By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley, Ernio Hernandez and Robert Viagas
04 Apr 2013
1944 Philanthropist Irene Lewisohn died today in New York City. She and her sister Alice Lewisohn built and endowed the Neighborhood Playhouse. With Aline Bernstein she founded the Museum of Costume Art on Fifth Avenue in 1937.
1949 Herman Wouk's The Traitor receives just 67 performances at the 48th Street Theatre in New York. Walter Hampden and Jean Hagen are in the cast of this story about an American scientist who believes he can prevent war by passing atomic secrets to the Russians so the race for the bomb will be a stalemate. Jed Harris stages.
1964 Anyone Can Whistle — but this tune carries just nine performances at Broadway's Majestic Theatre. Stephen Sondheim composes the songs and Arthur Laurents the story of this mayoress who tries to revive her town with a fake miracle.
1971 The "Broadway Baby" is pounding 42nd St... well a few blocks away actually, at the Winter Garden Theatre as Follies opens. The Stephen Sondheim musical about Ziegfeld-era performers is co-directed by Michael Bennett and Harold Prince and stars Alexis Smith, Gene Nelson, Dorothy Collins and John McMartin.
2000 Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, starring Sir Derek Jacobi, begins previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 4. The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the show, co-starring Roger Rees, Brian Murray and Laura Linney, will open April 30 and run through June 11.
2001 42nd Street comes home to 42nd Street when previews begin for an opulent new Broadway revival of the backstage musical at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The show would go on to win the 2001 Tony as Best Revival of a Musical.
2010 A revival of Lend Me a Tenor, Ken Ludwig’s farce about the backstage chaos that erupts at an Ohio opera house when the star tenor fails to show up for an all-important benefit gala, opens at the Music Box Theatre. Directed by Stanley Tucci, the cast includes Anthony LaPaglia, Tony Shalhoub, Jan Maxwell, Mary Catherine Garrison and Jennifer Laura Thompson.
Today's Birthdays: Robert E. Sherwood 1896. Jerome Weidman 1913. Elizabeth Wilson 1921. Elmer Bernstein 1922. Juliette Koka 1930. Tony Perkins 1932. Walter Charles 1945. Christine Lahti 1950. Laurie Beechman 1953. David Pittu 1967.