1902 Cheryl Crawford, one of the most powerful and influential women in Broadway history, is born. As producer and/or director, she has a decisive hand in productions as diverse as Brigadoon, Golden Boy, Awake and Sing!, Men in White, One Touch of Venus, The Rose Tattoo, and Sweet Bird of Youth.
1931 Anthony Newley, star of stage and screen, is born. Newley becomes a legend in the theatre world by creating two new musicals. Stop the World - I Want to Get Off, a collaboration with Leslie Bricusse, opens in 1962 and is not only directed by Newley, but also features him as a performer. Newley works with Bricusse again in 1965 for The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd. Newley is also remembered for his performance as the inevitable Matthew Mugg in the movie, Doctor Dolittle, starring Rex Harrison.
1953 Take a Giant Step, starring the young Louis Gossett, Jr., opens at the Lyceum Theatre. The Playbill for the production states that young Gossett is a high school student in Brooklyn who aspires to be a pharmacist.
1958 The Gate Theatre on Second Avenue hosts the opening of a new play by James Forsythe, Heloise. Twenty-four year old Alan Arkin is in the production.
1974 A revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens at the ANTA Theatre. The play has been updated since its 1956 Broadway production, now including profanity in the script. Elizabeth Ashley stars as Maggie. Her co-stars include Keir Dullea, Fred Gwynne, and Kate Reid. Michael Kahn directs. The revival runs 160 performances.
1976 The long-running revival of Oh! Calcutta! opens at the Edison Theatre. Contributors to the show include Jules Feiffer, John Lennon, Sam Shepard, and Kenneth Tynan. Billed as "The World's Longest Running Erotic Stage Musical," it runs for 5,959 performances, briefly becoming the second-longest-running show in Broadway history.
1998 The Savion Glover-George C. Wolfe production of Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk which opened April 25, 1996, celebrates its 1,000th performance. The tap-rap spectacle with book by Reg E. Gaines and music by Ann Duquesnay, Zane Mark, and Daryl Waters goes on for 130 more to carve its niche into theatre history.
2001 Some of Broadway's top stars, including Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, and Lillias White, star in a special Actors Fund benefit performance of Dreamgirls at the Ford Center. Also in the cast: Alice Ripley, Emily Skinner, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Patrick Wilson, Adam Pascal, Darius de Haas, and Norm Lewis.
2012 A new production of Tennessee Williams' steamy Southern-set Sweet Bird of Youth, directed by David Cromer, opens at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Diane Lane stars as aging Hollywood screen star Alexandra del Lago, opposite Finn Wittrock as young drifter Chance Wayne.
2019 The Florian Zeller drama The Height of the Storm, starring Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins, opens on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The two reprise their performances in the Jonathan Kent production following an acclaimed London run.
2019 Alexis Scheer’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord opens to critical acclaim at WP Theater. The play follows a gang of teenage girls who gather in an abandoned tree house to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar.
More of Today's Birthdays: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940). Larry Gates (1915–1996). Theresa Merritt (1924–1998). Harriet Walter (b. 1950). John Logan (b. 1961). Chad Beguelin (b. 1969). Kate Fleetwood (b. 1972). Michael Friedman (1975–2017). Ben Platt (b. 1993).