1953 John Mills is The Uninvited Guest at London’s St. James’ Theatre. Written by his wife, Mary Hayley Bell, and co-starring Cathleen Nesbitt and Joan Greenwood, the story of a man who returns home after spending 20 years in a mental institution plays just 21 performances.
1974 Derek Jacobi stars in William Shakespeare’s Pericles at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. Toby Robertson stages the production.
1982 Well, the title was catchy: Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?. But the musical by John R. Powers (book), James Quinn, and Alaric Jans (score) shines for only five performances at the Alvin Theatre.
1984 Holly Hunter is crowned a winner in The Miss Firecracker Contest at Off-Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club. The play’s plot centers around a small-town family wrapped up in winning a beauty pageant. Stephen Tobolowsky directs. Hunter stars in the 1989 film version.
1998 Austin Pendleton directs a new Tom Stoppard translation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, opening Off-Broadway at Theatre Four. The cast includes Angie Phillips, Mark Blum, Maria Tucci, and Greg Naughton.
2003 After development at regional theatres, Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife premieres Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. The play transfers to Broadway in November and wins the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.
2011 Zoë Wanamaker and David Suchet open in a West End revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre. The drama is directed by Howard Davies, who previously directed an award-winning production of the play at the National Theatre in 2000.
2016 Ragtime creators Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally reunite for the world premiere musical Anastasia, opening at Hartford Stage. Based on the 1997 animated film musical, it stars Christy Altomare in the title role. The production transfers to Broadway the following year.
Today’s Birthdays: Lucile Watson (1879–1962); Harold Rome (1908–1993); Richard Waring (1910–1993); Vincent Price (1911–1993); Herman Wouk (1915–2019); Louis Gossett, Jr. (b. 1936); Richard Schiff (b. 1955).
Watch highlights from the 2017 Broadway production of Anastasia: