Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 24 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 24 In 2003, the Deaf West Theatre revival of Big River opens on Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company.
Tyrone Giordano and Michael McElroy in Big River Joan Marcus

1920 Producer Alexander H. Cohen, known for bringing quality plays to Broadway for six decades, is born. He produces 101 Broadway shows, including the 1964 Hamlet starring Richard Burton, Harold Pinter's drama The Homecoming, Peter Brook's Tony Award-winning La Tragedie de Carmen, James Joyce's Ulysses in Nighttown starring Zero Mostel, Dario Fo's Accidental Death of An Anarchist, Long Day's Journey Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!, both starring Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst, and Noël Coward's Waiting in the Wings starring Lauren Bacall and Rosemary Harris.

1968 Kristin Chenoweth is born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. On Broadway, she originates the role of Glinda in Wicked, wins a Tony Award for her performance as Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and stars in revivals of The Apple Tree, Promises, Promises, and On the Twentieth Century.

1983 Angela Lansbury, who won the 1966 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Mame, returns to Broadway in a revival of the musical at the Gershwin Theatre. Also in the cast is original Agnes Gooch, Jane Connell. The revival is produced by the composer of the musical that beat Mame for the Tony Award for Best Musical—and beat composer Jerry Herman for Best Score—Man of La Mancha's Mitch Leigh.

1996 Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's musical The Fantasticks, which opened Off-Broadway May 3, 1960, plays its 15,000th performance. The story about two young neighbors whose stars are crossed purposely by their fathers' fake feud runs at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York City's Greenwich Village. It eventually closes in January 2002.

1997 Following a sold-out limited run at Greenwich House, Douglas Carter Beane's comedy, As Bees in Honey Drown, begins a commercial Off-Broadway run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Although Bo Foxworth has taken over the lead role from Josh Hamilton, who must leave to honor a film commitment, most of the cast, including J. Smith-Cameron, T. Scott Cunningham, Sandra Daley, and Mark Nelson, remains intact.

2001 Mike Nichols' production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull begins performances at Central Park's Delacorte Theater. Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline head the cast as Arkadina and Trigorin. Also in the cast are Marcia Gay Harden as Masha, Natalie Portman as Nina, Christopher Walken as Sorin, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Konstantin, John Goodman as Shamrayev, Debra Monk as Polina, Stephen Spinella as Medvedyev, and Larry Pine as Dorn.

2003 Roundabout Theatre Company and Deaf West Theatre present an American Sign Language adaptation of Roger Miller and William Hauptman's Big River, which opens on this date at Brodway’s American Airlines Theatre. Featuring a cast of deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing actors, most roles are double cast with one actor speaking and singing, and one signing. Adapted from the novel by Mark Twain, the musical (which first bowed on Broadway in 1985) features a book by William Hauptman, music by Roger Miller, and lyrics by Roger Miller. Directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, the musical earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical, as well as a nomination for star Michael McElroy.

2018 The world premiere of Stephen Trask, Peter Yanowitz, and Rick Elice's This Ain't No Disco, a musical the nightclubs and art world of 1979 New York City, opens Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. The cast includes Will Connolly, Chilina Kennedy, Peter LaPrade, Theo Stockman, and Samantha Marie Ware.

More of Today's Birthdays: William Gillette (1853–1937). Lord Dunsany (1878–1957). Ed Mirvish (1914–2007). Chris Sarandon (b. 1942). Michael John LaChiusa (b. 1962). Rose Byrne (b. 1979). Elisabeth Moss (b. 1982).

First Look at the World Premiere of Stephen Trask and Peter Yanowitz Musical This Ain’t No Disco

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