MUSICAL THEATRE ARCHIVES

Here is some musical theatre trivia about events that happened during THIS month in the past:
September 18, 1905    Choreographer Agnes de Mille, who changed the face of dance forever with her integrated work on Oklahoma!, Carousel, and her Tony-winning Brigadoon, was born today.

September 2, 1910    Kitty Carlisle Hart, who appeared in numerous vaudeville shows and Broadway musicals – as well as on film with The Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera – was born. Also well known for her 20 year leadership of the New York State Council on the Arts and as the wife of My Fair Lady and Camelot director Moss Hart. She died in April 2007 at the age of 97.

September 16, 1924    Lauren Bacall, star of Applause and Woman of the Year who came to the musical stage after 25 years of movie stardom, was born today.

September 12, 1933    Bela Lugosi, famous for his 1931 film portrayal of Dracula, made his Broadway musical debut in Murder at the Vanities.

September 17, 1933    Dorothy Loudon, who received her first of 3 Tony Award nominations for her breakout role in 1969’s flop The Fig Leaves are Falling – despite its having run only four performances – was born today. The biggest triumphs of Loudon’s long career were her boozy, frowzy Miss Hannigan in Annie (Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical) and the widow Bea in Michael Bennett’s Ballroom.

September 13, 1948    Nell Carter, Tony Award and Emmy winner for Ain’t Misbehavin’, was born today. Later a television star, Carter’s also appeared in the 1979 film version of Hair and returned to Broadway two decades later to play Miss Hannigan in a revival of Annie.

September 26, 1957    The show created by one of the all-time starriest creative teams – Arthur Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (music), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Jerome Robbins (director/choreographer), and Harold Prince (producer) – West Side Story, opened on Broadway.

September 22, 1964    Fiddler on the Roof, arguably the last show of the golden era of musical theatre, opened. The original cast featured Maria Karnilova, Bea Arthur, Bert Convy, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin, Julia Migenes, and, of course, Zero Mostel, who won his third Tony in five years for playing Tevye.

September 18, 1968    The film version of Funny Girl, which cemented Barbra Streisand’s status as legend of Broadway, nightclubs, recordings, television, and film, premiered today in New York City.

September 6, 1985    A concert version of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s legendary musical Follies played two nights only at Lincoln Center. All 5,500 tickets sold out in less than three hours. The all-star cast included Barbara Cook, Lee Remick, Elaine Stritch, Carol Burnett, Mandy Patinkin, George Hearn, and Comden and Green, among others.

September 23, 1987    Director/choreographer Bob Fosse died of a heart attack, leaving behind an opus of work few of his contemporaries could even begin to compare with.

September 10, 2000    Cats closed on Broadway, having run 7,845 performances. The show spent its last three years as the longest-running show in Broadway history, having eclipsed A Chorus Line for that honor on June 19, 1997.

September 20, 2001    Urinetown, that musical with the title least likely to succeed, opened on Broadway. The darkly comic show won Tony Awards for Best Direction, Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical.

new musicals ... invincible