Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 23

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 23
Daniel Radcliffe in The Lifespan of a Fact
Daniel Radcliffe in The Lifespan of a Fact Peter Cunningham

1938 Helen Hayes is named the stage's greatest performer when the New York Sun prints its list of great performers. Compiled after polling 150 notable people, mostly in the theatre industry, the list names Katharine Cornell as runner-up. The pair of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne is third and others on the list include John Barrymore, Maude Adams, and John Gielgud.

1962 Comic actor Victor Moore dies at age 86. Moore clowned around opposite straight man William Gaxton in seven original Broadway musicals, including Anything Goes, Of Thee I Sing, and Louisiana Purchase. As a dramatic actor, Moore appeared in a revival of On Borrowed Time and in the Hollywood film Swing Time.

1999 Writer-performers David Collins and Shane Dundas join the likes of Metallica, Alanis Morisette, the Dave Matthews Band, Rage Against the Machine, Buckcherry, and Sheryl Crow as they perform at Woodstock '99 in Rome, New York. At the time, the duo, better known as The Umbilical Brothers, also perform their Off-Broadway show Thwak at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

2000 Tony Award-winning director Joseph Hardy returns to San Diego's Old Globe with Alan Ayckbourn as he helms Things We Do for Love. Charlotte Booker, Monique Fowler, Tom Lacy, and Dennis Parlato star in the romantic comedy as the tenants of a Victorian home-turned boarding house.

2002 Clark Gesner, the composer of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, one of the most simple-hearted and frequently-produced musicals in the history of the American theatre, dies at 64. He is visiting the Princeton Club in Manhattan when he suffers a fatal heart attack.

2013 Louis Ozawa Changchien, Katharine Powell and David Rasche star in the world premiere of Kenneth Lin's Warrior Class, opening Off-Broadway at the the McGinn/Cazale Theatre as part of Second Stage Theatre's Uptown Series. Evan Cabnet directs the drama about an assemblyman running for Congress who is forced to confront the ghosts of his college days.

2018 Young Jean Lee makes history as the first Asian-American woman playwright produced on Broadway when her play Straight White Men opens at the Helen Hayes Theater. Armie Hammer, Kate Bornstein, Paul Schneider, Josh Charles, and Ty Defoe all make their Broadway debuts in the production.

Today's Birthdays: Montague Glass 1877. Arthur Treacher 1894. Helen Martin 1909. Larry Shue 1946. Woody Harrelson 1961. Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967. Krysta Rodriguez 1984. Daniel Radcliffe 1989.

Watch highlights from the 2018 Broadway production of Straight White Men:

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