Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 13

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 13
Raúl Esparza in tick, tick...BOOM!
Raúl Esparza in tick, tick...BOOM!

1956 Following a rocky out-of-town tryout, during which its director and two of its stars were replaced, the musical Shangri-La opens on Broadway. 42nd Street composer Harry Warren provides the score for the show based on James Hilton's Lost Horizon. Dennis King and Shirley Yamaguchi star, and the supporting cast includes Jack Cassidy, Alice Ghostley, Harold Lang, and Carol Lawrence. It runs 21 performances at the Winter Garden Theatre.

1963 Stage actor Howard Da Silva finds himself at the other end of the spectrum: as director of a Lewis John Carlino double bill. Shelley Winters and Jack Warden star in the two one acts, Snowangel and Epiphany. The production runs 22 weeks Off-Broadway at the York Playhouse.

1966 Audiences can't help but laugh as The Kitchen opens at the 81st Street Theater in New York. The raucous comedy, set in the kitchen of a popular restaurant at dinner time, features Rip Torn, Constance Clarke, and Sylvia Miles. After opening night, dinner continues to be prepared on stage for 136 more performances.

1979 Phyllis Newman is a successful actor seeking to balance her career with her life as a wife and mother in the semi-autobiographical musical comedy The Madwoman of Central Park West. Directed and co-written by Arthur Laurents, it runs 85 performances at the 22 Steps Theater.

1987 Geraldine Page dies of a heart attack at the age of 62. The stage star of Sweet Bird of Youth and Agnes of God was performing in a revival of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit at the time of her death. As a screen actor she was honored with seven Academy Award nominations before finally winning Best Actress for her turn in The Trip to Bountiful. She also earned Emmy Awards her performances in A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor. Though she was nominated for four Tony Awards, she was never awarded one.

1990 Actor Charles Grodin knows the Price of Fame as his show opens Off-Broadway. The Roundabout Theatre Company production features Grodin, Lizbeth MacKay, Jace Alexander, Joseph R. Sicari, and Michael Ingram, under the direction of Gloria Muzio.

2001 Five years after the untimely death of its composer, the world premiere of tick, tick...BOOM!, the autobiographical musical by Rent author Jonathan Larson, opens Off-Broadway at the Jane Street Theatre. Raúl Esparza stars as Jonathan, opposite Amy Spanger and Jerry Dixon.

2002 The Phantom of the Opera plays its 6,000th performance on Broadway.

2017 Playwright A. R. Gurney dies at age 86. The remarkably prolific author wrote nearly 50 full-length plays, including Love Letters, The Cocktail Hour, Sylvia, and The Dining Room.

2017 Donna Murphy returns to Broadway in Hello, Dolly! Murphy plays the title role on Tuesday nights in the Tony Award-winning revival, which stars Bette Midler the other seven performances in the week.

Today's Birthdays: Jean Adair 1873. Basil Rathbone 1892. Mary Wickes 1910. Bernard B. Jacobs 1916. Rex Everhart 1920. Paul Lynde 1926. Joy Franz 1941. Richard Thomas 1951.

Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., and Karen Olivo rehearse for the 2014 Encores! Off-Center production of tick, tick...BOOM!:

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