Today in Playbill Vault Theater History: October 26


1844 Edward Harrigan, half of Harrigan and Hart’s iconic 1880s writing and performance team, was born. He and Tony Hart create the popular Mulligan Guards characters reflecting New York’s immigrant polyglot. In 1985 he became the subject of the Broadway musical Harrigan ‘n Hart.

1931 Opening night of Mourning becomes Electra, Eugene O’Neillthe epic nine o’clock reimagining of Greek Oresty like a Civil War saga. Featuring Alla Nazimova and Earle Larimore, it takes place at the Guild Theater.

1946 A revival of The Playboy of the Western World, through John Millington Synge, opens at the Booth Theater. Maureen Stapleton and Julie harris both make their Broadway debut in production. The show has Burgess Meredith as its star, and the staging is done by Guthrie McClintic.

1955 Opening night of The chalk garden, Enid Bagnoldcomedy, starring Siobhan McKenna, Marian seldes, Gladys Cooper, and Fritz Weaver.

1965 David Carradine plays the Inca king whose country was attacked by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro, played by Christophe plummer, in Peter Shaffer‘s The royal hunt for the sun. Realized by Jean Dexter, it takes place at the ANTA Theater.

1968 A $ 130,000 investment from the 1969 Theater repertoire company was lost as they gave up after only two weeks of trying. The group was organized to produce a series of straight dramas at the Billy Rose Theater (now the Nederlander), including works by Edward albee and Samuel beckett. Frank Rich called the project “the most adventurous experience Broadway has seen in years.” But adventurous doesn’t always mean success. The band just couldn’t find an audience in this “economically difficult year,” as Otis L. Guernsey put it in his The best pieces from 1968-1969.

1971 birthday of Anthony rapp, who rose to fame as the original Mark Cohen in To rent, and who later appears in the title role of You are a good man, Charlie Brown.

1974 The first day of rehearsals for the musical Chicago. Choreographer-director Bob Ditch was hospitalized soon after, however, and the show’s opening was postponed to June 3, 1975. Original actors Chita rivera, Gwen verdon, and Jerry Orbach are all present for the first rehearsal.

2000 Opening night of David Yazbek and Terrence McNally‘s The full Monty, a musical adaptation of the hit British film about a group of unemployed blue collar workers who become strippers in order to pay their bills. With Patrick wilson, André De Boucliers, Kathleen freeman, and Emily skinner, it takes place at the O’Neill Theater.

2001 Elaine stitch begins performances on his solo show, Elaine Stritch: to freedom, at the Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival. Directed by George C. Wolfe, the show won acclaim, moved to Broadway, and ultimately won the 2002 Tony Award for Outstanding Special Event.

2003 Doris Eaton Travis, Lucille Layton, Barbara hunter, and Charles Eaton are among The follies of Ziegfeld alumni gathering at the restored New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Grand Theater on 42nd Street.

2006 Director-choreographer Twyla Tharp uses Bob Dylan’s greatest hits to tell the story of an unhappy circus troupe under the control of Captain Ahrab in Times are changing ‘ at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. The productions feature Michael Arden, Lisa Brescia and Thom Sesma.

2010 The musicians Joey curatolo, Joe bithorn, Ralph castelli, Steve Landes, and Marc Beyer evoke the iconic British rock band the Beatles in Rain: a tribute to the Beatles, which opens at the Neil Simon Theater. The multimedia concert presents the group’s greatest hits performed live and note by note.

2012 A new musical Giant, starring Kate Baldwin, Brian D’Arcy James and PJ Griffith, hits the Public Theater. The Michael John LaChiusa-Sybille Pearson musical is based on Edna Ferber’s Texan novel about love, greed and power that spans generations. Michael Greif directs.

2014 The last boat, a folk-rock musical comedy with music and lyrics by Prick—Inspired by the songwriter’s own childhood — opens on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater. Realized by Joe mantello, he stars Michel esper, Rachel Tucker, Jimmy nail, and Sally Ann Threesome. Sting himself joins the cast for limited engagement halfway through the race.

2017 Julie Taymor returns to Broadway for the first time since Spider-Man extinguishes the darkness directing a cover of David Henry Hwang Mr. Butterfly at the Cort Theater. Clive Owen plays French diplomat René Gallimard, who falls in love with a mysterious Beijing opera singer named Song Liling, played by Jin Ha.

More birthdays today: Margaret wycherly (1881-1956), Maureen Anderman (born in 1946), Roseau Rondi (born 1952), Robert Westenberg (born 1953), Cynthia Sophiea (born 1954), Rita Wilson (born 1956), Patrick Breen (born 1960), Tom Cavanagh (born 1963), Will swenson (born 1973), Chaz Lamar Shepherd (born 1977), Beau Willimon (born 1977), Emilia Clark (born 1986).

Watch Highlights From The 2014 Broadway Musical The last boat:

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