PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MAY 7

By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez
May 7, 2013

1915 Among the dead after the sinking of the Lusitania are producer-manager Charles Frohman and playwright Charles Klein. Frohman's first success was Shenandoah. In 1893 he opened the Empire Theater in New York with his own stock company. Two of Klein's plays The Auctioneer and The Music Master were produced by David Belasco. At the time of his death, Klein was a play reader for Charles Frohman.



1924 This Marriage proves to be a short one. Tallulah Bankhead stars in this Eliot C. Williams drama which will run in London just 20 times. Cathleen Nesbitt, Herbert Marshall and Auriol Lee are also in the cast.

1953 Lilo was the star but a young dancer named Gwen Verdon stole the show at Cole Porter's Can-Can, which opened an 892-performance run at the Shubert Theatre today.

1963 In Minneapolis, MN Tyrone Guthrie's namesake theater opens with a production of Hamlet starring George Grizzard as the Prince and Jessica Tandy as Gertrude. Ralph Rapson designed the complex that cost 2.5 million dollars to construct and outfit.

1973 Ferenc Molnár's The Play's the Thing opens on Broadway at the Bijou Theater. Gene Feist stages the 11-week run with a cast that includes David Dukes and Elizabeth Owens.

1981 Austin Pendleton directs Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, which opens at Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre. Elizabeth Taylor makes her Great White Way debut in the stageplay that co-stars Maureen Stapleton, Anthony Zerbe and Ann Talman.

2008 Manhattan Theatre Club's revival of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls — the unique portrait of the modern woman — opens at the Biltmore Theatre. Elizabeth Marvel, Martha Plimpton and Marisa Tomei star.

Today's Birthdays: Darren McGavin 1922. Anne Baxter 1923. Gordon Davidson 1933. Nicholas Hytner 1956.