Today in Playbill Vault Theater History: November 26

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1864 Edwin Booth opens a four month booth at Hamlet at the old Winter Garden Theater.

1900 Sarah bernhardt and Benoit Constant Coquelin opens a five-week engagement, in French, at the Garden Theater in New York. Bernhardt plays Camille, Tosca, Roxanne and, in a flurry of first non-traditional castings, two roles of “panties”, Hamlet and L’Aiglon (Napoleon).

1909 Eugene Ionesco was born in Slatina, Romania. Ionesco is known for his founding of the Theater of the Absurd, a school of thought that abolished realistic and psychological theater. Rhinoceros and The chairs are just two of his innovative pieces.

1911 At the Savoy Theater in London there is a special performance of Laurence Houseman’s Pioneer Players Pain and Penalty: The Defense of Queen Caroline. It had been banned because it treated royalty in an unflattering way.

1930 Rex harrison made his London debut as the Hon. Fred Thrippleton in Florence Kilpatrick Marry George at the Everyman Theater.

1935 Jane cowl is the First lady at the Music Box Theater in New York. This comedy is directed by George S. Kaufman, co-author with Catherine dayton. The play is about an influential Washington woman modeled on Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

1940 Ethel barrymore plays Miss Moffat in Emlyn williams‘ to play Corn is green, about a life-changing teacher in a small Welsh village. It opens at the National Theater and organizes 477 performances.

1946 Jean paul Sartrethe existentialist drama of No Exit proclaims “Hell Is Other People” in a production at the Biltmore Theater. He performs 31 performances.

1999 Steppenwolf Theater Companythe production of Terry johnson‘s Hysteria, a comedy about Sigmund Freud’s last days in a quiet London suburb, begins its performances in Chicago. The play has recently taken a new direction: replacing Alan Wilder, a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble, as the father of psychoanalysis is Yasen Peyankov. Wilder has stepped down “for personal reasons”. John malkovich, possibly Steppenwolf’s most famous member, is running the production. Malkovich, well known to moviegoers, rarely takes the stage at Steppenwolf, or elsewhere, preferring to work behind the scenes.

2002 The new Off-Broadway Little Shubert Theater on West 42nd Street opens with the concert-show, Tommy tune: White Tie and Tails, in which the leggy dancer / choreographer / director chats with audiences and performs some of his favorite pop and movie songs, with help from the Manhattan Rhythm Kings. The Little Shubert is opened by the Shubert Organization as an intimate and viable location off Broadway, but also as a testing ground for possible future Broadway works.

2012 Marty richards, a theater and film producer who was among the backers of the 2002 Oscar-winning musical film Chicago, and whose Broadway credits included Sweeney todd, Heart crimes, and La Cage aux Folles, died at the age of 80.

2016 Fritz Weaver, the bright-featured, Tony Award-winning actor best remembered on Broadway for his performance as Victorian Detective Sherlock Holmes in the 1965 musical Baker street, died at the age of 90. Weaver won the 1970 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as a rigid disciplinarian from a private school in the drama Child’s play.

More birthdays today: Emlyn Williams (1905-1987). Stanley lebowsky (1926-1986). Robert Goulet (1933-2007). Marian Mercier (1935-2011). Tina Turner (born 1939). Tandy cronyn (born 1945). Daniel davis (born 1945). Christopher Fitzgerald (born 1972).


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