PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: JANUARY 3
03 Jan 2015
1909 Birthday of Victor Borge (1909-2000), pianist and comedian whose 1953 Comedy in Music ran 888 performances, the longest run ever for a solo musical on Broadway. He followed it with Comedy in Music Opus 2 in 1964 and Comedy With Music in 1977, but did not achieve another long run.
1938 A dramatic night on Broadway as the Mercury Theatre presents Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock at the Windsor Theatre after the original production was shut down by the WPA for its attack on capitalism. Will Geer plays Mr. Mister. It runs 108 performances.
1944Ruth Gordon writes and stars in her autobiographical play, Over 21, which opens tonight at the Music Box Theatre and runs 221 performances.
1952 Twelve years after it was critically slammed, the hard-bitten musical Pal Joey gets a revival that becomes one of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's longest: 540 performances for a show whose cast includes Harold Lang, Helen Gallagher, Elaine Stritch and, recreating her original role, Vivienne Segal. During the run of this production, Lang will be replaced by his understudy, Bob Fosse — his first Broadway lead.
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.