By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas and Anne Bradley
09 Feb 2014
1926 Charles MacArthur and Edward Sheldon have a hit with the campy potboiler Lulu Belle. Lenore Ulric stars as a Mississippi nightclub singer who ruins the life of a rising young attorney who falls for her, but realizes in the end that she loves him, too. It runs 461 performances at the Belasco Theatre, and is made into a film with Dorothy Lamour.
1931 The romance between poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett is dramatized in The Barretts of Wimpole Street, which stars Katharine Cornell and Brian Aherne. The production runs 370 performances at the Empire Theatre.
1962 Already convicted, a man searches for a Signpost to Murder to prove his innocence. Monte Doyle's thriller will run 419 performances at the Cambridge Theatre in London. Derek Farr and Margaret Lockwood star.
1972 British actor-director Robert Atkins dies today. He performed in and directed many Shakespearean productions for the Old Vic. He was 85 years old.
1984 Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli play mother and daughter in The Rink, John Kander & Fred Ebb's musical about a family that runs a roller-skating rink. After five nominations, Rivera will win her first Tony Award for the role. The show will run 204 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.
2007 Ian Richardson, 73, the British stage actor known for the BBC's 1990 drama series "House of Cards" who played Jean-Paul Marat in Marat/Sade on Broadway and Henry Higgins in the 1976 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, dies at his London home.
2011 Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss star in a new production of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London. Knightley plays Karen Wright, and Moss plays Martha Dobie, who together run a girls’ boarding school in 1930s New England, where they become entangled in a story of deceit, shame and courage when a schoolgirl's whispers spread, triggering a chain of events with extraordinary consequences.