1768 Birthday of John Durang (1768-1816), identified by scholars as one of the first American-born professional dancers and actors. Known for his "Dwarf Dance," "Sailor's Hornpipe" and circus appearances, as well as acting roles in Philadelphia (then the American theatre capital), New York, and on tour throughout the early United States. Also a puppeteer, clown, singer, and rope-dancer. A distant ancestor of author and performer Christopher Durang.
1902 The Toreador is actually a discharged servant who tries bullfighting, mixing with a mad anarchist's bomb plot, and singing too! The musical plays the arena of Knickerbocker Theatre for 146 performances. Music is provided by Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton. Francis Wilson is the man behind the cape.
1937 Walter Huston stars in Othello at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Director Robert Edmond Jones had designed this production for the Opera House in Central City, Colorado before overseeing its odyssey East.
1974 Liza Minnelli opens her 23-performance concert engagement at the Winter Garden Theatre. The evening is directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, features original musical material written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, and includes Marvin Hamlisch as musical coordinator.
1983 Kate Nelligan stars as a former member of the French resistance who searches for meaning in her postwar life in David Hare's drama, Plenty, which opens tonight at the Plymouth Theatre, and runs 92 performances.
2005 Richard Foreman, the respected downtown Manhattan theatre auteur, unveils his latest cerebral vaudeville, The Gods Are Pounding My Head (Lumberjack Messiahs) at the Off-Off-Broadway Ontological Theatre. The theatre says it's to be the last in a series that goes back to the 1960s.
Watch Eddie Redmayne make his Broadway debut opposite Alfred Molina in Red: