Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: November 9
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Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: November 9

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1818 Playwright and novelist Ivan Turgenev is born in Russia. His most notable play is A Month within the Nation, however makes a little bit of historical past in 2002 when his 150-year-old play Fortune’s Idiot makes its Broadway debut, and, by advantage of its by no means having been eligible earlier than, will get nominated for a Tony Award as Finest Play. It loses to Edward Albee’s The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?

1891 Opening night time of Charles H. Hoyt’s A Journey To Chinatown on the Madison Sq. Theatre. It achieves a then-phenomenal 657-performance run, which stands as a Broadway document for a musical till Oklahoma! within the 1940s. The plot bears greater than a passing resemblance to Act II of Whats up, Dolly!: A meddling widow lures a number of younger {couples} from their suburban properties to a downtown New York restaurant the place she makes an attempt to spark romance with the assistance of a wealthy man’s misplaced pockets. The present additionally produces one of many first hit Broadway showtunes, “The Bowery,” and subsequent productions add the hit, “After the Ball.” Trixie Friganza stars.

1903 Pink Feather opens. The musical, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, offers with a soldier who pursues a bandit and is doubly stunned to search out ‘she’ is a countess and he’s in love.

1925 Opening night time of The Final of Mrs. Cheyney starring Ina Claire and Helen Hayes on the Fulton Theatre. It runs 385 performances, and the Fulton is later renamed for Ms. Hayes.

1938 Mary Martin realizes “My Coronary heart Belongs to Daddy” in Go away It To Me!, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The solid consists of Gene Kelly and Sophie Tucker. It runs for 307 performances.

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1955 A Hatful of Rain opens on the Lyceum Theatre. Ben Gazzara, Anthony Franciosa, and Shelley Winters star in Michael V. Gazzo’s daringly drug-themed play. Frank Corsaro directs the 50-week run.

1964 Value Berkeley publishes the very first difficulty of Theatrical Index, which to at the present time presents a wealth of knowledge to the theatre trade about present and upcoming exhibits in New York and on the street.

1965 Most exhibits go “darkish”—actually—as a blackout robs a lot of the Northeast of electrical energy. The New York Occasions will get an 8-page difficulty out, whereas Selection misses its deadline, having had a clear document of not doing so for 60 years. The Broadway opening of The Zulu and the Zayda is postponed till the subsequent day, making a response from producer Dore Schary of “I by no means thought the Cort (the place the present was enjoying) would go darkish earlier than the opening.” The blackout lasts till the midnight. Matinees are on for tomorrow, however attendance may be very low.

1997 Frank Wildhorn follows up his gothic Jekyll & Hyde success with a lighter piece, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Opinions are brutal and grosses inadequate for the musical adaptation of Baroness Orczy’s novel. However, the present not solely runs, however new producers step in a yr later and rework the e book and choreography, to usually higher opinions. A 3rd revision additionally has a brief Broadway run.

2000 A Class Act opens Off-Broadway after a quick delay to shine up the present at Manhattan Theatre Membership. Lonny Value performs real-life lyricist Ed Kleban. Value additionally directs and co-wrote the brand new musical’s e book, in regards to the life and work of the late contributor to A Refrain Line. The present options unpublished songs (music and lyrics) written by Kleban. Most have solely hardly ever been carried out, till now. The songs have been “inherited by his pals when he died in 1987,” in keeping with a launch. Kleban died of most cancers earlier than he matched the success he had contributing lyrics to 1975’s A Refrain Line, his best-known work. A outstanding fund in his identify (The Kleban Award, from The Kleban Basis, Inc.) doles out annual money prizes to up-and-coming lyricists and e book writers. The manufacturing goes on to an acclaimed however transient Broadway run the next yr.

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2003 1970s icon Farrah Fawcett’s Broadway debut is aborted when the producer of her car, Bobbi Boland, closes the present in previews on the Cort Theatre.

2010 Lengthy Story Quick, former Saturday Night time Dwell solid member Colin Quinn’s solo comedy in regards to the decline of the world’s nice empires, opens on Broadway on the Helen Hayes Theatre.

2011 Michael Sheen opens within the title function of Hamlet at London’s Younger Vic, in a manufacturing directed by Ian Rickson.

2017 David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’ musical The Band’s Go to, primarily based on the 2007 movie of the identical identify, opens on Broadway on the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The manufacturing reunites many of the solid from the present’s 2016 Off-Broadway world premiere, together with Tony Shalhoub, John Cariani, Katrina Lenk, and Ari’el Stachel. It wins 10 Tony Awards, together with Finest Musical, and runs 556 performances.

Extra of Right this moment’s Birthdays: Marie Dressler 1868. Edna Might Oliver 1883. Ed Wynn 1886. Ellen McLaughlin 1957.

Check out images from the 2001 Broadway manufacturing of A Class Act:

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