1951 On the cover of Life today is Ginger Rogers, "Back On Broadway" in Love and Let Love. However, the show, plagued by feuding in its tryout period, will play only 56 performances, losing about $30,000.
1968 The Living Theatre's production of Paradise Now, which was intended to liberate the individual, and thus start a non-violent anarchist revolution, plays tonight at the MIT campus in Massachusetts. However, the show is stopped when hecklers, naked students, and small fires in the audience cause disruption. Elliot Norton of the Boston Critic calls the show a "phony attempt to break the boundaries of conventional theatre, done as if by dirty schoolboys."
1973 Peter Hall succeeds Lawrence Olivier as director of the English National Theatre, leading the company through many successful years and a Queen-appointed change of name to the Royal National Theatre.
1980 Christopher Reeve, Swoosie Kurtz, and Amy Wright are the stars in Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson, which opens tonight at the New Apollo Theatre. The show was a success Off-Broadway as a Circle Rep production in 1978, and will also be a success on Broadway, running for 511 performances and winning Kurtz a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award.
1987 Stephen Sondheim's elaborate interweaving of many fairy tales, Into the Woods, opens tonight at the Martin Beck Theatre. The famous score includes the hits "No One Is Alone" and "Agony," along with the title song. James Lapine, who also wrote the book, directs Joanna Gleason and Bernadette Peters in this show. ? By Sam Maher and Steve Luber