PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: JUNE 28

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and Ernio Hernandez, Robert Viagas
28 Jun 2014

1902 Birthday of Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), one of the most prolific and successful Broadway composers. His greatest successes came in partnership with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II (Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music, etc.) and Lorenz Hart (On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, Pal Joey, A Connecticut Yankee, By Jupiter etc.).

1926 Birthday of funnyman Mel Brooks, who will go on to write for TV's "Your Show of Shows" and Broadway musicals Shinbone Alley and All American before departing for a long career in Hollywood. He will return to Broadway in trumph in 2001 with a musical adaptation of his Broadway satire, The Producers.

1946 Actress Antoinette Perry dies today at age 58. An actress during her lifetime, Perry's name will become immortalized when the Theatre Wing's Antoinette Perry Awards for excellence on Broadway, known more commonly as the Tonys, are founded in her memory.

1950 Censorship will prove to be a problem when Michael Todd's Peep Show opens at New York's Winter Garden Theatre. The legendary producer of the title will soon be forced to tone down the revue as a result of talks with the city's Commissioner of Licenses.

1990 William Finn follows up his In Trousers and March of the Falsettos with the final of the "Marvin Trilogy," Falsettoland. This all-sung musical starring Michael Rupert, Chip Zien, and Faith Prince throws AIDS into the mix of the already complex issue of sexual identity. The production, which opens tonight at Playwrights Horizons, will later transfer to the Lucille Lortel Theatre.



1999 27 years after it premiered Off-Broadway at the Truck and Warehouse Theatre, Tennessee Williams' Small Craft Warnings will see the New York stage again when Worth Street Theater Company stages the lyrical drama. Based on an earlier Williams one-act, Confessional, from 1969, the play is set in a bar in a Southern California coastal town.

2002 To celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of composer Richard Rodgers, Broadway stars gathers for a concert at the Gershwin Theatre. Aptly titled "Something Good: A Broadway Salute to Richard Rodgers on His 100th Birthday," the concert features performances by Sutton Foster, Hunter Foster, Lea Salonga, Patrick Wilson, Shuler Hensley, Laura Benanti, John Bucchino, Barbara Cook, John Cullum, Erin Dilly, Marin Mazzie (accompanied by Stephen Flaherty), Howard McGillin, Lauren Mitchell, Louise Pitre, Billy Stritch, Mary Testa and the chorus of Oklahoma!.

2007 Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of John Van Druten's comedy Old Acquaintance opens on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre. Harriet Harris and Margaret Colin star as two childhood friends who have grown into successful authors.

More of Today's Birthdays: Luigi Pirandello 1867. Max Gordon 1892. A. E. Hotchner 1920. John Tillinger 1938. Gilda Radner 1946. Bruce Davison 1946. Kathy Bates 1948. Jessica Hecht 1965. Mary Stuart Masterson 1966. Danielle Brisebois 1969.