Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 21 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: June 21 In 2018, Idina Menzel stars in Off-Broadway's Skintight by Joshua Harmon.
Judy Holliday in Bells Are Ringing Friedman-Abeles / The New York Public Library

1903 Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld is born in St. Louis, Missouri. His distinctive looping line drawings capture the essence of Broadway shows from the 1920s through the early 2000s. The Martin Beck Theatre is renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in 2003, just months after his death at age 99.

1921 Future stage and screen star Judy Holliday is born in New York City. By the time of her untimely death in 1965, Holliday had won the 1951 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Born Yesterday, a role she had already done on Broadway. She also won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Bells Are Ringing.

1937 Laurence Housman's Broadway smash Victoria Regina opens at London's Lyric Theatre. The historical drama, which proved to be a personal triumph for star Helen Hayes on Broadway, stars Pamela Stanely as the 19th-century British Queen. The show runs 42 weeks.

1951 Audience members are taken back to Indianapolis circa 1907 as Seventeen opens at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Based on the novel by Booth Tarkington, the new musical features a book by Sally Benson. Singing the Walter Kent-Kim Gannon score are leads Ann Crowley and Kenneth Nelson. The show runs 23 weeks.

1984 David Rabe's play Hurlyburly opens Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre. The original cast from Chicago's Goodman Theatre stays intact, including William Hurt, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Jerry Stiller, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, and Judith Ivey. The play runs 45 performances before transferring to Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

1992 It is Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber now, as the famed musical theatre composer is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Andrew's many musical credits include Broadway's longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, and the international phenomenon, Cats. He is later elevated to the peerage as Lord Lloyd Webber.

2000 Josh Brolin and Elias Koteas replace Tony-nominated stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly in Sam Shepard's True West on Broadway. The drama, in which two brothers change personalities, made for an interesting twist as the two actors would switch lead roles every few performances. The replacement players follow in the same fashion until the Matthew Warchus–directed show closes July 29.

2018 Idina Menzel plays a woman who discovers that her famous father is in a relationship with a much younger, gay adult film actor in the world premiere of Joshua Harmon's Skintight. The production plays a limited engagement at the Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theatre.

More of Today's Birthdays: Dorothy Stickney (1896–1998), Mack Gordon (1904–1959), Jane Russell (1921–2011), Maureen Stapleton (1925–2006), Don Black (b. 1938), Mariette Hartley (b. 1940), Michael Gross (b. 1947), David Marshall Grant (b. 1955), Benjamin Walker (b. 1982)

Flip through some of Al Hirschfeld's famous sketches:

Look at the Art of Your Favorite Shows as Imagined by Al Hirschfeld

More Today in Theatre History

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!