PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: AUGUST 6

By David Gewirtzman
and Ernio Hernandez, Robert Viagas
06 Aug 2013

1947 Today's Variety announces that John Garfield will star in the premiere production of a new Tennessee Williams play, titled A Streetcar Named Desire. As history will have it, however, contractual demands rule him out, only to be replaced by a little-known newcomer, Marlon Brando.



1999 Chicago City Limits, a Chicago-born but New York-based improv troupe, present their Y2K, You're OK at the Chicago City Limits Theatre in Manhattan starting tonight. The group celebrated its 20th year in New York City with this comedy, which recaps the past millennium from the Crusades to the trouble in the Middle East.

2001 The two-person memoir show, If You Ever Leave Me...I'm Going with You! starring Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, opens on Broadway at the Cort Theatre. Also on this date, Urinetown begins previews for its Tony-winning Broadway run.

2002 Lyricist Sheldon Harnick, long absent from the stage since his 1960s glory days of Fiorello!, Fiddler on the Roof and The Rothschilds, returns to the stage with a new musical adaptation of Norton Juster's classic children's book, The Phantom Toolbooth, with music by Arnold Black and a book adapted by Juster himself. The world premiere is hosted by Harwich Junior Theatre in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

2012 Playwright, librettist and novelist Mark O'Donnell dies at age 58. With librettist Thomas Meehan, Mr. O'Donnell adapted two John Waters films into stage musicals: Hairspray and Cry-Baby. The former earned the pair the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and the latter earned them a nomination for the same award. Mr. O'Donnell's plays include That's It, Folks!; Fables for Friends; The Nice and the Nasty; Strangers on Earth; Vertigo Park and the musical Tots in Tinseltown.

2012 Marvin Hamlisch, who achieved theatre immortality as the composer of the iconic musical A Chorus Line, dies at age 68. Mr. Hamlisch's other theatre works include the scores for They're Playing Our Song, Jean Seberg, Smile, The Goodbye Girl, Imaginary Friends and Sweet Smell of Success. He is one of only a small number of people to have won all four major American entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. On top of that, he also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Chorus Line.

More of Today's Birthdays: Guthrie McClintic 1893. Lucille Ball 1911. Lois Nettleton 1929. Rusty Magee 1955. Faith Prince 1957. Leslie Odom, Jr. 1981.