PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MAY 12
By David Gewirtzman
1905 Theatrical producer Sam S. Shubert dies today in a train accident. His brothers Lee and J.J. will honor him by naming many of the theaters they are to build after him, including their flagship on Shubert Alley in New York. Shubert was 35 years old.
1906 Gerald Du Maurier begins a signature performance as Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman. The story of the gentleman thief turned into a play by author E.W. Hornung and Eugene Presbrey will run 351 performances at London's Comedy Theatre.
1925 A Bit o' Love gets a bit of time. This John Galsworthy drama lasts just four performances at the 48th Street Theatre on Broadway. O. P. Heggie plays a minister who remains married to his wife just to protect her true love's identity.
1930 The New Yorker Theatre on West 54th Street in New York opens with a production of Henrik Ibsen's The Vikings. Later it will become Studio 54 which, in 1998, will return to the Broadway fold with a revival of Cabaret. It's now owned and operated by Roundabout Theatre Company.
1988 Stephen King's novel gets turned into a musical as Carrie opens on Broadway tonight at the Virginia Theatre. The Michael Gore-Dean Pitchford show stars Betty Buckley, Charlotte d'Amboise and Linzi Hateley as blood-doused Carrie. Despite running 5 performances, the musical gains a cult following, and is revived Off-Broadway in 2012.
1999 The wedded Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, who've appeared in dozens of plays together, return to Off-Broadway and star in Tennessee Williams Remembered, featuring their own reminiscences of the playwright and scenes from the late dramatist's works. Wallach, who won a Tony for his role in the original production of The Rose Tattoo, made his stage debut and met Jackson in an Off-Broadway production of #Tennessee Williams' This Property Is Condemned.
2012 The world premiere of Hands on a Hardbody — Doug Wright, Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio's musical based on the documentary feature film about a Texas endurance competition — opens at the La Jolla Playhouse. Directed by Neil Pepe, the production stars Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster and Keala Settle. Hands on a Hardbody transfers to Broadway in 2013, but lasts only 28 performances.
Today's Birthdays: Boris Tomashefsky 1858. Al Shean 1868. Edith Oland 1870. Wilfred Hyde White 1903. Katharine Hepburn 1907. Lindsay Crouse 1948. Gabriel Byrne 1950. Erin Dilly 1972.
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