1924 Birthday of Sheldon Harnick, who writes lyrics to musicals including Fiorello!, She Loves Me, The Apple Tree, and Fiddler on the Roof.
1936 Proving that our tax dollars can be spent in highly suspect ways, Pre-Honeymoon, Anne Nichols' comedy depicting a senator engaged to be married but having one last fling, fills the Lyceum Theatre. Jessie Royce Landis and Clyde Fillmore are the leads in the eight-month Broadway run.
1948 Based on John Gunther's best-selling book, Moss Hart, Arnold Auerbach, and Arnold Horwitt script the musical revue Inside U.S.A. Songs are by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz. The large cast, led by Beatrice Lillie, who also leads a choral ode to Pittsburgh, runs 399 performances.
1957 Australian Ray Lawler's drama Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is performed by an Australian company at London's New Theatre. The story of Queensland sugar-cane cutters wins 254 showings.
1972 It's not a full term, it's just An Evening with Richard Nixon. Gore Vidal's satire of the President plays just two weeks at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway. Edwin Sherin directs and George S. Irving portrays Nixon.
1980 Barnum, a musical retelling of P.T. Barnum's life with a score by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart, opens at the St. James Theatre. Starring Jim Dale as Barnum and Glenn Close as his wife, Chairy, the musical runs for two years and wins three Tony Awards, including Best Actor in a Musical for Dale.
1996 Sam Shepard sees his Buried Child open at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production, about a family with a terrible secret, is directed by Gary Sinise and features James Gammon, Jim True, and Lois Smith. The play makes it to Broadway nearly two decades after it won the Pulitzer Prize for its original Off-Broadway production.
2000 Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, starring Sir Derek Jacobi, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the show co-stars Roger Rees and Laura Linney. Michael Mayer directs.
2002 Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods is revived on Broadway starring Vanessa Williams, Laura Benanti, and John McMartin. The production wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
2003 Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Marisa Tomei star in a Broadway revival of Oscar Wilde's Salome. Dianne Wiest and David Strathairn co-star in the production at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
2008 Thurgood—a solo play starring Laurence Fishburne as Civil Rights activist and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall—opens at the Booth Theatre.
2009 Country star and actor Dolly Parton makes her Broadway debut as composer-lyricist of 9 to 5, opening at the Marquis Theatre. Based on the film by Patricia Resnick (who also wrote the libretto for the musical), the tale of female office workers’ conflicts with their male chauvinist boss stars Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, and Megan Hilty. It runs 148 performances.
2009 The Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, the modern classic set in a wasteland, opens at Studio 54. The production stars Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane, John Glover, and John Goodman.
2014 Nicholas Martin, a director who brought his crisp, smart, bright style to critical works by Mark Hampton, Becky Mode and, in particular, Christopher Durang, dies at age 75. Martin also served as artistic director of two Massachusetts nonprofits: Huntington Theatre Company and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Today's Birthdays: Eve Arden (1908-1990). Cloris Leachman (1926-2021). Jane Greenwood (b. 1934). Jill Clayburgh (1944-2010). Craig Lucas (b. 1951).