Today in Theatre History: OCTOBER 31

News   Today in Theatre History: OCTOBER 31 1967 Although Eugene O'Neill never wanted his 1939 play, More Stately Mansions, to be produced, it opened tonight on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre. The cast, which included Colleen Dewhurst, Ingrid Bergman and Arthur Hill, was directed by Jose Quintero. The show will run 142 performances. A controversial revival of this show was done in October 1997 at New York Theatre Workshop by Dutch director Ivo Van Hove.

1967 Although Eugene O'Neill never wanted his 1939 play, More Stately Mansions, to be produced, it opened tonight on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre. The cast, which included Colleen Dewhurst, Ingrid Bergman and Arthur Hill, was directed by Jose Quintero. The show will run 142 performances. A controversial revival of this show was done in October 1997 at New York Theatre Workshop by Dutch director Ivo Van Hove.

1972 Simon Gray's play about a professor losing his wife, homosexual male lover, and sobriety, Butley, opens tonight at the Morosco Theatre. Alan Bates wins a Tony Award for his starring role in this James Hammerstein-directed production, which ran 135 performances.

1982 An announcement is made today by the League of New York Theatres and Producers that at least 14 shows produced on Broadway this season are financed by movie companies.

1988 John Houseman, star of theatre, radio, film and television, dies today at age 86. One of the founding participants in the Voice of America radio for World War II, which became in famous for the "War of the Worlds" broadcast with Orson Welles. Houseman used his body to keep out programmers trying to shut the broadcast down. Houseman is also well known for the Academy Award he won for playing Professor Kingsfield in the film "Paper Chase" in 1973, a role he repeated in the TV series.

1991 Joseph Papp died after a battle with cancer today. A producer and activist, Papp started the Public Theatre (now the Joseph Papp Public Theatre), through which he nurtured unknowns such as David Mamet, Sam Shepard, Thomas Babe, David Hare, George C. Wolfe, Elizabeth Swados, Andre Serban, Robert Alan Ackerman, Wallace Shawn and Carson Kievman. Major productions include Hair and A Chorus Line. He was 70. 1991 Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mount Morgan opens tonight at London's Wyndham Theatre. It is the first time a Miller play has debuted outside of the U.S. Tom Conti is a man with two wives who, when convalescing after an auto accident, is forced to confront his selfishness and his choices. A production of the comedy-drama, starring Patrick Stewart and Frances Conroy, would come to Off-Broadway's Public Theatre in 1999 and then reach Broadway's Ambassador Theatre the following year.

--By Sam Maher and Steve Luber