PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: JULY 13

By David Gewirtzman
and Ernio Hernandez and Doug Nevin
July 13, 2014

1940 Actor Patrick Stewart is born today. A Shakespearean-trained actor, Stewart's Broadway appearances will include a solo production of A Christmas Carol, William Shakespeare's The Tempest and Macbeth, and Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. Stewart is known to television and film audiences around the world as Capt. Picard from the popular 1990s television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and several "Star Trek" films.

1977 A massive power failure blacks out New York City around 9:30 PM, halting the second acts of many Broadway shows. Power will be restored the following morning, neighborhood by neighborhood, but that will not be enough to save the July 14 evening attendance numbers from decreasing so sharply, many brokers will sell tickets for that night at face value.

1999 Scottish playwright Sharman Macdonald's The Brave begins performances at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theatre. The play about a Scottish housewife who, on a trip to North Africa to reunite with her estranged sister, kills a Muslim man who attempted to rape her. The production is helmed by Dave Mowers.

2000 Cousins Robbie and Steve Fox premiere their new musical The Gift at the Tiffany Theatre in Hollywood, California. The show, about five thirtysomething guys who face their own mortality when an exotic dancer at a bachelor party brings an unexpected gift, is directed by Andy Fickman. The cast features Alicia Witt, Robert Torti, James Barbour and Burke Moses.

2006 Red Buttons, the elfin Borscht Belt comedian whose talent found outlets on Broadway and in television, film and nightclubs, dies at age 87 at his home in Los Angeles.

2010 Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl open in a West End production of Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Vaudeville Theatre. Directed by Terry Johnson, the black comedy depicts a New York couple enduring the trials and tribulations of city life.

2011 The hippies from the national tour of Hair turn their psychedelic bus around for a special engagement on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. The ten-week run is a summer stop on the musical's U.S. tour, which launched in the fall of 2010.

More of Today's Birthdays: William J. Hurlbut 1883. Despo 1916. David Storey 1933. Didi Conn 1951. Deborah Cox 1974.