1954 N. Richard Nash's play about a con-man's visit to a small Western town, The Rainmaker, opens tonight at the Cort Theatre. Geraldine Page is the star for the Broadway run of 128 performances and then will go on to also do the London run in 1956. This critically-acclaimed production will be made into a movie in 1956 and also be the basis for a stage musical, 110 in the Shade, in 1963. Woody Harrelson and Jayne Atkinson starred in a 1999 revival of the show for the Roundabout Theatre Company. 1979 Arnold Soboloff, who is playing Smee, the sidekick to Captain Hook, in Peter Pan at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, dies today of a heart attack. He has just finished a song in Act II of the show and has gone off into the wings, where he will collapse. He was 48 years old.
1985 Wallace Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon opens at the Public Theatre today, with Shawn and Linda Hunt in the cast. It ran 191 shows, even though Variety portrayed it as "stupifyingly dull ... Another whatsit with no plot, flabby writing, no scene structure, arbitrary and unmotivated characterizations and extraneous graphic sex. In short, zero dramatic craftsmanship."
--By Sam Maher and Steve Luber