PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: DECEMBER 4
04 Dec 2014
1860 Birthday of Lillian Russell (1860-1922), who became the epitome of Gilded Age female sex appeal and stage presence starting in vaudeville at Tony Pastor's Theatre and graduating to a series of frothy musical comedy vehicles including Whirl-i-gig, Fiddle-dee-dee, Hoity-Toity, Twirly-Whirly, Whoop-Dee-Doo and Lady Teazle. She also appeared in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and, later in life, in Burlesque.
1901The Girl and the Judge both want what's best for the girl's kleptomaniac mother. Clyde Fitch wrote and staged this drama which stars Annie Russell.
1906Douglas Fairbanks stars in The Man of the Hour by George Broadhurst. The plot — Fairbanks as a reformer out to expose corruption at City Hall — angers the Tammany Hall politicians and fans the interest of the public. It will run 479 performances.
2003 The world premiere of the new Cy Coleman musical, Like Jazz, at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, starring Lillias White, Patti Austin and Jennifer Holliday. It will prove to be his final major debut of a new musical before his death in November 2004.
2007 Broadway opening night for Tracy Letts' searing family drama August: Osage County which will go on to win the Tony Award as Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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.