By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez
21 Apr 2014
1927 The Field God works in mysterious ways. Paul Green's drama deals with a hardworking farmer who denies the god of his neighbors and suffers misfortune until he conforms. Fritz Leiber stars for this 45 performance run.
1941 The Beautiful People move into Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. William Saroyan's comedy deals with a woman who not only likes the packs of mice that live in her house but thinks they spell her name out with flowers. The play squeaks by for 15 weeks.
1949 Broadway diva Patti LuPone is born today. She will win a Tony Award for her portrayal of Eva Peron in Evita, and will create memorable roles in the London world premiere of Sunset Boulevard, in David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood and in revivals of Oliver!, Anything Goes and Gypsy.
1955 The evolution of the human race is just the tip of the argument in Inherit the Wind. Ed Begley and Paul Muni star in the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee drama based on the Scopes "monkey" trial. There will be 806 performances at the National Theatre in New York.
1977 Tomorrow is today, as Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin's musical Annie opens on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre. The show starring Andrea McArdle as the young orphan whose "hard-knock life" turns from rags to riches when she meets tycoon Oliver Warbucks, played by Reid Shelton. The production garners Tony Awards for Best Musical as well as Best Actress for Dorothy Loudon who plays the warden-like Miss Hannigan.
2000 Four Guys Named Jose...and una Mujer named Maria!, a new Latin musical revue from David Coffman and Dolores Prida, begins performances Off Broadway at the John Houseman Studio Theatre. The play that chronicles the Latin experience through multicultural musical favorites will then move Sept. 18 to Off-Broadway's Blue Angel Theater, where it closed March 4, 2001.
2011 Jez Butterworth's hit London drama Jerusalem, about the indelible inhabitants of a slice of rural England, opens on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. Mark Rylance stars as Johhny "Rooster" Byron, a former daredevil motorcyclist and modern-day Pied Piper, whose supply of drugs, tall tales, booze and rock music draws young people to him.
2013 After acclaimed engagements in Scotland and at the Lincoln Center Festival, Alan Cumming's one-man Macbeth opens on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Set in a psychiatric unit, Cumming plays a patient who is reliving the story of Macbeth – bringing to life over 15 characters in Shakespeare's bloody work.