Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 30

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 30
Lily Rabe, Byron Jennings, and Al Pacino in <i>The Merchant of Venice.</i>
Lily Rabe, Byron Jennings, and Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice. Joan Marcus

1924 Opening night of George White's Scandals of 1924, which features a score by George Gershwin, including "Somebody Loves Me." It runs 192 performances at the Apollo Theatre.

1970 The midpoint between heaven and earth is a Steambath, according to Bruce Jay Friedman's new comedy, opening at the Truck and Warehouse Theatre. Anthony Perkins stars in and directs the production, which also features Hector Elizondo as a bath attendant who turns out to be God. Steambath runs for 127 performances.

1984 Playwright Lillian Hellman dies at age 79. Hellman made her Broadway writing debut with 1934's controversial lesbian drama, The Children's Hour. Other Hellman plays include 1939's The Little Foxes and 1944's The Searching Wind.

1999 Nothing says New York like Naked Boys Singing!, the musical revue conceived and directed by Robert Schrock which begins performances at The Actors' Playhouse Off-Broadway. The show, which celebrates nudity in sketches and songs written by various writers, actually started in Los Angeles. With songs like "Perky Little Porn Star," "Muscle Addiction," and "Nothin' But the Radio On," the show's biggest draw isn't Carl D. White's costume design.

2000 The Roundabout Theatre Company production of The Man Who Came to Dinner begins previews, marking the first performance at Roundabout's new American Airlines Theatre on Broadway. The venue, formerly the Selwyn Theatre, underwent a reported $25 million renovation before housing the revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play, starring Nathan Lane.

2003 Hundreds converge on the Richard Rodgers Theatre to say farewell to Tony and Oscar-winning librettist and screenwriter Peter Stone (1776, Titanic, The Will Rogers Follies, My One and Only, Woman of the Year, and many other shows), who died April 26 at age 73. Among speakers: Lauren Bacall, Maury Yeston, John Kander and Fred Ebb.

2010 The Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino as Shylock, opens at the Delacorte Theater. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, it co-stars Lily Rabe as Portia. The production transfers to Broadway a few months later for a limited engagement.

More of Today's Birthdays: John Gay 1685. Lena Horne 1917. James Goldman 1927. Harry Blackstone 1934. David Garrison 1952. David Alan Grier 1955.

Watch highlights from The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino:

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