In 1949, South Pacific opens on Broadway.
1949 Joshua Logan, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II travel to the South Pacific, as their new musical based on James Michener‘s Tales of the South Pacific opens on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre. Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza star. It wins ten Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and runs 1,925 performances.
1950 Walter Huston dies in Hollywood, California at age 66. Later known more for his film acting, Huston began his career on the stage in 1902. He appeared in Desire Under the Elms, Dodsworth, and Knickerbocker Holiday. His son John went on to be a successful movie director, and his granddaughter Angelica is an Academy Award-winning actor.
1964 Noël Coward stages the musical High Spirits, which Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray based on Coward’s play Blithe Spirit. Beatrice Lillie, Tammy Grimes, and Edward Woodward star. There are 375 performances on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre.
1970 Paul Zindel‘s The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds opens Off-Broadway at The Mercer O’Casey Theatre. The play, about a mother whose husband leaves her to raise two teen daughters, features Sada Thompson. Swoosie Kurtz makes her debut in the production.
1994 Hell hath no fury like Diana Rigg! The actor opens in the title role of Euripides‘ Medea at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway. The production runs 82 performances under the direction of Jonathan Kent. Rigg wins a Tony Award for her performance.
2007 Barry Nelson, the likable, average-Joe star of some of the biggest Broadway comedies of the 1950s and 60s, including The Moon Is Blue and Mary, Mary, dies at age 87 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
2009 Following an acclaimed run at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages, Rock of Ages opens on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Constantine Maroulis, Amy Spanger, and James Carpinello star in the musical which features a score of 1980s hits by rock groups Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Pat Benatar, and others. It runs 2,328 performances.
2011 Anything Goes, the 1934 Cole Porter musical about the lovers, liars, and clowns on a transatlantic cruise, opens at the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Kathleen Marshall directs and choreographs the revival starring Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, Laura Osnes, and Colin Donnell. The production wins three Tony Awards, including Best Actress in a Musical for Sutton Foster, and Best Revival of a Musical.
2015 Hand to God, starring Steven Boyer as a boy with a foul-mouthed hand puppet, opens at the Booth Theatre, marking the Broadway debuts of playwright Robert Askins and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel.
2019 Daniel Fish’s radically re-imagined Oklahoma! opens at Circle in the Square. Leaving the text as is, Fish’s production reinvigorates for many a show that has long been accepted as wholesome Americana, revealing dark undercurrents of racism, sexism, and more. It wins two Tony Awards: for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Ali Stroker’s performance as Ado Annie.