Playbill Vault is in theater history today: August 25



1918 Birthday of composer Leonard Bernstein, who bridged the worlds of classical and Broadway, both as a conductor of the New York Philharmonic and as a composer of classical scores, including On the city, West Side Story, wonderful city, and Candid.

1936 Broadway sees its first new comedy of the season as Philippe Barry‘s Spring dance opens at the Empire Theater. Louise platt and Richard kendrick stars in the play about a woman determined to win the heart of a Yale man about to set off on a two-year trip to Russia. Also in the cast, playing the role of a know-it-all named “The Lippincott”, is a young Jose ferrer.

1980 A mix of Broadway-sized tragedy and triumph as the Great White Way’s new musical hit, 42nd street, opens at the Winter Garden Theater. 42nd street, based on the 1930s Busby Berkeley musical film of the same name, stars Jerry Orbach, Tammy grimes, Wanda Richert, and Lee Roy oars. At the reminder of the opening show, the producer David merrick announces that the director and choreographer of the musical, Gower’s Champion, died that afternoon. Among Champion’s best musical credits were the original Broadway productions of Goodbye Birdie, Hello Dolly!, and Sugar.

2001 The Tony Award-Winning Music Review Pit closes after 1,093 performances at the Broadhurst Theater.

2015 Benedict Cumberbatch returns to the stage as Hamlet at the Barbican Center in London.

More birthdays today: Ruby keeler (1910-1993). Van johnson (1916-2008). Mel Ferrer (1917-2008). Sean connery (born in 1930). Marshall brickman (born in 1941). Simon McBurney (born 1957). Blair Underwood (born 1964). Jessica Boevers (born 1972). Katie Rose Clarke (born 1984). Ato Blankson-Wood (born 1984).

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