Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 19
19 Aug 2015
1873 Birthday of comedian Fred Stone (1873-1959) who, partnered with David Montgomery, became one of the most beloved Broadway performers of the early 20th century. Among their notable hits were The Wizard of Oz (with Stone as the first acting incarnation of The Scarecrow) and The Red Mill. Sometimes appearing with his wife and daughters as The Stepping Stones, he also starred in a series of musical comedies including Smiling Faces, Tip Top and Criss Cross.
1918 Opening night of Yip, Yip, Yaphank, a World War I-era morale-building production starring the soldiers of Camp Upton in a series of skits based on life in the service. Notable for the original score by "Sgt." Irving Berlin, who personally introduced his standard, "Oh, How I Hate to Get up in the Morning."
1999 The story of The Cavalla Kings hits the scene as Kat and the Kings opens tonight. The musical tells the story of a talented but "non-white" young band that couldn't compete with apartheid in Cape Town, South Africa. David Kramer directs and musically stages the production that plays at the Cort Theatre on Broadway for 157 performances.
2007 A Broadway revival of Grease starring Max Crumm and Laura Osnes — the winners of the reality TV casting competition "Grease: You're the One That I Want" — opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, the production will go on to run 554 performances.
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.