PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: JUNE 11

By David Gewirtzman
and Ernio Hernandez
June 11, 2013

1955 The American actor-manager Walter Hampden dies in Hollywood at age 75. In 1925 he leased the Colonial Theatre and played in revivals of Ibsen and Shakespeare. Cyrano de Bergerac was his most memorable role.



1974The World of Lenny Bruce, opens at the Players Theatre. Frank Spieser's one-man show, in which he impersonates the satirist Lenny Bruce, will run for 17 weeks.

1985 Neil Simon's The Odd Couple gets a revised and reversed revival at the Broadhurst Theatre. Gene Saks directs Rita Moreno as Olive Madison and Sally Struthers as Florence Unger in the play that was originally written for men. The production will play 295 performances before closing on Feb. 23 of the following year.

2000 Tony takes its toll as two shows close one week following the Awards. Elaine May's Taller Than a Dwarf, which opened on April 24 at Broadway's Longacre Theatre, did not receive any Tony nominations and Michael John LaChiusa's The Wild Party, which received seven noms, were both shut out and subsequently shut down.

2012 The world premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Bronx-set Storefront Church — the third play of his trilogy that began with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt — opens Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater. Directed by the playwright, the play tells the story of a Bronx borough President (Giancarlo Esposito) who is forced by the mortgage crisis into a confrontation with a local minister (Ron Cephas Jones).

Today's Birthdays: Ben Jonson 1572. Richard Strauss 1864. Peter Foy 1925. Athol Fugard 1932. Gene Wilder 1933. Daniel Sullivan 1940. Adrienne Barbeau 1945. Matt McGrath 1969.