Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 1

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 1
Michael C. Hall in <i>Lazarus</i>
Michael C. Hall in Lazarus Jan Versweyveld

1859 Birthday of Broadway's operetta king Victor Herbert, composer of Babes in Toyland, The Red Mill, Mlle. Modiste, Naughty Marietta, Sweethearts, and numerous editions of the Ziegfeld Follies.

1904 Birthday of playwright, screenwriter, and wit S. J. Perelman, whose Broadway efforts include The Beauty Part and the libretto to One Touch of Venus.

1909 When her father's will stipulates that his daughter must marry a graduate of Bingham College, she becomes The Fair Co-Ed. Elsie Janis stars as the only female student enrolled, helping her fiancé make the grade. George Ade provides the music and lyrics, Gustav Luders the score.

1942 In Of V We Sing, the V stands for victory in World War II. Co-produced by Alexander Cohen and the American Youth Theatre, the timely show hosts songs, sketches, and some lively jitterbugging. The cast includes Betty Garrett, Phil Leeds, and Daniel Nagrin. It runs nearly 10 weeks.

1967 The Deer Park, Norman Mailer's adaptation of his novel, stars Rip Torn, Gene Lindsey, and Marsha Mason. Leo Garen directs the 128 performances at Theatre de Lys.

1968 Iris Murdoch and James Saunders adapt Murdoch's novel The Italian Girl for the stage. Richard Pasco and Elizabeth Sellars lead the cast and Val May stages. It runs in London at Wyndham's Theatre for 315 performances.

2002 Hildegard Neff, 76, the husky-voiced singer and actor who sang the role of Communist official Ninotchka in Cole Porter's Silk Stockings, dies in a Berlin hospital after a long illness.

2002 A settlement is announced between producer Scott Rudin and composer Stephen Sondheim over ownership of the musical Wise Guys, since retitled Bounce, that allows its 2003 premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre to go forward. When the musical finally opens in New York in 2008, it has yet another new title: Road Show.

2003 First performance of Radiant Baby, an Off-Broadway musical about late pop artist Keith Haring at the Public Theater's Newman space. George C. Wolfe directs the production, which features lyrics by Ira Gasman, Stuart Ross, and Debra Barsha, book by Ross, and score by Barsha.

2004 Film star Isabella Rossellini stars with Richard Thomas in the world premiere of Terrence McNally's The Stendhal Syndrome, which begins performances at Off-Broadway's Primary Stages' new home, 59E59.

2018 The world premiere of Terrence McNally's Fire and Air, exploring the history behind Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, opens Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company. Douglas Hodge stars as Diaghilev opposite James Cusati-Moyer as dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. The cast also includes Marin Mazzie, John Glover, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and Marsha Mason.

More of Today's Birthdays: Herman Hupfeld 1894. Clark Gable 1901. Langston Hughes 1902. Garrett Morris 1937. Sherman Hemsley 1938. Leo Burmester 1944. Michael C. Hall 1971.

Flip through photos from the 2008 Off-Broadway production of Road Show:

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