PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: FEBRUARY 1
By Robert Viagas
1859 Birthday of Victor Herbert (1859-1924), Broadway's operetta king, composer of Babes in Toyland, The Red Mill, Mlle. Modiste, Naughty Marietta, Sweethearts and numerous editions of the Ziegfeld Follies.
1904 Birthday of playwright, screenwriter and wit S. J. Perelman (1904-1979), whose Broadway efforts included The Beauty Part and the libretto to One Touch of Venus.
1909 When her father's will stipulates that his daughter must marry a graduate of Bingham College, she becomes The Fair Co-ed. Elsie Janis stars as the only female student enrolled, helping her fiance make the grade. George Ade provides the music and lyrics, Gustav Luders the score.
1942 Of V We Sing, the V stands for victory in World War II. Co-produced by Alexander Cohen and the American Youth Theatre, this timely show hosts songs and sketches and some lively jitterbugging. The cast includes Betty Garrett, Phil Leeds, and Daniel Nagrin. It will run nearly 10 weeks.
1967 The Deer Park, Norman Mailer's adaptation of his novel, stars Rip Torn, Gene Lindsey and Marsha Mason. Leo Garen directs the 128 performances at Theatre de Lys.
1968 Iris Murdoch and James Saunders adapt Murdoch's novel The Italian Girl for the stage. Richard Pasco and Elizabeth Sellars lead the cast and Val May stages. It will run in London at Wyndham's Theatre for 315 performances.
2002 Hildegard Knef, 76, the husky-voiced singer and actress who sang the role of Communist official Ninotchka in Cole Porter's Silk Stockings dies in a Berlin hospital, after a long illness.
2002 Also today, a settlement is announced between producer Scott Rudin and composer Stephen Sondheim over ownership of his musical Wise Guys, since retitled Bounce that allows its 2003 premiere to go forward.
2003 First performance of Radiant Baby, an Off-Broadway musical about late pop artist Keith Haring at the Public Theater's Newman space. George C. Wolfe directs the production, which features lyrics by Ira Gasman, Stuart Ross and Debra Barsha and a book by Ross. The score is by Barsha.
2004 Film star Isabella Rossellini stars with Richard Thomas in the world premiere of Terrence McNally's The Stendhal Syndrome, which begins performances at Off-Broadway's Primary Stages' new home, 59E59.
More of Today's Birthdays: Herman Hupfeld 1894. Clark Gable 1901. Langston Hughes 1902. Garrett Morris 1937. Sherman Hemsley 1938. Leo Burmester 1944. Michael C. Hall 1971.
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