By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Anne Bradley, Christopher Reichheld and Sam Maher
14 Dec 2013
1925 Merchants of Glory have made an industry out of the memory of a local dead hero. When that hero turns up suffering from amnesia, they convince him to disappear again. This Theatre Guild performance of Marcel Pagnol and Paul Nivoix's play will earn 42 showings.
1936 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart prove You Can't Take It With You at the Booth Theatre. Henry Travers, Josephine Hull and Mitzi Hajos are among the zany household that will keep laughs rolling for 838 performances.
1950 The gap in social classes always comes down to the Lace on Her Petticoat. This Aimee Stuart play set in turn-of-the-century Scotland will run 190 performances at London's Ambassadors' Theatre.
1966 "Rather than subject the drama critics and the theater-going public — who invested $1-million in advance ticket sales — to an excruciatingly boring evening," producer David Merrick closes the musical Breakfast at Tiffany's after just four preview performances. The production starred Richard Chamberlain as Jeff, alongside Mary Tyler Moore in her not quite Broadway debut as Holly Golightly.
1976 George C. Scott plays a con man in Larry Gelbart's Gold Rush-era comedy Sly Fox, based on Ben Jonson's Volpone. The supporting cast includes Jack Gilford, Bob Dishy, Hector Elizondo and Scott's wife, Trish Van DeVere. It stays 495 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre.
1978 Dorothy Loudon plays a middle-aged woman who finds a second life on the dance floor in Michael Bennett's musical Ballroom, based on "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom." It runs 116 performances at the Majestic Theatre.
1982 Karen Allen plays a grown-up Helen Keller in William Gibson's Monday After the Miracle, a sequel to his hit, The Miracle Worker. Jane Alexander plays her teacher in the drama, which shutters after just 7 performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.
1989 Jay Allen's Tru, which recounts the life of Truman Capote in his own words, opens tonight at the Booth Theatre. The writer is played Robert Morse, who will win a Tony Award. This production will run 297 performances.
1999 Julie Andrews, the legendary stage and screen star of My Fair Lady, Camelot, "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins," files a medical malpractice lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. She underwent an allegedly botched throat surgery in 1997 and, as a result, says she is no longer able to sing.
2008 DreamWorks Pictures makes its first foray into Broadway producing as the stage adaptation of its popular animated film "Shrek" opens at the Broadway Theatre. Shrek the Musical stars Brian d'Arcy James as the green ogre of the title, Sutton Foster as the princess he saves, and Daniel Breaker as his donkey sidekick. Jason Moore directs the show, which has music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire.
2011 Lysistrata Jones, a peppy musical by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn that transposes the action of the Greek classic Lysistrata from the Peleponnesian Wars to the world of college basketball, opens on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Dan Knechtges directs a cast including Patti Murin, Josh Segarra, Jason Tam, Lindsay Nicole Chambers and Liz Mikel. Despite an enthusiastic review from the New York Times, the show fails to catch on with audiences and it closes after 30 performances.