1946 A revival of Playboy of the Western World, by J.M. Synge, opens tonight at the Booth Theatre. Maureen Stapleton and Julie Harris are both making their Broadway debut in this production. The show has Burgess Meredith as its star, and the staging is done by Guthrie McClintic. The show will run 10 weeks.
1965 David Carradine plays the Inca king whose country was attacked by conquistador Francisco Pizarro, played by Christopher Plummer, in Peter Shaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun, which opens tonight at the American National Theatre & Academy Theatre (ANTA). John Dexter directs this show, which will run 261 performances.
1968 An investment of $130,000 by the Theatre 69 repertory theatre company is lost today as they give up after only a two week trial. The group was organized to produce a series of straight dramas at the Billy Rose Theatre (now the Nederlander), including works by Albee and Beckett. Frank Rich called the project "the most adventuresome experiment Broadway has seen in years." As anyone can see, adventuresome doesn't always mean successful, though. The group just couldn't seem to find an audience in this already "economically troublesome year," as put by Otis L. Guernsey in his "The Best Plays of 1968-1969."
1974 Today is the first day of rehearsals for the musical Chicago. Choreographer-director Bob Fosse will be hospitalized shortly after, though, and the opening of the show will be postponed until June 3, 1976. Original cast members Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and Jerry Orbach are all present for this first rehearsal.
1993 Harold Rome dies today. A composer and lyricist, his shows include Call Me Mister, Wish You Were Here, and I Can Get it for You Wholesale, which starred a young Barbra Streisand. -- By Sam Maher and Steve Luber