Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 5

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 5
 
In 2013, Young Jean Lee returns to the Claire Tow Theater with her band Future Wife for another sold-out run of We're Gonna Die.
Young Jean Lee
Young Jean Lee Blaine Davis/Lincoln Center Theater

1977 All Broadway marquee lights are dimmed in honor of actor Alfred Lunt who died two days earlier. This is only the third time up to that point that such an action has been taken.

1980 The Public Theater stages an outdoor production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance starring Kevin Kline as the Pirate King. Directed by Wilford Leach with choreography by Graciela Daniele, the operetta transfers to Broadway in December where it runs for 787 performancse, through November 1982.

1998 The Broadhurst Theatre temporarily becomes part of the comedy club circuit as Jerry Seinfeld presents his I'm Telling You for the Last Time for 10 performances in five nights. The comic known for his high-pitched "What's up with that?" style and his television sitcom Seinfeld performs some of his best known routines, then retires the material and claims he'll never do any of the jokes again.

2001 PBS broadcasts a documentary about the making of the cast album of The Producers. Creator Mel Brooks says it's one of the greatest days of his life.

2008 Gregory Doran's sold-out production of Hamlet, starring David Tennant in the title role and Patrick Stewart as Claudius, opens at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. The production later transfers to the West End and is filmed for television broadcast.

2013 Young Jean Lee's We're Gonna Die returns to the Claire Tow Theater Off-Broadway for another sold-out run. In this Obie Award-winning piece, performer, playwright and director Lee takes the stage with her band Future Wife in a life-affirming show about the thing everyone has in common: We're gonna die.

2014 The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of King Lear, starring John Lithgow in the title role, opens at the Delacorte Theater. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the cast also includes Annette Bening as Goneril, Jessica Collins as Cordelia, Jessica Hecht as Regan, and Steven Boyer as the Fool.


Today's Birthdays: Reginald Owen (1887-1972); Clare Eames (1894-1930); Wilbur Evans (1905-1987); Alan Howard (1937-2015); Jonathan Silverman (b. 1966).

Watch highlights from Memphis on Broadway:

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