Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: September 16

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1892 Songwriter and producer Earl Carroll was born. His best-known contribution to the theater is the eponymous review Earl Carroll’s Vanities, which had nine editions between 1923 and 1940, and a murder mystery set on his own show, Vanity murder.

1924 Actor’s birthday Lauren bacall, who had a long career in Hollywood before turning more and more to the theater from the 1960s. Among his main missions: Cactus flower, Waiting in the wings, Applause, and Woman of the year. She won the Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her performances in the last two shows.

1925 No, no, Nanette opens on Broadway at the Globe Theater. Louise Groody stars as the headstrong young woman who meets a cheeky bible seller, played by Charles Winner. Two well known musical theater songs that come from this show are “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.

1926 A detective novel entitled Broadway opens a race of 600 performances. It is co-written and co-directed by future Broadway legend Georges abbott– his first great success in these two capacities.

1940 Tallulah bankhead carried out Little foxes in Hershey, Pennsylvania. That morning, she attended her father’s funeral in Washington, DC, where he was the Speaker of the House.

1948 The national tour of A tram named Désir is in Pittsburgh, PA at the Nixon Theater. In the middle of the stage, the play comes to an abrupt halt as a false cry of “fire” is heard. Uta hagen, who plays Blanche DuBois, laughs at a serious moment expected in a later scene when her character yells “fire, fire”.

1983 Tonight is the last straw for the producers of Corn is green on Broadway at Lunt-Fontanne. His star, Cicely tyson, a revered stage and screen actor, was fired. She had missed the September 8 performance to accompany famed husband Miles Davis on a trip without letting the producers know in advance. The show ends two days later.

1997 Writer / actor Jean Leguizamo, whose previous solo exhibitions included Spic O-Rama and Mambo Mouth, opens his latest book Freak at the Atlantic Off-Broadway Theater. The current show has previously performed at Chicago’s Goodman Theater, San Francisco’s Theater on the Square, and Off-Off-Broadway’s Performance Space 122. He reached Broadway later in the season (February 12, 1998) and performed 144 performances.

2003 Hugh Jackman makes his Broadway debut in Peter Allen’s bio musical The boy of Oz, which begins the previews at the Imperial Theater. Jackman gets some of the season’s best reviews for his performance and won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

2013 Ethan Coenthe first integral piece of, Women or nothing, opens Off-Broadway at Atlantic theater companyLinda Gross Theater. Directed by David cromer, the production stars Robert Beitzel, Halley feiffer, Deborah Rush, and Susan Pourfar.

2016 Edward Albee, the author of dozens of biting and scabrous caustic dramas, and one of America’s most important playwrights for much of the past fifty years, dies at age 88. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, for A delicate balance, Seascape, and Three great women, his works also included History of the zoo, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Little Alice, and The goat or who is Sylvia?

2016 Richard Nelson’s Panorama of Rhinebeck continues at the Public Theater with the What are you waiting for?, the second piece of the The Gabriels: an election year in the life of a family cycle. Comprised of three pieces, the pieces follow a family as they discuss the real-world art, life, and politics of the era. The third play in the series will debut on November 8, the night of Donald Trump’s election.

2019 Kaleidoscopic and hopping comedy by Jaclyn Backhaus, wives opens at Playwrights Horizons. Directed by Margot Bordelon, the world premiere reframes the stories of the wives of “great men”, from the muscular castles of 16th century France to the rugged plains of 1960s Idaho, to the mighty fortresses of India from the 1920s.

More birthdays today: Sam spewack (1899-1971); Janis Paige (born in 1922); Pierre Falk (1927-2011); David Copperfield (born in 1956); Jennifer tilly (born in 1958); Marc Anthony (born in 1969); Nick jonas (born in 1992).

Watch highlights from the 2012 Broadway revival of Edward Albee Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton:


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