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Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: February 23

1960 The Dublin Gate Theatre hears Chimes at Midnight. Orson Welles directs the play, which he adapted from works by William Shakespeare and Raphael Holinshed.

1966 Sybil Thorndike and Athene Seyler are the poisoning sisters in a revival of Joseph Kesselring‘s Arsenic and Old Lace at London’s Vaudeville Theatre.

1967 Fortune and Men’s Eyes exposes the violence in prison. John Herbert’s forthright play runs at the Actors Playhouse for 382 performances. Bill Moor and Robert Christian star.

1974 It’s a Total Eclipse at the Chelsea Theatre Center in Brooklyn, New York. Christopher Hampton‘s play runs four weeks.

1997 The Broadway revival of Grease closes at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre… kind of. The production was slated to close to make way for an Annie revival. But, when Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Whistle Down the Wind postponed its Martin Beck Theatre engagement, Annie opted for the larger theatre. Grease goes on hiatus today as scheduled, but reopens April 8 before finally closing January 25, 1998.

2005 Tom Patterson, 84, the visionary Canadian who had the idea to create a theatre festival in the Ontario town of Stratford, dies in Toronto after a long illness.

2006 Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O’Hara star in a revival of The Pajama Game at the American Airlines Theatre. The limited engagement runs for 129 performances and wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

2012 Classic Stage Company‘s production of Bertolt Brecht‘s Galileo, starring F. Murray Abraham as the persecuted scientist, opens Off-Broadway.

2017 Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in a semi-staged revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine‘s Sunday in the Park with George. The production reopens the Hudson Theatre, which first opened its doors in 1903 but had not housed a Broadway production since 1968.

Today’s Birthdays: Joseph Allen (1873-1952). Peter Fonda (1939-2019). Joop Van Den Ende (b. 1942). Robert Lopez (b. 1975). Josh Gad (b. 1981).

Flip through photos from the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George:

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