Playbill Vault's Today In Theatre History: April 8
08 Apr 2015
1904 New York City bids adieu to Longacre Square, which had no particular reputation, and says hello to Times Square, which soon develops quite a reputation indeed. Mayor George B. McClellan (son of the Civil War general) announces the official name change. "Times" is, of course, drawn from The New York Times, the newspaper which recently moved into a building perched on a traffic triangle in the middle of the square. The daily, which lobbied hard for the name change, will soon move to larger quarters on nearby 43rd Street, where it stayed until 2007.
1907 Two of The Boys of Company "B" are John Barrymore, who joined the cast as a replacement, and Mack Sennett, father of film's Keystone Kops. Rida Johnson Young's comedy will run three months at New York's Lyceum Theatre.
1939 Actress Bertha Kalich died today in New York City. She made her reputation in Yiddish theatre playing in A Doll's House and Fedora. She was 65 years old.
2002Suzan-Lori Parks' play Topdog/Underdog, wins the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, making Parks the first African-American woman to win the coveted award. The announcement comes mere hours after opening night of Topdog, April 7.
2004 Times Square celebrates its 100th anniversary under that name. See entry for 1904, above.
2008 Shakespeare's murder-filled tragedy Macbeth, opens at the Lyceum Theatre with Patrick Stewart in the title role. The Chichester Festival Theatre production, directed by Rupert Goold and starring his wife Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth, transferred to Broadway following critically praised engagements at BAM and in the West End.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.