Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 16

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 16
Diedre Friel, Nick Blaemire, Derek Klena, Lindsay Mendez, Josh Segarra and Annaleigh Ashford in Dogfight.
Diedre Friel, Nick Blaemire, Derek Klena, Lindsay Mendez, Josh Segarra and Annaleigh Ashford in Dogfight. Joan Marcus

1924 Broadway premiere of George Dibdin-Pitt's Sweeney Todd, one of numerous adaptations of the penny-dreadful tale of murder and cannibalism that would later be adapted as a musical of the same title. Robert Vivian stars as Sweeney; Raffaella Ottiano as Mrs. Lovett. It runs 67 performances.

1956 London's Old Vic begins its Shaw Festival with the Bristol Old Vic production of Major Barbara. In the cast are Peter O'Toole and Moira Shearer. The Birmingham Repertory Company production of Caesar and Cleopatra follows Major Barbara on July 30.

1979 Tom Stoppard's revisions of two Shakespearian tragedies are presented as a double bill at the Collegiate Theatre in London. Entitled Dogg's Hamlet/Cahoot's Macbeth, the evening of one acts features Ruth Hunt, Stephen D. Newman, and Alan Thompson in the British-American Repertory Theatre production. The show opens in New York on October 3 at the 22 Steps Theatre and soon embarks on a tour.

1986 Robert De Niro and Ralph Macchio star in Reinaldo Povod's Cuba and His Teddy Bear, opening at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway. The play tells of a macho drug dealer and his struggle to keep his son out of the business. Bill Hart directs the production, which transferred from Off-Broadway's Public Theater. It plays 53 performances.

1996 Tom Ziegler's Grace & Glorie opens at Off-Broadway's Laura Pels Theatre. Estelle Parsons and Lucie Arnaz play an educated hospice volunteer and an elderly, terminally-ill cancer patient. Gloria Muzio directs the production, which plays 134 performances before closing on November 10.

2001 British playwright Harold Pinter stars in his own One for the Road as part of a Pinter festival at New York's Lincoln Center.

2008 The London bow of Joanna Murray-Smith's The Female of the Species opens at the Vaudeville Theatre. Eileen Atkins stars as feminist literary giant Margot Mason, in the production directed by Roger Michell.

2009 A musical version of Jack Heifner's play Vanities—featuring a score by David Kirshenbaum—opens Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre. Lauren Kennedy, Sarah Stiles, and Anneliese van der Pol star.

2012 Dogfight, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Peter Duchan's musical based on the 1991 film about a young waitress pursued by a fresh-faced Vietnam-bound soldier, opens in its world-premiere run at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre. Directed by Joe Mantello, the production stars Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena. Four years later, songwriters Pasek and Paul return to Second Stage with the New York premiere of their musical Dear Evan Hansen.

2015 Amazing Grace, Christopher Smith's musical based on the life of "Amazing Grace" songwriter John Newton, opens on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. Josh Young stars as Newton.

Today's Birthdays: George F. Marion 1860. Barbara Stanwyck 1907. Ginger Rogers 1911. Sonny Tufts 1911. Barnard Hughes 1915. Barbara Matera 1929. Corin Redgrave 1939. Ruben Blades 1948. Tony Kushner 1956. Michael Flatley 1958.

Watch songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul sing "Some Kinda Time" from their musical Dogfight:

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