By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Anne Bradley and Steve Luber
27 Nov 2013
1911 Birthday of David Margulois, better known as Broadway producer David Merrick (1911-2000), whose highly developed taste, fierty temper and flamboyant approach to public relations helped earn him the sobriquet "the abominable showman." Among his long-running hits were Hello, Dolly!, Oliver! and 42nd Street.
1927 The call is for First-Class Passengers Only at the Arts Theatre in London. Written by Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, the comedy stars Edith Sitwell as a social climber seeking retaliation. The cast includes Val Gielgud, Sybil Arundale, Phyllis Dean, and Esme Percy.
1928 American producer Gertrude Macy begins her theatrical career as assistant stage manager for Margaret Ayer Barnes' adaptation of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, at the Empire Theatre in New York. Macy is also secretary to actress Katharine Cornell.
1929 With Fifty Million Frenchmen you can't go wrong, especially when they're singing music and lyrics by Cole Porter, along with a book by Herbert Fields. For nearly eight months songs like "You've Got That Thing" and "You Do Something To Me" fill New York's Lyric Theatre. The cast includes William Gaxton as the American playboy trying to win Genevieve Tobin.
1937 The International Ladies Garment Workers Union turns producer today to present a union-themed musical revue, Pins and Needles, which runs an astonishing 1,108 performances and launches the career of composer Harold Rome.
1962 A middle-aged man (Paul Ford) suddenly finds he's going to be a father again in the Sumner Arthur Long comedy Never Too Late, which opens today at the Playhouse Theatre and runs 1,007 performances.
2001 Pulitzer- and Tony-winner Proof begins a national tour today in San Francisco. Such tours have become increasingly rare for non-musicals.
2006 Lincoln Center Theater hosts the U.S. premiere of The Coast of Utopia, Tom Stoppard's sprawling trilogy of plays folliwng Alexander Herzen, a real-life 19th century Russian revolutionary who suffers the tragedy of being a half century too soon. Jack O'Brien directs a cast that includes Brian F. O'Byrne, Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke and Amy Irving. Part One, Voyage opens on this date, with the other two parts, Shipwreck and Salvage, joining it in December and February. The project will win the Tony Award as Best Play of 2007.
2008 Actress Patricia Marand, who was nominated for a 1966 Tony Award for her portrayal of Lois Lane in the Broadway musical It's a Bird…It's a Plane...It's Superman, dies in her Manhattan home. The cause was brain cancer. She was 74.