PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: FEBRUARY 17
17 Feb 2015
1902Joseph Hart's popular musical Foxy Grandpa opens a 120-performance run today at the 14th Street Theatre.
1916Robinson Crusoe, Jr. is Al Jolson, who dreams he is the strandee. Sigmund Romberg scores and Jolson improvises with his favorite songs. This musical will run at the Winter Garden for 139 performances.
1932 It's time to Face the Music at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Irving Berlin's scores Moss Hart's book. For 21 weeks audiences will be asked, Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee.
1976 Opening night of legendary flop Rockabye Hamlet, Cliff Jones' rock musical version of Shakespeare's tragedy, which has a 7-performance run at the Minskoff Theatre with a cast that includes Larry Marshall as Hamlet, Beverly D'Angelo as Ophelia (who commits suicide by strangling herself with her immense microphone cord), and Meat Loaf as a Priest.
1982 Instructor-teacher Lee Strasberg, the foremost advocate of Method acting, dies at the age of 80. "Art is longer than life," he once said, and his style of acting lives on at his Lee Strasberg Institute of the Theatre, in both New York and Los Angeles.
1999 The Drama Desk organization officially celebrates its 50th anniversary. Six years after its inception, the Drama Desk Awards were created to recognize excellence in not only Broadway but Off-Broadway theatre as well.
2003 Walloped by a blizzard that drops more than 20 inches of snow in Times Square, several Broadway shows cancel 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.