By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Robert Viagas
27 Mar 2014
1977 Martin Balsam and Paul Sparer play cancer patients finding different ways to accept their fates in Cold Storage. This drama by Ronald Ribman will run for six weeks at the American Place Theatre in New York.
1983 Playwright Neil Simon presents the first of his BB trilogy featuring the astute character Eugene Jerome as Brighton Beach Memoirs opens at Broadway's Alvin Theatre. Matthew Broderick, who will reprise the character in the second play Biloxi Blues, stars as the keen protagonist.
2002 Two comedy giants die today. Milton Berle, the performer who straddled vaudeville, Broadway, radio, nightclubs and movies before becoming the first star of the post-war industry known as television, dies at 93 in Los Angeles. Known as "Uncle Miltie," he appeared on Broadway in the Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1932 and as Windy Walker in Saluta, See My Lawyer, Ziegfeld Follies of 1943, and produced Broadway's I'll Take the High Road and Seventeen. He appeared in Top Banana on a summer stock tour in 1963. He also appeared on Broadway in Herb Gardner's The Goodbye People.
Also today, Dudley Moore, the diminutive actor who reached international heights starring in film comedies, "10" and "Arthur", but who was known to theatregoers in London and New York for the revues, Beyond the Fringe, and Good Evening, dies at age 66.
2003 A Broadway adaptation of the film Urban Cowboy opens today, with score cobbled together from more than a dozen songwriters. After receiving harsh reviews, the show will struggle on for 60 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre.
2008 Patti LuPone brings her summer 2007 "Encores!" revival of the musical Gypsy to Broadway, co-starring Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines. The three win 2008 Tony Awards for their performances. Librettist Arthur Laurents directs.
2011 Daniel Radcliffe climbs the ladder from window washer to corporate wunderkind in the 50th anniversary revival of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Rob Ashford directs and choreographs the musical, which features a score by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert.
2012 The King's Speech, David Seidler's play that was adapted as the Oscar-winning 2010 feature film, opens at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre. Directed by Adrian Noble, the production stars Charles Edwards as King George VI and Jonathan Hyde as speech therapist Lionel Logue. The stage version will not repeat the film's success, and closes seven weeks later.