Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: October 1

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: October 1
Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady.
Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady.

1928 Mae West's controversial play Pleasure Man opens at the Biltmore Theatre. It's the story of an actor who has impregnated so many women that the brother of one of them takes up a knife to put a permanent end to the culprit's love life. Police shut it down after 2 performances.

1935 Birthday of silver-voiced Broadway leading lady Julie Andrews, who will star in The Boy Friend, My Fair Lady, Camelot and Victor/Victoria — but never win a Tony Award (she famously renounced her nomination for V/V when the rest of the cast was "egregiously overlooked"). She will win an Oscar for playing the title role in the Disney film musical Mary Poppins.

1936 Kitty Carlisle, William Gaxton and Eleanor Bauman (as "Zenzi, the Goat Girl") star in the musical comedy White Horse Inn, which runs for 223 performances.

1957 Kenneth Haigh, Alan Bates and Mary Ure star in John Osborne's searing drama, Look Back in Anger, which wins the 1958 Tony Award as Best Play.

1959 It is announced today that Warren Beatty will be making his Broadway debut soon in A Loss of Roses, in which he will play Shirley Booth's son. "[Beatty] paid for his acting lessons at Stella Adler's school by working as a sandhog on the Lincoln Tunnel," reports the New York Post.

1962 Barbra Streisand signs her first recording contract today with Columbia. The star of stage and screen will always be remembered for her performances in Funny Girl and "Hello, Dolly!". "The Barbra Streisand Album," her first, won her two 1963 Grammy Awards. One of the honors was "Album of the Year," and at the time she held the distinction of being the youngest artist to win that award.

1995 After three decades' absence, Carol Burnett returns to Broadway tonight co-starring with Philip Bosco in the Ken Ludwig classic Moon Over Buffalo at the Martin Beck. The critically-acclaimed performances of Burnett and Bosco help the show run 308 performances.

1998 Tracy Letts' Killer Joe, starring Scott Glenn and Amanda Plummer, begins its Off-Broadway run at the Soho Playhouse today. The drama centers on a dysfunctional Texas trailer park family. Wilson Milam directs the production, which will close June 27 of the following year as Glenn returns to end the run.

1999 A new musical by Irish composer Shaun Davey begins previews tonight at Playwrights Horizons to a sold-out crowd. The show starring Christopher Walken and Blair Brown is James Joyce's The Dead. Richard Nelson, the book writer, co-conceiver and adapter of the lyrics, shares a co-direction credit with Jack Hofsiss. The production will open on Broadway Jan. 11, 2000 at the Belasco Theatre and be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Musical.

2007 Ned Sherrin, 76, the British performer, director and writer who directed and starred in Side by Side by Sondheim and devised the 1960s satiric TV series "That Was The Week That Was," dies of throat cancer in London.

2009 Michael McKean plays the stuck proprietor of a Chicago doughnut shop who is shaken loose with the arrival of a brash new employee in Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts, opening at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.

More of Today's Birthdays: Stanley Holloway 1890. Dort Clark 1917. Walter Matthau 1920. James Whitmore 1921. Tom Bosley 1927. Richard Harris 1930. Edward Villella 1936. Lynn Ahrens 1948. Christine Andreas 1951. Christian Borle 1973.

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