Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 2 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 2 In 1999, Orfeh, Sara Ramirez, and Patrick Wilson star on Broadway in The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm.
Orfeh (center) with the cast of The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm Joan Marcus

1923 There's trouble At Mrs. Beam's—the boardinghouse keeper thinks one of her guests is a killer. The C. K. Munro play runs 280 performances at London's Royalty Theatre.

1963 Liza Minnelli stars in an Off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward at Stage 73. Danny Daniels stages the 224 performances.

1966 Theatre critic and scholar John Gassner dies at age 64. He was head of the Theatre Guild's play department and instrumental in bringing playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller into public attention.

1969 The Royal Shakespeare Company opens its annual Stratford-upon-Avon season with Pericles. Terry Hands stages. Ian Richardson stars.

1986 A.R. Gurney's The Perfect Party opens Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. The comedy about a professor who sets out to throw the perfect party under the scrutiny of a newspaper columnist runs 70 performances under the direction of John Tillinger.

1999 The syncopated siblings reach Broadway once more, but not for long, as the revue The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm begins previews. Boasting songs by composer George Gershwin and his lyricist brother Ira Gershwin, it stars Michael Berresse, Darius de Haas, Adriane Lenox, Orfeh, Sara Ramirez, and Patrick Wilson. Officially opening April 25, the production plays only 27 previews and 17 performances.

2002 Some 150 years after it was written, Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool makes its Broadway debut. Alan Bates and Frank Langella earn Tony Award nominations, and Mike Poulton's translation is nominated for Best Play.

2009 Neil LaBute makes his debut as a Broadway playwright when MCC Theater's production of Reasons to Be Pretty, which played an acclaimed Off-Broadway run, opens at the Lyceum Theatre. Terry Kinney directs Marin Ireland, Steven Pasquale, Piper Perabo, and Thomas Sadoski in the examination of people’s obsession with physical beauty.

2012 End of the Rainbow, Peter Quilter's music-studded drama about the final months in the life of Judy Garland, opens at the Belasco Theatre. Tracie Bennett, who stars as the tempestuous and triumphant icon, performs such Garland signatures as "The Man That Got Away," "Come Rain or Come Shine," and "The Trolley Song."

2013 Tony Award-winning actor Elaine Stritch, a celebrated icon of the stage and New York City itself, begins performances of Elaine Stritch at the Carlyle: Movin' Over and Out. The "freeform evening of story and song" marks her final engagement at the Café Carlyle before retiring from performing and moving to Michigan.

2015 A revival of David Hare's Skylight, starring Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy, and Matthew Beard, opens on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre. The Stephen Daldry-directed production wins a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

2017 The Play That Goes Wrong, a comedy about an amateur production of a murder mystery that goes hopelessly awry, opens at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. The production began life in 2012 as a fringe production in a London pub, later transferring to the West End and winning the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Today's Birthdays: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875). Buddy Ebsen (1908-2003). Alec Guinness (1914-2000). Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980). Linda Hunt (b. 1945). Clark Gregg (b. 1962). Amber Gray (b. 1981).

Getting Into Character With Hadestown’s Amber Gray

More Today in Theatre History

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