Today in Playbill Vault Theater History: September 18

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1911 Disraeli opens on Broadway at the Wallack’s Theater. George Arliss plays the British Prime Minister in Louis N. Parker’s play. Arliss’ memorable performance earned him so much credit that he was asked to reprise his role in the film version. The stage production turns 280 performances on Broadway then in a few years (April 4, 1916), it turns in London at the Royalty Theater for 128 performances. The London run stars Dennis Eadie.

1925 Rodgers and Hart’s debut book show, and therefore Rodgers and Hart’s first successful musical, opens at the Knickerbocker Theater. He is Dear enemy, which contains Richard rodgers and Lorenz Hartmusic and lyrics by and Herbert Champs‘ words. The story is about an American woman who falls in love with a British soldier during the American Revolution. “Here in My Arms” and “Bye and Bye” are two popular songs from the musical. They are sung by the stars of the series, who are three superstars of the time: Helen Ford, Flavia Arcaro, and Charles Purcell. The production performs 286 performances.

1975 Nine Broadway musicals are closed as musicians go on strike demanding an increase in their base salary ($ 290 per week). Musicians picket for at least $ 380 per week. Other unions consider this unfair and do not respect the picket lines. A general consensus is that there should have been more consultation.

1985 Singing and dancing, an interpretation of Andrew Lloyd Webberthe music of, opens at the Royal Theater. Bernadette Peters co-starring with Christophe d’Amboise. The musical has been set in London for several years and includes music from Lloyd Webber’s “Variations” album and songs from a cycle by Webber and Don Black called Tell me a sunday. It takes place on Broadway for 474 performances.

1998 Craig lucasDying Gaul, who had recently received critical praise but a short life at Vineyard theater, returns to this Off-Broadway theater for a five-week engagement. The drama examines a struggling screenwriter who becomes professionally and emotionally compromised by his relationship with a studio boss and his wife.

2001 Reefer Madness, a musical based on the anti-drug film campy, opens Off-Broadway starring Christian Campbell, Kristen Bell and more.

2008 Nearly two decades of writing, workshops and rewriting culminate with the opening of Jill santoriellothe musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic A tale of two cities at the Al Hirschfeld theater. James barbour plays the drunken lawyer Sydney Carton who is redeemed by his love for a good woman in the musical in London and Paris during the French Revolution. We also find in the cast Gregg Edelman, Brandi burkhardt, and Aaron Lazar. It lasts 60 performances.

2012 John cullum, Darren pettie, Sarah sokolovic, Amy ryan, and David Schwimmer featured at the New York premiere of Lisa D’Amour‘s Detroit, Off-Broadway opening at Playwrights Horizons‘Main theater. The play about two couples bonding and then watching their lives unfold at a backyard barbecue was a finalist for the 2011 Pulizer Prize.

2014 A Broadway cover of AR Gurney‘s Love letters, featuring a rotating company of stars, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Brian Dennehy and Mia farrow are the first to appear, with Carol burnett, Alain Alda, and Candice bergen join later in the race. Even if Angelica Huston, Stacy Keach, Diana rigg, and Martin sheen are slated to join production in its final weeks, poor ticket sales are forcing it to close ahead of their scheduled start dates.

Today’s birthdays: Harold clurman (1901-1980). Agnes De Mille (1905-1993). Jack warden (1920-2006). Anna Deavere Smith (born in 1950). Stephen flaherty (born in 1960). James gandolfini (1961-2013). Barrett Foa (born 1977). Nina Arianda (born 1984).


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