Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: June 4


Today’s birthdays include Julie White, Mary Testa, and Rosalind Russell.

1973 Mike Nichols’ production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya opens at the Circle in the Square on Broadway. Lillian Gish, George C. Scott, Nicol Williamson, Julie Christie, Cathleen Nesbitt, Barnard Hughes, Conrad Bain, and Elizabeth Wilson fill out the cast.

2002 Some Like It Hot—the revised version of the 1972 Broadway musical Sugar—begins a national tour in Houston and travels to dozens of U.S. cities. Headliner Tony Curtis co-starred in the 1950’s Billy Wilder film on which the show is based.

2018 BD Wong stars in the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, opening Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. Inspired by events from Yee’s father’s life, the play follows a San Francisco basketball player who talks his way onto a college team just before they travel to Beijing.

Today’s Birthdays: Clara Blandick (1880–1962). Rosalind Russell (1907–1976). Dennis Weaver (1924–2006). Bruce Dern (b. 1936). Mary Testa (b. 1955). Keith David (b. 1956). Sam Harris (b. 1961). Julie White (b. 1961). Peter Jöback (b. 1971). Sasha Allen (b. 1982).

Remembering the Theatrical Work of the Multi-Talented Mike Nichols

Remembering the Theatrical Work of the Multi-Talented Mike Nichols

“Becoming Mike Nichols” debuted on HBO Feb. 22. We take a look at the late Renaissance man’s illustrious career.


Remembering Mike Nichols
Remembering Mike Nichols Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Mike Nichols and Elaine May performing with Compass Players, 1950s. The Chicago-based improvisational troupe eventually fed members into what became Second City. HBO

Mike Nichols in performance of Jean Cocteau’s The Typewriter, 1953. Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library/courtesy of HBO

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By 1957, he and Elaine May had teamed up and began touring the nation with an act of partly improvised, satiric sketches that had them inhabiting many characters. They reached Broadway in 1960 with An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

Editor Sam O’Steen and Mike Nichols working on “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1965 Bob Willoughby/ of HBO

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the film adaptation of “Barefoot in the Park”

Mike Nichols (left) on the set of “The Graduate,” 1967. HBO

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At one point in early 1967, Nichols had four hit productions running on Broadway—Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple (pictured here), Murray Schisgal’s Luv and the musical The Apple Tree. He won directing Tonys for all but the last. Henry Grossman

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Barbara Harris in The Apple Tree

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Nichols ended the decade staging a revival of The Little Foxes (pictured) at Lincoln Center and Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.

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