1955 Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge opens tonight at the Coronet Theatre. The drama about Eddie, a simple longshoreman driven to acts of brutality and despair by passions he can't understand gets mixed reviews and will run only 19 weeks. Martin Ritts is the director of this production, whose stars include Van Heflin, J. Carroll Naish, Eileen Heckart, Jack Warden and Richard Davalos. The play was revived on Broadway in 1997 with Anthony LaPaglia (later, Tony Danza), playing the roles of Eddie, with Michael Mayer directing.
1962 After six-and-a-half years, the musical hit My Fair Lady will close on Broadway tonight. It played a record 2,717 performances, and its gross receipts were $20,257,000 -- a record at that time for a musical.
1983 A Chorus Line becomes the longest-running musical in Broadway history today. After 3,389 performances, it has surpassed Grease. The show continued on for a few more years with 6,137 performances as the final total. That number has been surpassed only by Cats, which, as of May 7, 2000 had racked up 7,341 performances and counting.
1985 Eugene O'Neill's classic, The Iceman Cometh, is revived at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre tonight. This play, about a group of hopeless denizens in a Lower East Side bar, was originally produced in October 1946 but was overshadowed by Arthur Miller's All My Sons. It did not receive major recognition until it was produced at the Circle in the Square Theatre in 1955. The cast of that version included Jason Robards, Jr. as Hickey, the traveling salesman, and was directed by Jose Quintero. The same actor in the same role with the same director make up the production tonight. The play was revived again on Broadway in 1999 with Kevin Spacey as Hickey and Tony Danza as Rocky, the bartender.
1975 A work by a new-to-New York playwright opens Off-Off Broadway at the St. Clement's Church called Sexual Perversity in Chicago. The play will win the season's Obie Award for Best New American Play and playwright David Mamet will go on to become a fixture in both Off-Broadway and Broadway theatre. 1999 The Atlantic Theater Company celebrate their 15th season by honoring the work of playwright and co-founder David Mamet. The season begins today with a double bill of The Water Engine and Mr. Happiness. Productions of Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Duck Variations continue the season, and the topper comes with American Buffalo starring the other Atlantic co-founder William H. Macy.
-- By Sam Maher and Ernio Hernandez