Playbill Vault is in theater history today: August 20

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1885 London’s hit operetta The Mikado, by WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, premiered on Broadway at the Fifth Avenue Theater.

1924 Victor Herbertoperetta The dream girl, featuring Fay bainter and Georges LeMaire, opens at the Ambassador Theater. He performs 117 performances.

1934 Playwright Sidney kingsley has success with a theatrical adaptation of Sinclair lewisthe novel of Dodsworth, featuring Walter huston, Fay Bainter, and the always mysterious Georgette spelvin. After making its debut at the Shubert Theater on February 24, 1934, the production returns today after a summer hiatus.

1956 Future actor of theater and cinema Joan allen was born in Rochelle, Illinois. Allen has several big hits on the Broadway stage, winning the Tony Award for his performance in Burn that and a nomination for his performance of the title role in Wendy wassersteinPulitzer Prize winner The Chronicles of Heidi. In movies, Allen receives Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress for 1995 Nixon and 1996 The crucible, and a nomination for Best Actress for the 2000s The opponent. Other movie credits include Finding Bobby Fisher, Face / Off, and Peggy Sue got married.

1957 Two months after being forced out of the 85th Street Playhouse when the theater was closed for breaking firefighter regulations and operating without a permit, Langston hughes and David Martinis musical Simply heavenly reopens on Broadway at the Playhouse Theater. Production is again directed by Joshua Shelley and stars Claudia mcneil, Melvin stewart, Anna english, Jean Bouie, and Marilyn berry.

1987 Frank Langella and Donald donelly playing the role of Holmes and Watson in Charles Marowitz‘s Sherlock’s last case, which begins a series of 124 performances on Broadway.

1998 Returning to Off-Broadway, where she premiered the role of Li’l Bit in Paula Vogel’s How i learned to drive in 1997, film and theater actor Marie-Louise Parker stars in Alan ayckbourn‘s Communicating doors. The comedy-thriller opens tonight at the Variety Arts Theater. Two years later, Parker created the role of Catherine in David Auburn‘s Evidence at the Manhattan Theater Club and won the Tony Award for Best Actress when transferred to Broadway.

2004 Angels in America Star Kathleen chalfant Directs the Off-Broadway Cast of Guantanamo: the honor linked to the defense of freedom. The documentary drama is based on testimonies from British prisoners held by US forces at the Guantanamo military base on suspicion of terrorist activity.

2015 Musical comedy Waitress, with a score by Sara Bareilles, opens her pre-Broadway tour at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jessie Mueller plays the role of waitress and pastry chef Jenna. Production debuted at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Broadway less than a year later.

More birthdays today: Jacqueline Susann (1918-1974). Regina Resnik (1922-2013). Bob Randall (1937-1995). Al Roker (born 1954). Andrew Garfield (born 1983). Alex Newell (born 1992).

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