Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 10

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 10
 
Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.
Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

1922 Birthday of Frances Ethel Gumm, better known as Judy Garland (1922-1969), star of numerous Hollywood film musicals including The Wizard of Oz. Her Broadway experience consists of three concert shows: Judy Garland: Palace Two-A-Day in 1951, Judy Garland in 1956, and Judy Garland "At Home at the Palace" in 1967.

1973 Playwright William Inge commits suicide in Hollywood, California at age 60. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for the drama Picnic. He also penned Come Back, Little Sheba, Bus Stop, and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

1976 Neil Simon's California Suite opens on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The play about couples and their troubles with each other and other couples stars Tammy Grimes, George Grizzard, Jack Weston, Leslie Easterbrook, and Barbara Barrie. The production runs through the next year, playing 445 performances before closing July 2, 1977.

1982 Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy opens on Broadway at the Little Theatre. The play, composed of three one-acts focusing on homosexuality and family values, wins Fierstein Tony Awards both for Best Play and for Best Actor in a Play. Also in the cast is pre-Golden Girls Estelle Getty. It runs 1,222 performances.

1999 Harry Groener plays Noel Coward to Twiggy's Gertrude Lawrence in Sheridan Morley's If Love Were All opening Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The musical revue, which focuses on the relationship between actor Lawrence and her friend and frequent co-star, playwright Coward, is directed by Leigh Lawson.

2001 Several high-profile Broadway shows close after being shut out of the Tony Awards. Despite a last-minute cash infusion from songwriter Alanis Morrisette, Jane Eyre ends a six-month money-losing run. Also closed today, Ed Kleban musical A Class Act and Faith Prince's Bells Are Ringing revival.

More of Today's Birthdays: Frederick Loewe 1901. Julie Haydon 1910. Terence Rattigan 1911. Nicholas Martin 1938. Gina Gershon 1962.

Watch highlights from the 2012 Broadway revival of William Inge's Picnic:

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