Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 19 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 19 The story of The Cavalla Kings hits Broadway when Kat and the Kings opens in 1999.
The cast of Kat and the Kings Jill Furmanovsky

1873 Birthday of comedian Fred Stone who, partnered with David Montgomery, becomes one of the most beloved Broadway performers of the early 20th century. Among their notable hits are The Wizard of Oz (with Stone as the first acting incarnation of The Scarecrow) and The Red Mill. Sometimes appearing with his wife and daughters as The Stepping Stones, he also stars in a series of musical comedies including Smiling Faces, Tip Top, and Criss Cross.

1918 Opening night of Yip, Yip, Yaphank, a World War I-era morale-building production starring the soldiers of Camp Upton in a series of skits based on life in the service. The score is by "Sgt." Irving Berlin, who personally introduces his standard, "Oh, How I Hate to Get up in the Morning."

1955 Actor Peter Gallagher is born. Gallagher's Broadway stage credits include the original production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, and revivals of Long Day's Journey Into Night, Guys and Dolls, Noises Off, and On the Twentieth Century.

1999 The story of The Cavalla Kings hits the scene when Kat and the Kings opens on Broadway. The musical tells the story of a talented but "non-white" young band that couldn't compete with apartheid in Cape Town, South Africa. David Kramer directs and musically stages the production that plays at the Cort Theatre for 157 performances.

2004 Frank Wildhorn, composer of Jekyll & Hyde, returns to the gothic world for his musical version of Dracula, The Musical, in which Tom Hewitt flies eerily about the stage of Broadway's Belasco Theatre in pursuit of leading lady Melissa Errico for 157 performances.

2007 A Broadway revival of Grease starring Max Crumm and Laura Osnes—the winners of the reality TV casting competition Grease: You're the One That I Want—opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, the production runs for 554 performances.

2010 Stephen Adly Guirgis' Den of Thieves opens at the Chernuchin Theatre at the American Theatre of Actors Off-Broadway, directed by David Triacca.

More of Today's Birthdays: Ogden Nash (1902-1971); Adam Arkin (b. 1956); John Stamos (b. 1963); Kyra Sedgwick (b. 1965); Tracie Thoms (b.1975).

Watch highlights from the 2015 Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century, starring Peter Gallgher as Oscar Jaffee:

More Today in Theatre History

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