PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: FEBRUARY 15
1905 Birthday of composer Harold Arlen (1905-1986) a cantor's son who cut his musical teeth in 1920s Harlem, and went on to write music for Broadway shows, and Star and Garter, Jamaica, House of Flowers as well as for the MGM film musical "The Wizard of Oz". Saratoga
1923 Gerald du Maurier and Tallulah Bankhead are featured in The Dancers at Wyndham's Theatre in London. Hubert Parson penned this romance of a dancehall proprietor who inherits a title and fortune but never forgets his true love. It surefoots it for 346 performances.
1933 stars One Sunday Afternoon Lloyd Nolan and Francesca Bruning as plain people struggling through hard times. James Hagan's drama will run first at the Little Theatre, and then at the 48th St Theatre, for a total of 322 performances.
1939 Lillian Hellman forages the old South and comes up with . Tallulah Bankhead leads the cast in this drama that will run for 410 performances at the National Theatre in New York. The Little Foxes
1950 Before TV's "Hazel" typecast her as a frumpy maid, Shirley Booth won a Tony for starring in William Inge's drama, . Co-star Come Back, Little Sheba Sidney Blackmer would also take home a Tony for this Theatre Guild production. Best Play, however, went to T.S. Eliot's . The Cocktail Party
1984 Stage legend Ethel Merman, Broadway's original Rose in dies in her hometown New York City at 76. The actress' other memorable works include Gypsy , Anything Goes , Red, Hot and Blue! , Something for the Boys and Call Me Madam . Annie Get Your Gun
1998 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presents its first annual "Broadway Bears" event. The fundraiser auctions off little stuffed bears designed to look like famous performers in theatre roles. Among the first ursines are a Barbra Streisand bear, a Funny Girl Carol Burnett bear, a Once Upon A Mattress Ben Vereen bear, and a Pippin Julie Andrews bear. Victor/Victoria
2007 Daniel McDonald, the dashing young star of the Broadway musicals and Steel Pier , dies of brain cancer at age 46. High Society
More of Today's Birthdays: Walter Donaldson 1893. Cesar Romero 1907. Kevin McCarthy 1914. Keene Curtis 1923. Claire Bloom 1931. Jane Seymour 1951.
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