Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 24

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 24
Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd in Henry V
Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd in Henry V George E. Joseph / The New York Public Library

1942 Gypsy Rose Lee and Bobby Clark are featured in Michael Todd's musical revue, Star and Garter, which opens a 609-performance run at the Music Box Theatre.

1942 Birthday of actor Michele Lee. Lee's performances include Tony-nominated turns in Seesaw and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Rosemary in the Broadway and film versions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Karen Fairgate in the long-running television drama Knots Landing.

1948 One of the earliest ice-skating revues, Howdy, Mr. Ice, opens a 406-performance run at Broadway's Center Theatre.

1976 Paul Rudd stars as Henry and Meryl Streep as Katharine in the New York Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare in the Park mounting of Henry V. Among the costars are Michael Moriarty (as Chorus), Jay O. Sanders, Stephen Lang, Philip Bosco (as Pistol), Gerry Bamman, and Lenny Baker.

1981 Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey opens at the Century Theatre for a run of 157 performances. The production stars Amanda Plummer, in her Broadway debut, as a working-class English teenager who becomes pregnant by a black sailor.

1992 Al Pacino and Charles Cioffi star in Chinese Coffee at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Arvin Brown directs the Ira Lewis play about a failed writer who uses his almost equally disappointed photographer friend as the inspiration for his latest novel. To help the struggling Circle in the Square, Pacino and the creatives agree to work for union scale, and free tickets are not given to Tony voters.

1997 Off-Broadway gets a taste of the Grand Ole Opry when the musical biography Always...Patsy Cline opens at the Variety Arts Theatre. Ted Swindley directs the musical, which he wrote about the country & western star who died in a plane crash in 1963. Tori Lynn Palazolla and Margo Martindale star.

1999 Shear Madness, the longest-running show in the history of Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center, celebrates its 5,000th performance. The improvisational murder-mystery opened for a 12-week run August 12, 1987 and has been playing ever since.

2013 Jonathan Tolins' comedy Buyer & Cellar, starring Michael Urie as a struggling Los Angeles actor who finds himself working in Barbra Streisand's basement, opens at the Barrow Street Theatre. Originally announced as a limited ten-week engagement, it runs for over a year.

2014 Eli Wallach, who had one of the most far-ranging and long-lived acting careers of his era and was one of the last exemplars of a post-WWII generation of American actors who brought the earnest and hard-hitting style of Method acting to stage and screen, dies at age 98. Wallach won a Tony Award for his performance as Alvaro Mangiacavallo in Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo. Some of the other highlights of his long career on Broadway were the original productions of Tennessee Williams' Camino Real and John Patrick's The Teahouse of the August Moon, and the U.S. premiere of Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros.

More of Today's Birthdays Ira Hards 1872. Norma Langworthy 1919. Michele Lee 1942. Anna Louizos 1957. Iain Glen 1961.

Watch Michele Lee preview her 2014 cabaret engagement at 54 Below:

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