Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 29

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 29
 
Shows for Days, starring Patti LuPone and Michael Urie, opens at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse.
Patti LuPone  and Michael Urie in <i>Shows for Days</i>
Patti LuPone and Michael Urie in Shows for Days Joan Marcus

1954 A star is born when Carol Haney's understudy in The Pajama Game goes on in place of the ailing actor and is discovered by theatre critic George Freedly. Writes Freedly in his review of the musical: "The night I saw the show, Miss Haney was sick and her understudy Shirley MacLaine took over. It was one of the most accomplished and completely professional performances I have had the pleasure of enjoying." It's not long before future Academy Award winner MacLaine comes to Hollywood's attention.

1983 Broadway's Alvin Theatre, home of the original Broadway production of Annie, is renamed in honor of celebrated American playwright Neil Simon. The Neil Simon Theatre goes on to house many Broadway smashes, including revivals of The King And I and The Music Man, and the original production of Hairspray.

1993 Howard Crabtree's Whoop-Dee-Doo!, the musical revue conceived, created, and developed by Charles Catanese, Phillip George, Peter Morris, Dick Gallagher, Mark Waldrop, and its namesake, Howard Crabtree, opens at the Actors' Playhouse.

2009 Justina Machado (Six Feet Under, One Day at a Time) makes her Broadway debut as Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda's In The Heights. The star steps in for Andréa Burns for a planned eight-week run over the summer.

2012 The first U.S. national tour of the Tony-winning War Horse opens at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Adapting Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris' original staging is Bijan Sheibani, with Andrew Veenstra starring as Albert in the puppeteering marvel.

2015 Patti LuPone stars as a headstrong community theatre diva in the world premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's semi-autobiographical play Shows for Days at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse. Michael Urie co-stars as Car, the playwright's impressionable and wide-eyed alter ego.

2017 The Broadway premiere of Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room opens at the Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre. Janeane Garofalo, Lili Taylor, and Celia Weston star in the play about two sisters who are reunited when one is diagnosed with leukemia. The work was first developed and produced at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in 1990.

2017 The Wind in the Willows, a new musical based on Kenneth Grahame’s novel, officially opens June 29 at the London Palladium. Adapted for the stage by Julian Fellowes with a score by Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the production is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.

Today's Birthdays: H. H. Frazee (1880–1929), Frank Loesser (1910–1969), Ruth Warrick (1915–2005), Ralph Burns (1922–2001), Arthur Storch (1925–2003), James Patterson (1932–1972), Brian d'Arcy James (b. 1968), Emily Skinner (b. 1970), Lily Rabe (b. 1982)

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