PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: NOVEMBER 28

By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Steve Luber and Anne Bradley
28 Nov 2013

1923 Lionel Barrymore stars in David Belasco's Laugh, Clown, Laugh!, the Pagliacci-like story of a middle-aged clown who adopts a young girl, but later, as she grows into womanhood, finds his feelings for her are growing into love, just as she is falling for a boy her own age. This classic weeper runs 133 performances at the Belasco Theatre and is made into a film with Lon Chaney.



1934 Libby Holman introduces the Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz standard "You and the Night and the Music" in the musical Revenge with Music, co-starring Georges Metaxa.

1951 John Van Druten's play I Am a Camera stages the story of Sally Bowles, the Berlin Cabaret singer first introduced in Christopher Isherwood's stories, and who would later be musicalized in Cabaret. Julie Harris stars as Sally in this non-musical drama which runs 214 performances at the Empire Theatre.

1957 Anthony Perkins plays the sensitive young man in Ketti Frings' Look Homeward, Angel, which opens today at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, and runs 564 performances.

1962 For two weeks only Ahab will chase Moby Dick. Orson Welles' adaptation of the Herman Melville novel, featuring Rod Steiger, will last just this long at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

1968 Morning, Noon and Night, three avant-garde plays by Israel Horvitz, Terrence McNally, and Leonard Melfi respectively, opens at the Henry Miller Theatre. Theodore Mann directs what will be 52 performances. The cast includes Robert Klein and Sorrell Booke.

1972 Via Galactica opens at the new Uris Theatre with a $900,000 price tag. Peter Hall directs, Galt MacDermot provides the score for what will be a run of seven performances.

1978 What are Porno Stars at Home like? Leonard Melfi's play highlights a birthday party with imaginary guests from that industry. It will run two months at the Courtyard Playhouse.

2000 In a collaboration, Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project travel to Wyoming and interview folks about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. The show created, The Laramie Project, will be presented in Laramie, opening tonight. Gay university student Shepard was beaten to death on the outskirts of town. The crime sparked outrage, debate and mourning around the world. Although some of those interviewed in the western plains region did see the show in its premiere at the Denver Center Theatre Company in February 2000 and in Manhattan at the Union Square Theatre May-September 2000, this is the first time the documentary-like staging has played Laramie. Many residents are represented in the show and are expected to show up to see how Kaufman, his co-writers and actors present them.

2007 A settlement is reached in a 19-day stagehands’ strike against most Broadway shows, which is estimated to have cost the theatre industry and the New York economy nearly $40 million.

2012 My Name Is Asher Lev, Aaron Posner's play based on Chaim Potok's best-selling novel, opens at Off-Broadway's Westside Theatre. Ari Brand stars in the title role, opposite Mark Nelson and Jenny Bacon as parents Aryeh and Rivkeh. The production will run for 341 performances.

More of Today's Birthdays: John Willard 1885. Ed Harris 1950. S. Epatha Merkerson 1952.