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Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: August 16

1913 Montague Glass‘ comedy Potash and Perlmutter begins a hit run at the Cohan Theatre, starring George Sidney and Alexander Carr as the hapless pair.

1927 Eddie Cantor headlines the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The Irving Berlin score introduces the song “Shaking the Blues Away.”

1939 Carole Shelley is born in London, England. A Tony Award winner for her performance as Mrs. Kendal in The Elephant Man, she also appears in the original Broadway casts of The Odd Couple, Absurd Person Singular, Stepping Out, Wicked, and Billy Elliot.

1958 Future “Material Girl” Madonna is born. Besides becoming a top recording artist and cultural icon with such hit songs as “Like A Virgin” and “Holiday,” she also stars on Broadway in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow and plays the title role in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita.

1996 A season of revivals kicks off at the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s Criterion Center Stage Right with Tennessee WilliamsSummer and Smoke. Following the turn of-the-century-set drama, the season continues with Jean Anouilh‘s The Rehearsal, Anton Chekhov‘s The Three Sisters, and Dion L. Boucicault‘s London Assurance.

2011 The world premiere of Charles Busch‘s Olive and the Bitter Herbs, starring Marcia Jean Kurtz, Julie Halston, and Dan Butler, opens Off-Broadway at Primary Stages. Mark Brokaw directs the comedy about an actor who sees a ghost in her mirror.

2016 Groundhog Day, Tim Minchin and Danny Rubin‘s musical based on the 1993 film comedy of the same name, premieres at London’s Old Vic Theatre. Andy Karl stars as Phil Connors, a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the Groundhog Day event in the small town of Punxutawney, Pennsylvania, where he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again… and again. Karl repeats his performance in the production when it transfers to Broadway the following year.

2018 Samantha Barks and Andy Karl take on the roles created on screen by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman: The Musical, opening on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. Based on the 1990 romantic comedy about a star-crossed meeting between a sex worker and a disillusioned businessman, the show has a book co-written by the film’s director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, and songs by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

Today’s Birthdays: Robert Culp 1930. Julie Newmar 1935. Anita Gillette 1936. Paul Hecht 1941. Bob Balaban 1945. Lesley Ann Warren 1946. Dee Hoty 1952. Kathie Lee Gifford 1953. Angela Bassett 1958. Timothy Hutton 1960. Stew 1961. Cristin Milioti 1985.

Watch highlights from the 2017 Broadway production of Groundhog Day:

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