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Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: June 4

1968 Stage and screen star Dorothy Gish dies in Rapallo, Italy, at the age of 70. Her first New York stage appearance was in 1903 in East Lynne. She began her film career in 1912, and resumed her stage career in 1928.

1973 Mike Nichols’ production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya opens at the Circle in the Square on Broadway. Lillian Gish, George C. Scott, Nicol Williamson, Julie Christie, Cathleen Nesbitt, Barnard Hughes, Conrad Bain, and Elizabeth Wilson fill out the cast.

1979 Herman Shumlin, Broadway producer, dies at age 80. He is credited with helping Lillian Hellman’s plays win an audience.

2002 Some Like It Hot—the revised version of the 1972 Broadway musical Sugar—begins a national tour in Houston and travels to dozens of U.S. cities. Headliner Tony Curtis co-starred in the 1950’s Billy Wilder film on which the show is based.

2008 Peter Kapetan, an actor, singer, and dancer who appeared on Broadway in The Wedding Singer, Titanic, Sunset Boulevard, and Got Tu Go Disco, dies at the age of 51.

2018 BD Wong stars in the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, opening Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. Inspired by events from Yee’s father’s life, the play follows a San Francisco basketball player who talks his way onto a college team just before they travel to Beijing.

Today’s Birthdays: Clara Blandick (1880–1962); Rosalind Russell (1907–1976); Dennis Weaver (1924–2006); Bruce Dern (b. 1936); Mary Testa (b. 1955); Keith David (b. 1956); Sam Harris (b. 1961); Julie White (b. 1961).

Watch Mary Testa talk to Seth Rudetsky about appearing on Broadway in The Rink and Barnum:

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