Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 20

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 20
 
A scene from the 1962 Broadway production of Stop The World – I Want To Get Off.
A scene from the 1962 Broadway production of Stop The World – I Want To Get Off.

1961 Stop The World - I Want To Get Off opens at the Queen's Theatre in London's West End. The musical, which features book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and its star, Anthony Newley, follows the life of one man from birth to death. It runs 485 performances. A Broadway production opens at the Shubert Theatre on October 3, 1962, where it runs for 555 performances.

1987 Up-and-coming singer-actor Kevin Marcum, who had been playing minor roles in the Broadway production of Les Misérables, is found dead in his apartment. Marcum, also a Jean Valjean understudy, was slated to take over that role full-time after original star Colm Wilkinson's planned departure the following November. The cause of death is "acute cocaine intoxication."

1987 Charles Busch's sendup of beach movies, Psycho Beach Party, opens Off-Broadway at the Players Theatre. Busch himself is among the cast of the lampoon directed by Kenneth Elliott. It rides the waves for 344 performances and closes May 15 the following year.

2000 Producer Stewart F. Lane and former theatre columnist Ward Morehouse III's first collaboration, If It Was Easy..., opens at Atlanta's 7 Stages Theatre. The play about a Frank Sinatra musical that becomes a hit when the mob gets involved, opens Off-Broadway on March 7, 2001 at the Douglas Fairbanks. It swims with the fishes, though, as it closes April 1.

2016 The Globe Theatre of London’s acclaimed 2015 production of The Merchant of Venice, starring Tony Award winner Jonathan Pryce, begins New York performances at the Rose Theater as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Jonathan Munby directs the production on a set that recreates the Globe stage.

Today's Birthdays: Pavel Kohout 1928. Sally Ann Howes 1930. Diana Rigg 1938. Michael Park 1968.

Watch highlights from The Merchant of Venice, starring Jonthan Pryce:

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