PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: AUGUST 5

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and Ernio Hernandez, Doug Nevin and Robert Viagas
05 Aug 2014

1977 All Broadway marquee lights are dimmed tonight in honor of actor Alfred Lunt who died two days earlier. This is only the third time up to that point that such an action has been taken.



1984 Stage star Richard Burton dies today at the age of 58. A well-respected stage and film star, Burton was the original King Arthur opposite the Guinevere of Julie Andrews in the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical, Camelot. Burton's film credits include "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" He also appeared on Broadway replacing Anthony Perkins in Equus.

1998 The Broadhurst Theatre temporarily becomes part of the comedy club circuit as Jerry Seinfeld presents his I'm Telling You for the Last Time for 10 performances in five nights. The comic known for his high-pitched "What's up with that?" style and his television sitcom "Seinfeld" performs some of his best known routines then retires the material, and claims he'll never to do any of the jokes again.

2001 PBS broadcasts a documentary about the making of the cast album of The Producers. Creator Mel Brooks says it's one of the greatest days of his life.

2008 Gregory Doran's sold-out production of Hamlet, starring David Tennant in the title role and Patrick Stewart as Claudius, officially opens at Stratford-upon-Avon's Courtyard Theatre. The production will later transfer to the West End and be filmed for television broadcast.

2012 Memphis, David Bryan and Joe DiPietro's Tony Award-winning musical about a soulful, white radio DJ and his love for a black singer at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement, ends its run on Broadway after 1,166 performances at the Shubert Theatre.

Today's Birthdays: Reginald Owen 1887. Clare Eames 1896. Wilbur Evans 1905. Alan Howard 1937. Jonathan Silverman 1966.