Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: October 1

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: October 1
 
In 1999, James Joyce's The Dead makes its world premiere Off-Broadway.
Blair Brown, Alice Ripley, John Kelly, Emily Skinner and Dashiell Eaves in the 1999 Playwrights Horizons production of <i>James Joyce's The Dead</i>
Blair Brown, Alice Ripley, John Kelly, Emily Skinner and Dashiell Eaves in the 1999 Playwrights Horizons production of James Joyce's The Dead Joan Marcus

1928 Mae West's controversial play Pleasure Man opens at the Biltmore Theatre. It's the story of an actor who has impregnated so many women that the brother of one of them takes up a knife to put a permanent end to the culprit's love life. Police shut it down after 2 performances.

1935 Birthday of Broadway leading lady Julie Andrews, who stars in The Boy Friend, My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Victor/Victoria—but never wins a Tony Award (she famously renounces her nomination for Victor/Victoria when the rest of the cast was "egregiously overlooked"). She wins an Oscar for playing the title role in the Disney movie musical Mary Poppins.

1936 Kitty Carlisle, William Gaxton, and Eleanor Bauman star in the musical comedy White Horse Inn, which runs for 223 performances.

1957 Kenneth Haigh, Alan Bates, and Mary Ure star in John Osborne's drama Look Back in Anger, which wins the 1958 Tony Award as Best Play.

1962 Barbra Streisand signs her first recording contract with Columbia. The Barbra Streisand Album, her first, wins her two 1963 Grammy Awards. One of the honors is Album of the Year, and at the time she held the distinction of being the youngest artist to win that category.

1995 After three decades' absence, Carol Burnett returns to Broadway co-starring with Philip Bosco in the Ken Ludwig comedy Moon Over Buffalo at the Martin Beck. The critically-acclaimed performances of Burnett and Bosco help the show run 308 performances.

1999 James Joyce's The Dead, by Irish composer Shaun Davey, begins previews at Playwrights Horizons to a sold-out crowd. The show starring Christopher Walken and Blair Brown features a book by co-conceiver Richard Nelson, who also directs with Jack Hofsiss. The cast also includes Daisy Egan, Sally Ann Howes, Marni Nxon, Stephen Spinella, and, fresh off of Side Show, Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner. The production subsequently opens on Broadway January 11, 2000, at the Belasco Theatre and is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical.

2009 Michael McKean plays the stuck proprietor of a Chicago doughnut shop who is shaken loose with the arrival of a brash new employee in Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts, opening at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.

2018 Girl From the North Country, Conor McPherson's play set to the songs of Bob Dylan, opens its North American premiere Off-Broadway at The Public Theater. The show, about a community on the brink of change in Duluth, Minnesota, was previously seen at London's Old Vic Theatre and in the West End. The New York cast includes Mare Winningham, Marc Kudisch, Sydney James Harcourt, and Colton Ryan. The production transfers to Broadway in February 2020, running up until the coronavirus shutdown.

2019 Harvey Fierstein plays women's rights leader Bella Abzug in Bella Bella, his new solo show opening Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club. The late representative is depicted the following year in two projects: the FX limited series Mrs. America (played by Margo Martindale) and the Julie Taymor-led The Glorias (played by Bette Midler).

2019 Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society opens on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater. Brian Cox stars as Lyndon B. Johnson in the All the Way follow-up, which follows the president's landslide victory but devolving term as the Vietnam War takes hold.

More of Today's Birthdays: Stanley Holloway (1890–1982). Dort Clark (1917–1989). Walter Matthau (1920–2000). James Whitmore (1921–2009). Tom Bosley (1927–2010). Richard Harris (1930–2002). Edward Villella (b. 1936). Lynn Ahrens (b. 1948). Christine Andreas (b. 1951). Christian Borle b. 1973).

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