1922 The Lucky One is the brother who doesn't get the girl in this A.A. Milne play. Staged at the Theatre Guild by Theodore Komisarjevksy with a cast including Dennis King, Romney Brent, and Helen Westley.
1934 Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour opens tonight at Maxine Elliot's Theatre. It's lesbian theme causes quite a stir around town, but Brooks Atkinson calls the play "venomously tragic." The stars are Ann Revere, Katherine Emery, and Florence McGee in this show that will run for 691 performances.
1946 Lillian Hellman has another show on Broadway on this day in theatre history. This time, she directs her play, Another Part of the Forest, which opens tonight at the Fulton Theatre. It revisits some of the characters from The Little Foxes earlier in their lives. The cast includes Patricia Neal, Mildred Dunnock, and Leo Genn in the 23-week run.
1952 George Axelrod's comedy The Seven Year Itch opens tonight at the Fulton Theatre. The cast includes Tom Ewell and Vanessa Brown in the role that Marilyn Monroe would immortalize in the 1955 movie (which also starred Ewell). This Broadway production would run for an incredible 1,141 performances and win Ewell a Tony Award for Best Dramatic Actor.
1957 The Rope Dancers, directed by Peter Hall, with a cast including Siobhan McKenna, Art Carney, Joan Blondell and Theodore Bikel begins a 24-week run. This drama by Morton Wishengrad deals with the lives of a New York tenement family at the turn of the century. 1966 "Life is beautiful" inside the Broadhurst Theatre tonight as Cabaret opens. Adapted by Joe Masteroff from Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories, with a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the show will run for 1,165 performances. It will go on to win seven Tony Awards including Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for Joel Grey. The 1997 Roundabout Theatre Company's revival will star Alan Cumming and win a Tony Award for Best Revival.
1990 James Clavell's best-selling novel Shogun becomes an unsuccessful musical, debuting tonight at the Marquis Theatre. The Paul Chihara-John Driver show, with elaborate costumes and sets, stars Philip Casnoff. "Pillowing" is the only song in a Broadway musical this season in praise of sexual toys: "It never tires of women like a lazy, jaded man."
-- By Sam Maher, Steve Luber and Anne Bradley