Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 18 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: April 18 In 1994, Disney's Beauty and the Beast opens on Broadway.
Terrence Mann and Susan Egan in the original Broadway cast of Beauty and the Beast Joan Marcus

1936 In Irwin Shaw's Bury the Dead the task becomes impossible as the six dead soldiers refuse the grave. The one-act protest against the war runs three months at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. Robert Porterfield and Joseph Kramm are among the actors portraying the soldiers.

1946 Betty Garrett and Jules Munshin are among the cast of Call Me Mister. The revue satirizes subjects from Army red tape to southern racial prejudice. Harold Rome provides music and lyrics.

1964 Author and playwright Ben Hecht, 70, dies in New York. He started his career as a journalist. Of his collaborations with Charles MacArthur, The Front Page, Jumbo, and Twentieth Century are the best known.

1972 Brock Peters plays Stephen Kumalo in Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill's musical Lost in the Stars. Gene Frankel stages the five-week run at New York's Imperial Theatre.

1977 Millicent Martin, Julie N. McKenzie, David Kernan, and Ned Sherrin comprise the cast of Side by Side by Sondheim. The musical revue spotlighting the composer-lyricist's top Broadway moments opens at the Music Box Theatre. The production runs 384 performances.

1994 The day that Disney came to Broadway: the full-scale live version of their animated film, Beauty and the Beast, opens at the Palace Theatre. Susan Egan and Terrence Mann play the title roles and Tom Bosley costars as Belle's father. The production moves to another Broadway venue, the Lunt Fontanne Theatre, on November 12, 1999 to make room for Disney's third Broadway venture, Aida. Beauty and the Beast continues to run until 2007, playing a total of 5,461 performances.

1996 Nathan Lane stars in a Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the St. James Theatre. His performance as Pseudolus earns him his first Tony Award. The production plays 715 performances, with the lead role later taken on by David Alan Grier and Whoopi Goldberg.

2002 A stage adaptation of the film musical Thoroughly Modern Millie opens on Broadway with a largely new score by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan. It goes on to win six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for its star, Sutton Foster.

2005 The Light in the Piazza, a new musical by Adam Guettel (grandson of Richard Rodgers) and Craig Lucas, opens at the Vivian Beaumont Theater for what is supposed to be a limited run. The show wins six Tony Awards (the most of any show in 2006), including Best Actress for Victoria Clark and Best Score for Guettel and Lucas. After several extensions, the run becomes open-ended and it runs a total of 504 performances.

2010 The Menier Chocolate Factory's critically acclaimed revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's musical La Cage aux Folles opens on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre. Directed by Terry Johnson, the production stars Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge. The production wins three Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

2012 The Broadway transfer of Richard Bean's popular West End comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, about a manservant pulled between two bosses—and his own voracious appetite—opens at the Music Box Theatre. James Corden repeats his praised London work as crazed butler Francis Henshall, inspired by theatre history's stock clown character Harlequin, and wins a Tony Award for his performance.

2013 Following a much-in-the-news rehearsal period, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, starring Alec Baldwin, Tom Sturridge, and Ben Foster, opens on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The production was originally scheduled to open April 7, but was postponed following the announcement that Foster would replace Shia LaBeouf—who departed the company "due to creative differences."

2016 Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton wins the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, only the ninth musical to win the prize in its 100-year history.

2017 Paula Vogel's Indecent opens at Broadway's Cort Theatre, following an acclaimed downtown run at the Vineyard Theatre. The play is inspired by the real-life controversy surrounding the 1923 Broadway production of Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance, the love story of two women. Director Rebecca Taichman wins a Tony Award for her Broadway directing debut.

Today's Birthdays: Norwood Smith (1915-1999). Hayley Mills (b. 1946). Eric McCormack (b. 1963). David Tennant (b. 1971). Gavin Creel (b. 1976). Reeve Carney (b. 1983). Nicolette Robinson (b. 1988).

Indecent on Broadway

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