Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 23

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 23
 
Straight White Men opens, making Young Jean Lee the first Asian-American woman playwright produced on Broadway.

1938 Helen Hayes is named the stage's greatest performer when the New York Sun prints its list of great performers. Compiled after polling 150 notable people (mostly in the theatre industry), the list names Katharine Cornell as runner-up. The pair of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne is third, and others on the list include John Barrymore, Maude Adams, and John Gielgud.

2013 Louis Ozawa Changchien, Katharine Powell and David Rasche star in the world premiere of Kenneth Lin's Warrior Class, opening Off-Broadway at the the McGinn/Cazale Theatre as part of Second Stage Theater's Uptown Series. Evan Cabnet directs the drama about an assemblyman running for Congress who is forced to confront the ghosts of his college days.

2015 Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who was cast in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables following his graduation from Baldwin Wallace University, makes history when he goes on as Jean Valjean at 21 years old. Jean-Baptiste is the youngest actor and first Black actor to perform the role on Broadway. He passed away August 29 that year—shortly after departing the production—after falling from a fire escape. Watch his audition video, in which he sings "Bring Him Home," above.

2017 Laurie Metcalf, Condola Rashad, and Chris Cooper take their final bows in Lucas Hnath's Ibsen-inspired A Doll's House, Part 2. Metcalf's performance as Nora earned her her first Tony Award; she won again the following year for Three Tall Women.

2018 Young Jean Lee makes history as the first Asian-American woman playwright produced on Broadway when her play Straight White Men opens at the Helen Hayes Theater. Armie Hammer, Kate Bornstein, Paul Schneider, Josh Charles, and Ty Defoe all make their Broadway debuts in the production.

2019 Annie Golden plays a theatre has-been who gets a new role of a lifetime as Broadway Bounty Hunter opens at Off-Broadway's Greenwich House Theater. The crime comedy features a score by Tony nominee Joe Iconis, who co-wrote the book with his Be More Chill collaborator Jason SweetTooth Williams and Lance Rubin.

Today's Birthdays: Montague Glass 1877. Arthur Treacher 1894. Helen Martin 1909. Larry Shue 1946. Woody Harrelson 1961. Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967. Krysta Rodriguez 1984. Daniel Radcliffe 1989.

Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
 
More Today in Theatre History