The first-ever Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson's Burn This is currently in previews at the Hudson Theatre, with opening night set for April 16. To celebrate the prolific playwright's legacy, we're taking a look back at his numerous Broadway plays, including Fifth of July, Angels Fall, and more.
Wilson was born on April 13, 1937, in Lebanon, Missouri. A childhood appreciate of art, writing, and seeing theatre later developed into a passion for dramatic writing; after a brief stint as a graphic designer in Chicago, Wilson began to study playwriting at the University of Chicago.
After relocating to Greenwich Village in 1962, Wilson met Caffe Cino co-founder and producer Joe Cino, who would go on to become Wilson's mentor and stage the writer's first Off-Off-Broadway production, So Long at the Fair. Wilson would go on to write numerous plays that were produced at Caffe Cino and La Mama Experimental Theatre Club before co-founding the Circle Repertory Company, through which many of his most famous plays would first be produced. Wilson would go on to see his Broadway debut, the play The Gingham Dog, open at the John Golden Theatre in 1969. The play ran for 19 previews and five performances; Wilson's later work, including Fifth of July and its prequel Talley's Folly, would see much greater success.
Wilson's Burn This originally premiered on Broadway in 1987 after a successful Off-Broadway run that same year. The cast featured Jonathan Hogan, Joan Allen, John Malkovich, and Lou Liberatore. Allen won a Tony Award for her performance, while Liberatore received a nomination for his. Burn This ran for 437 performances and seven previews before closing October 29, 1988.