By David Gewirtzman
and Ernio Hernandez and Robert Viagas
22 Aug 2013
1989 A.R. Gurney's play, Love Letters, opens today at the Promenade Theatre Off-Broadway. A series of love letters between one Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and one Melissa Gardner from the time of their childhood up to her death, the play would eventually transfer to the Edison Theatre on Broadway. Due to the simplicity in the staging of the peace (two actors sitting at tables reading letters back and forth), the cast changed from one set of stars to another, week by week. This first week, John Rubinstein is Andrew and Stockard Channing is Melissa. Other pairings during this initial run are George Segal and Dana Ivey, Treat Williams and Kate Nelligan, Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern, and Jason Robards and Elaine Stritch.
1989 A British Military Entertainment troupe circa the late 1940s parks into the Roundabout Theatre for a 64-performance run with Privates on Parade. The cast includes Jim Dale, Donna Murphy and a female impersonator.
1991 Actress Colleen Dewhurst dies today of cancer at the age of 67. The thespian of stage and screen starred in such productions as Great Day in the Morning, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, More Stately Mansions, All Over, Mourning Becomes Electra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, All the Way Home and A Moon for the Misbegotten, winning Tony Awards for the latter two.
1994 The first day of business at Playbill On-Line. This new theatre website will "go live" Nov. 22, 1994.
1996 Al Pacino directs himself in Eugene O'Neill's Hughie at the Circle in the Square Theatre. The revival featuring the director-actor will run 56 performances. Pacino, perhaps best known for his work in films like "The Godfather," is no stranger to the stage; he was also featured in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Salome and Chinese Coffee.
2004 Charles Eaton, one of two surviving members of a once famous family of stage performers, dies at age 94. He was the most important performing male member of the clan once referred to as "The Seven Little Eatons," veterans of the Ziegfeld Follies. His sister, dancer Doris Eaton Travis (a highlight of Broadway's annual "Easter Bonnet" competitions) — the only remaining survivor — died in 2010.
2011 Simon Russell Beale returns to the New York stage in the U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens' Bluebird, in which he plays a London cabbie listening to the woes of his eclectic passengers. Presented by the Atlantic Theater Company at its intimate Atlantic Stage 2, the cast also includes Michael Countryman, Charlotte Parry, John Sharian, Kate Blumberg, Mary McCann, Tobias Segal and Todd Weeks.