Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: May 31

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: May 31
 
The_Boys_In_the_Band_Broaway_Production_Photo_2018_042 The cast of THE BOYS IN THE BAND, Photo by Joan Marcus, 2018_HR.jpg
Cast of The Boys in the Band Joan Marcus

1946 Orson Welles circumnavigates the stage in Around the World, a musical he adapted from Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in 80 Days. Cole Porter wrote the music and lyrics for the production, mounted at the Adelphi Theatre.

1978 Waiting for Godot is produced at the Lepercq Space of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Playwright Samuel Beckett has his assistant, German director Walter D. Asmus, recreate Beckett’s 1975 staging at the Schiller Theater in Berlin. Sam Waterston and Austin Pendleton star as Vladimir and Estragon, respectively.

1979 Liv Ullmann won’t be forgotten as she headlines the musical I Remember Mama at the Majestic Theatre. Cy Feuer directs the adaptation of John Van Druten’s 1944 play, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The cast plays 108 performances.

1984 John Malkovich and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago bring Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead to New York City at the Circle Repertory. Under the direction of Malkovich, Terry Kinney, Tanya Berezin, Gary Sinise, and Glenne Headly star in the play set in a Broadway coffee shop.

1998 Natalie Portman, who made her stage debut as the star of the Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, leaves the production at the Music Box Theatre to resume her movie career and be immortalized as Princess Leia’s mother in the Star Wars prequel films. Nathalie Paulding replaces her as Anne.

2002 Bombay Dreams begins performances in London. The musical, set in the world of Indian cinema, is composed by A.R. Rahman and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The production opens on Broadway two years later.

2003 Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel’s musical The Light in the Piazza makes its world premiere at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre. The cast includes Victoria Clark as Margaret, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Clara, and Steven Pasquale as Fabrizio. The musical opens on Broadway in spring 2005 and wins six Tony Awards, including Best Actress in a Musical for Victoria Clark and Best Score.

2013 Jean Stapleton, a seasoned stage and film actor who found lasting fame as the dimwitted and big-hearted wife of Archie Bunker on the 1970's social sitcom All in the Family, dies at age 90. Stapleton’s Broadway appearances included roles in the original productions of Damn Yankees, Bells Are Ringing, Juno, and Funny Girl.

2015 The world premiere of Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich’s musical Ever After, based on the 1998 film, opens at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. Kathleen Marshall directs a cast that includes Christine Ebersole, Tony Sheldon, James Snyder, and Margo Seibert.

2018 Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 play The Boys in the Band makes it Broadway debut at the Booth Theatre. Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, and Andrew Rannells star in the show about a group of gay men who gather in a New York City apartment for a friend’s birthday party. Joe Mantello directs the limited engagement.

Today’s Birthdays: Margalo Gillmore (1897–1986); Don Ameche (1908–1993); Brooke Shields (b. 1965); Matt Cavenaugh (b. 1978).

Watch highlights from the 2015 musical Ever After:

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