Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 2

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 2
 
Choir Boy premieres Off-Broadway in 2013.
A scene from <i>Choir Boy</i>
A scene from Choir Boy Photo by Joan Marcus

1900 Birthday of director, producer, and writer Tyrone Guthrie, who stages Broadway productions of The Tenth Man, Tamburlaine the Great, and the Leonard Bernstein musical Candide.

1928 The 1928 edition of George White's Scandals features Willie and Eugene Howard, Ann Pennington, and Bernice & Emily, with a score by Buddy DeSylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson.

1929 The new musical Show Girl, starring Ruby Keeler, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre. During the out-of-town tryouts, Al Jolson comes to the rescue when wife Keeler froze onstage, mid-show. Jolson jumped out of the audience, onto the stage, and began to sing Keeler's next number, "Liza," in an effort to get her back on track.

1962 The Klondike Gold Rush is the setting of Foxy, the new Robert Emmett Dolan-Johnny Mercer musical that premieres today at the Palace Grand Theatre in Dawson City in the Yukon. The book is by Ring Lardner, Jr. and Ian McLellan Hunter, based on Ben Jonson's Volpone. Bert Lahr plays his final role on Broadway when the production opens at New York's Ziegfeld Theatre for what proves to be a short run.

1985 Singin' in the Rain, the musical based on the 1952 MGM film, opens at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway. Betty Comden and Adolph Green adapted their screenplay for the stage with music by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Twyla Tharp directs and choreographs the production, which runs 367 performances before closing May 18 of the next year.

1998 Joel Grey, the original Amos Hart from the 1996 revival of Chicago, returns to the role at Broadway's Shubert Theatre for four weeks. He later steps into the London production, then reprises it in the Chicago version.

2002 Movie star Anne Heche takes over the leading role in Broadway's Proof, opposite Len Cariou.

2013 Manhattan Theatre Club presents the American premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy, opening Off-Broadway at New York City Center Stage II. Jeremy Pope, Chuck Cooper, and Austin Pendleton star in the play, about one student's desire to take his rightful place as the leader of his prep school's legendary gospel choir. Five years later, Pope, Cooper, and Pendleton reprise their roles in the play's Broadway debut.

2019 Luis Alfar's Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles makes its New York debut, beginning at Off-Broadway's Public Theater before opening July 17. Inspired by the Greek classic, the play follows a woman from Mexico who sacrifices everything to bring her son to America—only to encounter even greater challenges.

2019 Criss Angel gets Raw: The famed illusionist makes his Broadway debut in a string of seven performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

More of Today's Birthdays: Alan Webb (1906–1982), Joseph Harris (1927–2015), Brock Peters (1927–2005), Ron Silver (1946–2009), Jarrod Emick (b. 1969).

Watch highlights from the 2012 London revival of Singin' in the Rain, starring Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley, and Scarlett Strallen:

Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
 
More Today in Theatre History