1936 Hamlet opens tonight at the Empire Theatre. John Gielgud in the title role racks up 132 performances, a record at that time for any Shakespeare play on Broadway. Guthrie McClintic directs this production, with sets by Jo Mielziner. Lillian Gish is Ophelia and Judith Anderson is Gertrude.
1980 Steve Tesich opens his new play about the denizens of a Chicago apartment house, Division Street, at the Ambassador Theatre. Although this comedy starred John Lithgow and Christine Lahti, it ran only 21 performances.
1999 At the Moscow Art Theater on Oct. 26, 1899, Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya opened. Today, 100 years later, at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse, the pre-Revolutionary Russia drama about a retired professor turned-gentleman-farmer and his niece is celebrated with a production adapted by Vanessa Burnham.
--By Sam Maher and Ernio Hernandez