Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 8

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 8
In The Heights opens Off-Broadway at Arts 37 in 2007.
Robin De Jesus, Karen Olivo and Lin-Manuel Miranda in In the Heights Joan Marcus

1907 Actor Ray Middleton is born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1946 he stars opposite Ethel Merman in Annie Get Your Gun, and in 1965 he is featured in Man of La Mancha.

1937 Maxwell Anderson continues his effort to bring back verse plays with his portrait of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, The Masque of Kings. It runs at the Shubert (and later Majestic) Theatre with Dudley Digges and Henry Hull .

1940 The revue Two for the Show opens at the Booth Theatre, with a cast that includes Eve Arden, Alfred Drake, and Betty Hutton.

1947 The Story of Mary Surratt plays at the Henry Miller's Theatre. John Patrick's depiction of the execution of the boarding-house keeper in whose home President Lincoln's assassination was planned stars Dorothy Gish.

1954 The Immoralist stars James Dean as an Arab boy attempting a seductive blackmail. Louis Jourdan and Geraldine Page are the couple he may ensnare. Based on Andre Gide's novel, Ruth and Augustus Goetz's play runs for three months at the Royale Theatre.

1956 Paddy Chayefsky's drama Middle of the Night opens at the ANTA Playhouse. Edward G. Robinson and Gena Rowlands play an older man and younger woman who fall in love. Joshua Logan provides the direction.

1973 Barbara Bel Geddes and Gene Rupert star in Jean Kerr's domestic comedy Finishing Touches, which runs at the Plymouth Theatre.

2007 The Off-Broadway premiere of In The Heights opens at 37 Arts. The Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes musical stars Miranda, Mandy Gonzalez, Priscilla Lopez, Andrea Burns, Christopher Jackson, Robin de Jesus, and Karen Olivo. The show would eventually transfer to Broadway and go on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical.

More of Today's Birthdays: Charles Ruggles (1886–1970), Edith Evans (1888–1976), Myron McCormick (1908–1962), Betty Field (1913–1973), Michael Benthall (1913–1974), George W. George (1920–2007), Jack Lemmon (1925–2001), James Dean (1931–1955), Lucy Martin (b. 1942), Robert Klein (b. 1942), Michel Stewart (1945–1997), Sherie Rene Scott (b. 1967), Mary McCormack (b. 1969), Enid Graham (b. 1980)

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