Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 1

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 1
Elaine Stritch and Bernadette Peters in A Little Night Music.
Elaine Stritch and Bernadette Peters in A Little Night Music. Joan Marcus

1921 Opening night of the popular farce Getting Gertie's Garter about a man who gives a young woman a jeweled garter, then schemes to get it back before his fiance finds out.

1922 Stage veteran Arthur Hill is born today in Canada. After appearing in several productions on the West End, Hill will make his Broadway debut in the 1955 production of The Matchmaker. He will go on to appear in the Broadway productions of Look Homeward, Angel, All the Way Home, and as George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, winning a Tony Award for that performance.

1929 Michael Stewart is born today. He will write the books of several classic musicals, including Bye Bye Birdie, Hello, Dolly! and Mack & Mabel. Late in his career he took up work as a lyricist on Cy Coleman musicals I Love My Wife and Barnum.

1981 Paddy Chayefsky dies at age 58. Born in New York and starting as a writer for television dramas, Chayefsky would pen such Broadway plays as Middle of the Night and The Tenth Man. Other notable Chayefsky works are screenplays for the films "Marty" and "Network."

1996 Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts team up to bring I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, to Off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre. The show that explores the entire spectrum of male-female relationships, from dating to in-laws, will become OB’s longest-running musical revue Jan. 7, 2001, breaking the record formerly held by Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.

1997 Scott Wise, a Tony winner for Jerome Robbins' Broadway, heads a cast that includes Marla Schaffel and Patrick Wilson in Lucky in the Rain, opening tonight at Goodspeed Opera House. The show's music and lyrics are taken from the songbook of the late Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson. Sherman Yellen wrote the book for the musical about the romantic entanglements of two American journalists living in 1920s Paris.

2010 After a hiatus of several weeks, Tony-winning theatre favorites Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch reopen the acclaimed, Tony-nominated revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Peters and Stritch succeed Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, respectively, in the roles of actress Desirée Armfeldt and her worldly-wise mother Madame Armfeldt.

2012 Bring It On: The Musical, the pop-fueled musical inspired by the popular film franchise about rival cheerleading teams, opens on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. The show has a book by Jeff Whitty, music by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and lyrics by Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, the production will run 171 performances and earn Tony nominations for Best Musical and choreography.

More of Today's Birthdays: Composer Jerome Moross 1913. Director/writer Julie Bovasso 1930. Composer Lionel Bart 1930. Choreographer/actor Geoffrey Holder 1930. Comedian Dom DeLuise 1933. Director Sam Mendes 1965.

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