1958 Eugene O'Neill is the toast of Broadway tonight as his A Touch of the Poet opens at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The cast, directed by Harold Clurman, includes Kim Stanley and Helen Hayes, playing mother and daughter. Brooks Atkinson called the two ladies "the two finest actresses of their respective generations." The play, about a 19th century Irish family living in New England, runs 284 performances.
1981 John Raitt and Rosemary Yorba were married today. The two had been engaged in 1940, but since their families disapproved, they went on to marry others. Today they are together at last.
1994 The elaborate Harold Prince revival ofShow Boat opens tonight at the Gershwin Theatre, with racial issues coming to the fore. The original production, which opened in 1927, contained the word "nigger." The word was, for the most part, retained in the revival, even though the opening lyric of "Ol' Man River" is now "Colored folks work on the Mississippi." Elaine Stritch, Rebecca Luker, and Mark Jacoby star in the revival.
B>1996 The Theresa Rebeck adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros gets an Off-Broadway revival at Theater Four. The production begins tonight under the direction of Michael Murray. It is the first major revival since the original Broadway production in 1961.
--By Sam Maher and Ernio Hernandez