Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 6 | Playbill

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Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 6 In 1969, Angela Lansbury stars in Dear World on Broadway.
A scene from Dear World Friedman-Abeles/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

1946 Mary Martin and Yul Brynner play a Chinese couple who separate when the husband goes off on a quest in Lute Song. Raymond Scott composed the score, and Sidney Howard and Will Irwin wrote the book based on a Chinese folktale. It runs for 18 weeks at the Plymouth Theatre in New York.

1969 Jerry Herman, Jerome Lawrence, and Robert E. Lee's musical Dear World, starring Angela Lansbury, opens at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. Although the production only runs for 132 performances, Lansbury wins a Tony Award for her performance.

1974 Chez Nous by Peter Nichols highlights changing sexual mores. It stars Albert Finney, Denholm Elliott, and Geraldine McEwan at London's Globe Theatre. 

1975 Maggie Smith and John Standing star in a revival of Noël Coward's Private Lives at the 46th Street Theatre. The John Gielgud-directed production, which originated in London, plays a limited engagement of 92 performances.

1979 Tommy plays at the Queen's Theatre in London. Music is provided by Pete Townshend and The Who, with direction by Paul Tomlinson and John Hole. Allan Love stars. In 1993, Townshend, director Des McAnuff, and choreographer Wayne Cilento turn The Who's Tommy into a full-fledged Broadway musical.

2002 Elaine Stritch's sold-out Public Theater solo show Elaine Stritch at Liberty moves to Broadway. It wins the 2002 Tony Award for Best Special Event.

2003 Whoopi Goldberg stars with Charles S. Dutton in a Broadway revival of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. The opening comes after a disastrous preview period in which three actors are replaced, an actor suffers a burst blood vessel in his leg, and director Marion McClinton is hospitalized with kidney and blood pressure problems. The revival winds up lasting just 68 performances.

2009 Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated character actor James Whitmore dies at age 87. Whitmore was widely respected for the solo plays that he starred in on Broadway and around the country, including Give 'Em Hell, Harry; Bully; and Will Rogers' USA.

2012 Smash, an hour-long musical drama series created by playwright Theresa Rebeck, premieres on NBC. The first season chronicles the creation of the fictional Marilyn Monroe musical Bombshell and features original songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Today's Birthdays: Henry Irving (1838-1905). Ramon Novarro (1899-1968). Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016). Rip Torn (1931-2019). Kathy Najimy (b. 1957). Simon Stephens (b. 1971). Spencer Liff (b. 1985). Bailey Hanks (b. 1988).

Bombshell in Performance! See Smash Stars Come Together on the Broadway Stage

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