PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: JANUARY 21

By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Christopher Reichheld and Anne Bradley
January 21, 2014

1903 Dorothy, The Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion are first seen on Broadway today in the original musical The Wizard of Oz, with music by Paul Tietjens and book and lyrics by L. Frank Baum himself, based on his own 1900 novel. Highlighted by comedian Fred Stone as the Scarecrow, the production will run 293 performances.



1926 As a three hundred year-old-opera star who wants to live three hundred more, Helen Menken must discover The Makroploulus Secret. This drama, staged by Charles Hopkins, will run for 11 weeks.

1929 James Whale (of filmdom's "Frankenstein" renown) directs Journey's End at London's Savoy Theatre. R.C. Sherriff's drama, depicting life for British soldiers in the trenches of World War I, wins 485 performances.

1936 Raymond Massey, Pauline Lord, and Ruth Gordon are the triangle in the solemn yet devastating Ethan Frome. This adaptation of Edith Wharton's novella by Owen and Donald Davis will run 15 weeks at the National Theatre in New York.

1950 Alec Guinness, Irene Worth and Cathleen Nesbitt imbibe at The Cocktail Party . Written by T.S. Eliot, this drama will run at the Henry Miller Theatre in New York for 409 performances.

1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber's producing company, The Really Useful Group, puts up shares on the London stock exchange.

1991 Spalding Gray tells the story of his long work on an unfinished novel in his autobiographical monologue Monster in a Box, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

2004 Making the most of her 15 minutes of fame, Gennifer Flowers, the woman who said she had an intimate relationship with married President Bill Clinton, joins he company of the Off-Broadway revue Boobs! The Musical.

2010 A Broadway production of Noel Coward's 1942 comedy Present Laughter, starring Victor Garber as graying matinee idol Garry Essendine, opens at the Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre. Directed by Nicholas Martin, the cast also includes Harriet Harris as tart-tongued secretary Monica Reed, and Brooks Ashmanskas as mad young playwright Roland Maul.

2011 Theoni V. Aldredge, the three-time Tony Award-winning costume designer, dies at age 88. Ms. Aldredge won Tony Awards for her costumes for the original Broadway productions of Annie, Barnum and La Cage aux Folles, and created iconic costumes for such shows as A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls and 42nd Street.

Today's Birthdays Paul Scofield 1922. Jill Eikenberry 1947. Jan Neuberger 1953. Davis Gaines 1959.