1958 Anne Bancroft, star of stage and screen, actually auditioned for the Actor's Studio last week. According to Leonard Lyon's column, which was published today, "star or no star, she still had to audition. She passed." Bancroft will be remembered for her portrayal both on stage (1960) and in film (1962) of Helen Keller's teacher in The Miracle Worker. She won a Tony and an Academy award for the role.
1962 Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opens tonight at the Billy Rose Theatre (now the Nederlander). Uta Hagen, Arthur Hill, Melinda Dillon, and George Grizzard are the cast who perform this three-and-half hour long show six times a week. The show is so challenging and long, a separate cast would do matinee performances. Woolf, about two couples who bare their personal secrets, ran 664 performances in New York before heading to London with Hagen and Hill in tow, where it will run 428 performances.
1964 Peter Brook's production of The Physicists, by Friedrich Duerrenmatt, opens tonight at the Martin Beck Theatre. This drama, about a group of scientists who hide out in an insane asylum, starred dynamic duo and husband and wife team Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. The show will run 55 performances.
1987 Terrence McNally gets a shining moment at the Manhattan Theatre Club tonight as his Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune opens. The story involves a middle-aged cook and waitress who sleep together one night and find themselves dealing with whether or not they should be involved. Kathy Bates stars with Kenneth Welsh in this play that will be made into a movie in 1991 starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. It will run at MTC for 533 performances.
1998 The rarely-produced Shakespeare play Pericles sees a production at Off-Broadway's Public Theatre. This mounting is directed by Brian Kulick and stars Viola Davis and Jay Goede. The Public also produced the last major New York production of the play, with Michael Grief directing Campbell Scott in the title role. --By Sam Maher and Ernio Hernandez