Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: January 22

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: January 22
Katie Finneran in Promises, Promises.
Katie Finneran in Promises, Promises. Joan Marcus

1912 Stop in at the Liberty Theatre in New York and see just what it takes when you're Elevating a Husband. Edward Everett Horton, Conway Tearle, and Jessie Carter are among the cast of the Clara Lipman and Samuel Shipman farce. It runs 120 performances.

1918 Seventeen, adapted from Booth Tarkington's novel by Stanislaus Stange and Stannard Mears, expounds on the world of American teens. Ruth Gordon and Paul Kelly are in the cast.

1946 Playwright Emmet Lavery considers the life of Oliver Wendell Holmes in The Magnificent Yankee. The comedy stars Louis Calhern and Dorothy Gish and runs 160 performances.

1964 Composer-playwright Marc Blitzstein is murdered on Martinique, West Indies. He worked with the Mercury Theatre as composer-librettist of The Cradle Will Rock and also composed the incidental music for that company's production of Julius Caesar that same year. He adapted Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera in 1955.

1968 Elly Stone, Shawn Elliott, Mort Shuman, and Alice Whitfield star in the musical revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at the Village Gate. It runs 1,847 performances.

1971 Katie Finneran is born in Chicago, Illinois. A two-time Tony Award winner for her performances as Brooke Ashton in Noises Off and Marge MacDougall in Promises, Promises, her Broadway appearances also include Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Miss Hannigan in Annie.

2003 A woman goes on a journey of the soul when she resolves to quit smoking in Michael John LaChiusa's musical Little Fish, which begins performances at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre. Graciela Daniele directs a cast that includes Jennifer Laura Thompson, Lea DeLaria, Marcy Harriell, Hugh Panaro, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Celia Keenan-Bolger.

2004 Ann Miller, the leggy, effervescent tap dancer who starred in Sugar Babies on Broadway and in the film versions of Kiss Me, Kate and On the Town, dies at age 80.

2009 A controlling mother, an unstable daughter, and a handsome stranger are the trio at the center of Richard Greenberg's 1990 play The American Plan, which opens in its Broadway debut at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. David Grindley directs the Manhattan Theatre Club production, starring Mercedes Ruehl, Lily Rabe, and Kieran Campion.

Today's Birthdays August Strindberg 1849. Constance Collier 1878. George Balanchine 1904. Ann Sothern 1909. Lee Dixon 1914. Lemuel Ayers 1915. Sid Ramin 1919. Piper Laurie 1932. Emanuel Azenberg 1934. Bill Bixby 1934. Michael Cristofer 1945. Diane Lane 1965.

Watch highlights from Katie Finneran's Tony Award-winning performance in the 2010 Broadway revival of Promises, Promises:

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