In 1967, Michael Crawford, Lynn Redgrave, and Geraldine Page star in Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy.
1906 Opening night of George M. Cohan‘s George Washington Jr. at the Herald Square Theatre. The musical introduces the standard “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”
1915 The Neighborhood Playhouse opens at 466 Grand Street in New York. It is funded by Alice and Irene Lewisohn, noted for their arts and education philanthropies.
1924 How fast is a Beggar on Horseback? Come to the Broadhurst Theatre to find out. George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly‘s comedy limning the dream of a harried composer runs beyond the season. Osgood Perkins and Spring Byington star.
1929 English actor Lily Langtry dies in Monaco. She made her stage debut with the Bancrofts at the Haymarket in 1881, and organized her own company that toured England and America. She was 77 years old.
1930 An honest schoolteacher finds himself drawn into a confidence scheme in Marcel Pagnol‘s drama Topaze, starring Clarence Derwent and Frank Morgan. The drama plays 150 performances at the Music Box Theatre, and is later filmed at least five times.
1967 Black Comedy alights at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The Peter Shaffer comedy, shown with his The White Lies as a curtain raiser, stars Geraldine Page, Michael Crawford, Lynn Redgrave, and Donald Madden. There are 337 performances.
1969 Woody Allen stars in his own comedy, Play It Again, Sam, about a nebbishy film buff who uses the ghost of tough-guy film star Humphrey Bogart to help him win the affection of his dream girl, played by Diane Keaton. It runs 453 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre.
1979 After more than a month of previews, Mitch Leigh‘s musical Saravá reluctantly has its opening night—but only after theatre critics from major papers threaten to review it anyway. Starring Tovah Feldshuh, the romance lasts 101 performances.
1980 New York’s Rialto Theatre, a movie theatre built on the former site of Oscar Hammerstein‘s Victoria Theatre (1899–1915), returns to legitimate performance with a revival of the musical The Canterbury Tales. The production, which began life as a showcase at the Equity Library Theatre, runs for only two weeks.
1998 John Leguizamo‘s solo show, Freak, subtitled “A Semi Demi Quasi Pseudo Autobiography (His Most Dangerous Work Yet),” opens at the Cort Theatre. The production extends twice, receives Tony nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor, and is filmed for HBO by Spike Lee.
2013 Primary Stages‘ 20th anniversary revival of David Ives‘ All in the Timing opens Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters. Directed by John Rando, the collection of short comedies stars Carson Elrod, Jenn Harris, Matthew Saldivar, Liv Rooth, and Eric Clem.
2014 Sid Caesar, who, as the star of the 1950s live comedy show Your Show of Shows, became one of the first television celebrities and set a bar for sketch comedy that would remain for years, dies at age 91. Your Show of Shows, fueled by a murderer’s row of comedy writers that included the young Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart, debuted on NBC on February 23, 1950, and ran for four years. Caesar received a Tony nomination for his starring performance in Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, and Carolyn Leigh‘s 1962 musical comedy Little Me.
2019 Ivo van Hove directs a stage adaptation of All About Eve, opening at London’s Noël Coward Theatre. Gillian Anderson and Lily James star as Margo Channing and Eve Harrington, the roles originated by Bette Davis and Anne Baxter in the Oscar-winning film.