating in its pity, and overwhelming in its impact”. Brooks Atkinson says this production helps “gain size and stature” for American theater. The show has 390 performances.

1958 The Quare Scholar opens Off-Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theater. The show, whose title is slang for “doomed”, is written by Brendan Behan and the stars Liam Clancy. It lasts 126 performances.

1968 Lee J. Cobb stars in King Lear at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. The supporting cast is a who’s who of future stars: Stacy Keach, Philip Bosco, Paul Rudd, Charles Cioffi, Rene Auberjonois, and others.

1971 David Rabeit is sticks and bones open to public theater. David Selby stars as a traumatized Vietnamese veteran who returns home to his all-American family. The Golden Theater hosts the show move to broadway in 1972, with St. Loquasto getting his first opportunity to design a Broadway set. It lasts 121 performances Off-Broadway, then 246 performances on Broadway.

1996 The Santaland Newspapers opens at Atlantic Theater Company. The play, adapted from the book by David Sedaris barrel fever, features two stories: “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family”, about a housewife who finds her husband’s illegitimate daughter on her doorstep, and “The Santaland Diaries”, describing the experience of working as a Christmas elf at Macy’s. The show has 63 performances.

2001 Elaine Stritchpersonal exhibition of, Elaine Stritch: on the loose, made its Public Theater debut to rave reviews. The production moved to Broadway later in the season and won a Tony Award for a Special Theatrical Event.

2003 Rocker Rod Stewart’s catalog of songs forms the basis of a new musical, Tonight is evening, which opens at the Victoria Palace Theater in London.

2011 The first Broadway revival of divine spellStephane Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelakthe 1971 rock musical that tells The Gospel According to Saint Matthew with singing, clowning, improvisation and many topical references – opens at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Daniel Goldstein directs a cast featuring Hunter Parrish, Telly Leung, Lindsay Mendez and Nick Blaemire. It lasts 264 performances.

2019 Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, a biomusical on the life and career of the interpreter of “Proud Mary”. Warren was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in the role in London’s West End, and will ultimately win Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the COVID-postponed 2020 Tony Awards.

More birthdays today Charlotte Crabtree (1847-1924). Dean Jagger (1903–1991). Norman Krasna (1909-1984). Dakin Matthews (born in 1940). Lindsay Duncan (born in 1950).

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Production Photos Tina: The Musical Tina Turner on Broadway


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