Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: December 7 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: December 7 Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Alessandro Nivola star in a Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, opening on this date in 2014.
Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Alessandro Nivola in The Elephant Man Joan Marcus

1879 Composer Rudolf Friml is born in Prague. He emigrates to the U.S. and becomes one of the top Broadway operetta composers of the 1910s and 1920s. His works include The Firefly, Rose-Marie, The Vagabond King, The Three Musketeers, and two editions of The Ziegfeld Follies (1921 and 1923).

1918 It's a Scandal at London's Strand Theatre. The Cosmo Hamilton comedy exposes a woman pretending to be married to a gentleman. Kyrle Bellew and Noël Coward star.

1932 Walk a Little Faster to the St. James Theatre. You'll see Beatrice Lillie starring in skits by S. J. Perelman. Vernon Duke and E.Y. Harburg provide music, including the song "April in Paris."

1937 Sybil Thorndike plays the lead in The Trojan Women at London's Adelphi Theatre. Lewis Casson stages the Euripides play.

1975 The Norman Conquests, a trilogy of comedies by Alan Ayckbourn, opens at the Morosco Theatre. The cast includes Ken Howard, Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, and Estelle Parsons. The trilogy is revived on Broadway in 2009 and wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

2000 Two-time Tony winner John Cullum stars in Wendy Wasserstein's latest, Old Money. The play opens Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, under the direction of Mark Brokaw. Even before the first performance, Old Money sold out tickets for its entire run through January 14, 2001.

2003 Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, and Emma Thompson star in HBO's TV adaptation of Tony Kushner's Tony and Pulitzer-winning Angels in America, which draws 4.2 million viewers, making it the year's top cable movie. It goes on to win 11 Emmy Awards, the most ever for a miniseries or made for television movie.

2006 Tom Kitt, Amanda Green, and David Lindsay-Abaire's musical High Fidelity, based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name, opens on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre. Will Chase stars as Rob, a record-store owner who—when things in his current relationship go sour—revisits his former relationships to find out where he went wrong.

2008 The Olivier Award-winning Slava's Snowshow, already an Off-Broadway hit known for its climactic blizzard and its wordless clowns who roam a wintry landscape, opens at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The show features a cast of ten, including creator Slava Polunin.

2010 King Lear, starring Derek Jacobi in the title role, opens at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Directed by Michael Grandage, the production crosses the Atlantic in April 2011 for a limited run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

2014 A Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, starring Bradley Cooper as John Merrick, opens at the Booth Theatre. Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola co-star.

2015 The world premiere of David Bowie and Enda Walsh's musical Lazarus opens Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop. Ivo van Hove directs the work inspired by Walter Tevis' 1963 novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, about a human-looking alien who comes to Earth seeking a way to bring water back to his dying home planet. Michael C. Hall stars.

2019 Tony nominee Harry Connick, Jr., returns to Broadway in a limited engagement of Harry Connick, Jr.—A Celebration of Cole Porter at the Nederlander Theatre through December 29. The stage and screen star had previously been seen on Broadway in Thou Shalt Not and the revivals of The Pajama Game and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

More of Today's Birthdays: William S. Hart (1864–1946), Fay Bainter (1892–1968), Eli Wallach (1915–2014), Hurd Hatfield (1917–1998). Ellen Burstyn (b. 1932), A.J. Antoon (1944–1992) Leata Galloway (b. 1950), Julie Halston (b. 1954), Jeffrey Wright (b. 1965), Stephanie D'Abruzzo (b. 1971), Sara Bareilles (b. 1979).

Flip through photos of the 2015 Off-Broadway production of Lazarus:

Don't Miss These Haunting First Pics of Michael C. Hall, Cristin Milioti and Cast in David Bowie's Lazarus

More Today in Theatre History

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