PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: APRIL 18
By David Gewirtzman
1936 In Irwin Shaw's Bury the Dead the task becomes impossible as the six dead soldiers refuse the grave. This one-act protest against the war will run three months at the Ethel Barrymore in New York. Robert Porterfield and Joseph Kramm are among the actors portraying the soldiers.
1946 Betty Garrett and Jules Munshin are among the cast of Call Me Mister. This revue satirizes subjects from Army red tape to southern racial prejudice. Harold Rome provides music and lyrics.
1964 Author and playwright Ben Hecht, 70, died today in New York. He started his career as a journalist. Of his collaborations with Charles MacArthur The Front Page, Jumbo, and Twentieth Century are the best known.
1972 Brock Peters plays Stephen Kumalo in Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars. Gene Frankel stages the five-week run at New York's Imperial Theatre.
1977 Millicent Martin, Julie N. McKenzie, David Kernan and Ned Sherrin comprise the cast of Side by Side by Sondheim. The musical revue spotlighting the composer-lyricist's top Broadway moments opens on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. The production will play 384 performances.
1994 The day that Disney came to Broadway: the full-scale live version of their animated film, Beauty and the Beast, opens at the Palace Theatre. Susan Egan and Terrence Mann embody the title roles and Tom Bosley costars Belle's father. The production will move to another Broadway venue, the Lunt Fontanne Theatre, on Nov. 12, 1999 to make room for Disney's third Broadway venture, Aida.
2002 A stage adaptation of the film musical Thoroughly Modern Millie opens on Broadway with a largely new score by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan. It goes on to win six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for its star, Sutton Foster.
2005 The Light in the Piazza, a new musical by Adam Guettel (grandson of Richard Rodgers) and Craig Lucas opens at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre for what is supposed to be a limited run. The show wins six Tony Awards (the most of any show in 2006), including Best Actress for Victoria Clark and Best Score for Guettel and Lucas. After several extensions, the run becomes open-ended.
2010 The Menier Chocolate Factory's critically acclaimed revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's musical La Cage aux Folles opens on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre. Directed by Terry Johnson, the production stars Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge.
2012 The Broadway transfer of Richard Bean's popular West End comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, about a manservant pulled between two bosses — and his own voracious appetite — opens at the Music Box Theatre. James Corden repeats his praised London work as crazed butler Francis Henshall, inspired by theatre history's stock clown character Harlequin, and wins a Tony Award for his performance.
2013 Following a much-in-the-news rehearsal period, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, starring Alec Baldwin, Tom Sturridge and Ben Foster, opens on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The production was originally scheduled to open April 7, but was postponed following the announcement that Foster would replace Shia LaBeouf — who departed the company "due to creative differences."
Today's Birthdays: Norwood Smith 1915. Hayley Mills 1946. Eric McCormack 1963. David Tennant 1971. Gavin Creel 1976.
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