Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: February 4


In 1999, Roger Bart, Kristin Chenoweth, and more open in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown on Broadway.

1938 Thornton Wilder turns the spotlight on the simple trials and tribulations of Our Town. Martha Scott and Frank Craven are among the cast at the Henry Miller’s Theatre. It wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and runs 336 performances. David Cromer‘s 2009 Off-Broadway revival surpasses that total on December 16, 2009, becoming the longest-running production of the play in its history.

1946 Playing the supposedly dumb blonde to the hilt, Judy Holliday stars in Born Yesterday. Garson Kanin penned the story, which also features Paul Douglas. It plays 1,642 performances, and Holliday reprises her role in the film adaptation, winning an Oscar.

1958 Tony Randall stars as a sailor with a woman in at least two ports in Oh Captain! The musical, with songs by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, is directed by José Ferrer. It runs at the Alvin Theatre in New York for 192 performances.

1982 A North Carolina highway rest stop opens on Broadway when the hit Off-Broadway musical Pump Boys and Dinettes transfers to the Princess Theatre. The country-flavored revue about the workers at an adjacent gas station and diner was conceived and written by its original cast: John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann. It runs 573 performances.

1999 Hang on Snoopy! At least till tonight, when you and the whole gang step out of the strip and into the Ambassador Theatre in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Anthony Rapp, Roger Bart, and Kristin Chenoweth are among the cast of the revival of Clark Gesner‘s musical. Director Michael Mayer adapted the 32 year-old show; new songs were added by musical arranger Andrew Lippa. Chenoweth and Bart both win Tony Awards.

2003 Opening night on Broadway for Richard Greenberg‘s baseball drama, Take Me Out. The story of a baseball star who comes out as gay wins the 2003 Tony Award as Best Play and star Denis O’Hare wins a Tony for Best Featured Actor.

2004 Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s The Phantom of the Opera plays its 6,681 performance, becoming the second longest-running production in Broadway history, surpassing Les Misérables. It surpasses Cats to become number one in January 2006.

2020 A musical adaptation of the 1969 movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, about two couples thrown into aa sexual revolution, opens Off-Broadway at The New Group. The Duncan Sheik, Amanda Green, and Marc Sherman musical stars Jennifer Damiano as Carol, Ana Nogueira as Alice, Joél Pérez as Bob, and Michael Zegen as Ted.

More of Today’s Birthdays: Richard Boleslavsky (1889–1937). Ugo Betti (1892–1953). Eddie Foy, Jr. (1905–1983). Robert Coote (1909–1982). Conrad Bain (1923–2013). David Newman (b. 1937). Jonathan Larson (1960–1996).

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