1880 Jacob J. Shubert, one of the three Shubert producing brothers, is born today. Along with Sam and Lee, Shubert was responsible for some of the most popular Broadway entertainments, musical and non musical, during the first half of this century. While his brothers stressed the business end of the business, it was J.J., as Jacob was called, who oversaw most of the actual productions.
1887 Playwright and novelist Edna Ferber is born today in Michigan. With George S. Kaufman, Ferber collaborated on The Royal Family and Dinner at Eight. Ferber's novel, "Show Boat," would be the basis for the groundbreaking Oscar Hammerstein II- Jerome Kern musical of the same name.
1988 Nell Carter and Andre De Shields Ain't Misbehavin' in the revival of the musical revue of Fats Waller's music. Co-conceiver Richard Maltby, Jr. directs the production, which opens tonight on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre. The show will last 176 performances.
1997 The Marx Brothers' "All Talking-Singing Musical Comedy Hit" The Cocoanuts is revived at Off-Broadway's American Place Theatre. The musical with book by George S. Kaufman and music/lyrics by Irving Berlin is adapted by Richard Sabellico for the American Jewish Theatre production.
2002 Hairspray, a stage musical adaptation of John Waters' cult film, opens on Broadway to raves. It goes on to win the lion's share of the 2003 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, plus Best Leading Actor and Actress in a Musical for leads Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur. 2012 Disney's Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King becomes the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history when it plays its 6,138th performance. The Lion King surpasses the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, which had previously held that position.
2013 Eric Anderson stars in Soul Doctor, a musical about the life and music of controversial Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, opening on Broadway at Circle in the Square. The production receives mixed-to-negative reviews, and closes after 66 performances.