Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 28

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 28
Robert Cuccioli in Jekyll & Hyde.
Robert Cuccioli in Jekyll & Hyde. Carol Rosegg

1900 Cho-Cho San and her passionate and tragic love illuminate David Belasco's adaptation of John Luther Long's story, Madame Butterfly. It is oddly paired on a double bill at The Duke of York's Theatre in London, with a comedy by Jerome K. Jerome, Miss Hobbs. Giacomo Puccini later uses the Belasco play as the basis for his opera.

1976 As a woman who rarely left her home but had an intricate imagination, Julie Harris is Emily Dickinson. Playwright William Luce calls the poet The Belle of Amherst. The solo play inhabits the Longacre Theatre on Broadway for 15 weeks and become one of Harris' signature roles.

1976 At the Royal Shakespeare Company's Aldwych Theatre in London, David Jones directs Maxim Gorky's The Zykovs. Paul Rogers and Mia Farrow are in the cast.

1988 Rook to downstage-right. The Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Tim Rice musical Chess, about the cold war, opens on Broadway. Trevor Nunn directs a cast that includes Judy Kuhn, David Carroll and Harry Goz. It runs 68 performances at the Imperial Theatre.

1990 A Chorus Line ends its extraordinary run after 6,137 performances. Cats and others would eventually prowl onward, but back then, the Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban, Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, and Nicholas Dante musical was the longest-running show in Broadway history.

1997 When a doctor really doesn't feel like himself it could turn chilling—or into a musical. Jekyll & Hyde opens on Broadway, with book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn. Robert Cuccioli stars with Linda Eder and Christiane Noll. The adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde runs 1,543 performances at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway.

2010 Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson play two female writers who help and challenge one another in the Broadway debut of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

2011 The People in the Picture, the original musical that stars Donna Murphy as an American grandmother trying to keep alive her days in Polish Yiddish theatre through her granddaughter, opens on Broadway at Studio 54. Presented by Roundabout Theatre Company, the musical has libretto and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, and music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler.

2016 In May 1921, Shuffle Along, a new musical conceived by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles, with music and lyrics by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of Broadway. 95 years later, George C. Wolfe tells the history of Shuffle Along in his new musical Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensastion of 1921 and All That Followed. The production stars Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon, and Joshua Henry. It runs 100 performances at the Music Box Theatre.

Watch highlights from the 2016 Broadway production of Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed:

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