Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 6

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 6
 
An original 1947 Tony Award.
An original 1947 Tony Award. Anita and Steve Shevett

1947 The first Tony Awards ceremony is held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Thirteen awards are presented to the likes of Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Fredric March, José Ferrer, Agnes de Mille, Kurt Weill, and Elia Kazan. No Best Play or Best Musical category yet exists, but the Best Author award goes to a young Arthur Miller for All My Sons. No medallions yet either; men get engraved cigarette lighters or money clips, women get compacts.

1955 3 For Tonight—and 11 weeks more. The revue starring Harry Belafonte, Marge and Gower Champion, and Hiram Sherman plays at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway.

1964 Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival Company travels to Britain in honor of the Bard's 400th anniversary. The Chichester Theatre hosts productions such as Timon of Athens and Love's Labour's Lost.

1948 During this month members of ASCAP, the union protecting the rights of composers and lyricists, strike for better terms for royalties on recordings and radio works. Since radio play is vital to boost popularity of showtunes, this hurts Broadway revues and musicals.

1966 John Barton, Trevor Nunn, and Clifford Williams collaborate on productions of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 for the Royal Shakespeare Company's Stratford-upon-Avon season.

1995 Opening night for Having Our Say, Emily Mann's chronicle of the real-life stories of the Delaney sisters, both of whom lived to be more than 100 years old. They tell what it was like to grow up young, gifted, and black in the post-Reconstruction South, and how one of them became one of the first black female doctors in the U.S. Mary Alice and Gloria Foster star.

2000 In Chicago, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest comes back to the stage when the Steppenwolf Theatre Company revives the play by Dale Wasserman, based on Ken Kesey's novel. Gary Sinise and Amy Morton star as McMurphy and Nurse Ratched in the mental hospital drama. The production later transfers to London and Broadway.

2009 Christopher Durang's absurdist political comedy, Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, starring Laura Benanti, Amir Arison, and Kristine Nielsen, has its world premiere at the Public Theater.

2014 Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses, starring Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei, and Tracy Letts, opens on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. Sam Gold directs the play about two neighboring suburban couples who discover they share more than a surname.

2017 Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole star as rival cosmetics giants Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden in the musical War Paint, opening at the Nederlander Theatre. The production reunites the Grey Gardens creative team of composer Scott Frankel, lyricist Michael Korie, librettist Doug Wright, and director Michael Greif. Originally announced to run through December 30, its run is cut two months short after it is announced that LuPone requires necessary and immediate hip replacement surgery.

Today's Birthdays: Jed Prouty 1879. André Previn 1929. Billy Dee Williams 1937. Marilu Henner 1952. Paul Rudd 1969.

Watch highlights from the 2017 Broadway production of War Paint:

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