Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: May 1

playbill-vault’s-today-in-theatre-history:-may-1

In 2016, Dear Evan Hansen opens Off-Broadway.

1922 Comedy team Potash and Perlmutter are Partners Again. The show plays 31 weeks at the Selwyn Theatre.

1922 George Ault Mosel Jr. is born in Steubenville, Ohio. Under the name Tad Mosel, his adaptation of James Agee‘s novel A Death in the Family, titled All the Way Home, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1961.

1926 Scotland Yard is chasing The Ringer. Edgar Wallace‘s mystery has a run of 410 performances at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre. Gerald Du Maurier directs.

1929 Albert Carroll, Dorothy Sands, and James Cagney are members of the final collection of The Grand Street Follies. The show survives just 93 performances at the Booth Theatre on Broadway.

1983 Originally intended as a revival of the 1927 Gershwin musical Funny Face, Tommy Tune‘s My One and Only transforms into its own new musical as it opens on Broadway. The show, with book by Timothy S. Mayer and Peter Stone, and music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, respectively, plays 767 performances at the St. James Theatre.

1991 Eight years later, Tommy Tune is back on Broadway as he directs and, of course, choreographs The Will Rogers Follies which opens at the Palace Theatre. The show garners 11 Tony nominations and wins six of them, including Best Musical.

2001 Brian Stokes Mitchell, Leslie Uggams, Charles Brown, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Monté Russell star in August Wilson’s King Hedley II, opening today at Broadway’s Virginia Theatre (later re-named the August Wilson). Part of Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, the play takes place in the Pittsburgh of 1985 and centers on an ex-con trying to put his life back together. Davis will go on to win a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance.

2003 Bernadette Peters stars in a Broadway revival of Gypsy, which runs 13 months and is nominated for a Tony Award as Best Revival.

2006 After a successful tryout at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, The Drowsy Chaperone opens on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre, starring Bob Martin (also co-bookwriter) and Sutton Foster. It goes on to win five of its 13 Tony nominations, including Best Performance by a Featured Actress for Beth Leavel in the titular role.

2006 The old red-and-white canvas TKTS discount ticket booth, a Times Square landmark since 1974, closes to make way for a new booth to be built on the site. Operations move temporarily to a kiosk at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. The new TKTS booth, featuring an illuminated red glass staircase, opens on October 16, 2008.

2006 Jay Presson Allen, the playwright, director, and screenwriter whose credits included The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Tru, and the film of Cabaret, dies of a stroke at her home in Manhattan.

2008 Laura Linney and Ben Daniels star in a Broadway revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s American Airlines Theatre.

2013 A revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth‘s short lived 1981 Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along opens at the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre, following a successful run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Directed by Maria Friedman, the production stars Mark Umbers as Franklin Shepard, Damian Humbley as Charley Kringas, and Jenna Russell as Mary Flynn. It wins Best Musical Revival at the 2014 Olivier Awards.

2016 The New York premiere of Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson’s musical Dear Evan Hansen opens Off-Broadway at Second Stage, following its world premiere run at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Ben Platt makes his Off-Broadway debut in the title role. Following glowing reviews and a sold-out run, the production transfers to Broadway later that year.

More of Today’s Birthdays: Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852). Glenn Ford (1916-2006). Glen Ballard (b. 1953). Yasmina Reza (b. 1959).

See Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen

See Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen

Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson’s new musical opens December 4 at the Music Box Theatre.

6 PHOTOS

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Mike Faist and Ben Platt Matthew Murphy

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Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones Matthew Murphy

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Ben Platt and Laura Dreyfuss Matthew Murphy

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Ben Platt, Jennifer Laura Thompson, and Michael Park Matthew Murphy

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Cast Matthew Murphy

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Ben Platt and cast Matthew Murphy

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