PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: APRIL 2

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and Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez
02 Apr 2014

1923 There's trouble At Mrs. Beam's — this boardinghouse keeper thinks one of her guests is a killer. There will be 280 performances at London's Royalty Theatre of this C. K. Munro play.

1963 Liza Minnelli stars in the revival of Best Foot Forward at Stage 73 Off-Broadway. Danny Daniels stages the 224 performances.

1966 Theatre critic and scholar John Gassner dies today. He was head of the Theatre Guild's play department and instrumental in bringing playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller into public attention. He was 64 years old.

1969 The Royal Shakespeare Company opens its annual Stratford upon-Avon season with Pericles. Terry Hands stages, Ian Richardson stars.

1986 A.R. Gurney's The Perfect Party opens Off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. The comedy about a professor who sets out to throw the perfect party under the scrutiny of a newspaper columnist runs 70 performances under the direction of John Tillinger.



1999 The syncopated siblings reach Broadway once more, but not for long with the revue, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, which begins previews today. Boasting songs by composer George Gershwin and his lyricist brother, Ira Gershwin, Rhythm is directed by Mark Lamos. Officially opening April 25, the show will play only 27 previews and 17 performances.

2002 Some 150 years after it was written, Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool gets its Broadway debut. Alan Bates and Frank Langella earn Tony Award nominations, and Mike Poulton's translation is nominated for Best Play.

2009 Neil LaBute officially makes his debut as a Broadway playwright when MCC Theater's production of reasons to be pretty, which played an acclaimed Off-Broadway run, opens at the Lyceum Theatre. Terry Kinney directs Marin Ireland, Steven Pasquale, Piper Perabo and Thomas Sadoski in the examination of people’s obsession with physical beauty.

2012 End of the Rainbow, Peter Quilter's music-studded drama about the final months in the life of Judy Garland, opens at the Belasco Theatre. Tracie Bennett, who stars as the tempestuous and triumphant icon, performs such Garland signatures as  "The Man That Got Away," "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "The Trolley Song."

2013 Tony Award-winning actress Elaine Stritch, a celebrated icon of the stage and New York City itself, begins performances of Elaine Stritch at the Carlyle: Movin' Over and Out. The "freeform evening of story and song" marks her final engagement at the Café Carlyle before retiring from performing and moving to Michigan.

Today's Birthdays: Hans Christian Andersen 1805. Buddy Ebsen 1908. Alec Guinness 1914. Kenneth Tynan 1927. Linda Hunt 1945.