By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas and Ernio Hernandez
13 Apr 2014
1925 The Guild Theatre on West 52nd Street in New York, opens with a production of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. Helen Hayes stars as the young queen opposite Lionel Atwill. Designed by Howard Crane and founded by members of The Theatre Guild, it will become a radio playhouse from 1943-1950. It will be purchased by The American National Theatre and Academy (A.N.T.A.) and return to presenting live theatre. It is known today as the August Wilson Theatre.
1938 George Abbott produces and directs What a Life. Clifford Goldsmith's comedy concerning the goings on of a high school stars Ezra Stone as Henry Aldrich, Butterfly McQueen and Eddie Bracken. It will have a long run at the Biltmore Theatre and later be the basis for a radio show.
2000 Michael John LaChuisa's new Broadway musical, The Wild Party, opens at the Virginia Theatre. It's the second New York musical of this season to be based on the 1928 poem by Joseph Moncure March. Composer-lyricist LaChiusa wrote the libretto with George C. Wolfe, who directs the production. Mandy Patinkin, Toni Collette and Eartha Kitt star.
2003 The beloved characters of Arnold Lobel's children's book come to life in the Broadway musical A Year With Frog and Toad, which goes on to be nominated for several Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
2004 Local 802 of American Federation of Musicians and the producers of the Off-Broadway show The Joys of Sex: A Naughty New Musical reach agreement on the use of the "virtual orchestra" machine.The union was ready to rally at the first preview of the show at Off Broadway's Variety Arts. The deal struck will allow use of the machine for this production, but future stagings (for the next ten years) at the Variety Arts Theatre will need approval from the union.
2011 The world-premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, featuring a score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, opens at the West End's Novello Theatre. Cameron Mackintosh produces the musical based on Alan Bennett's film comedy "A Private Function" about a pig being illegally reared to ensure local dignitaries can celebrate the Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet, while the local population make do with spam.