PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: April 30

By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Robert Viagas
April 30, 2013

1924 Birthday of Sheldon Harnick, who will go on to write lyrics to musicals including Fiorello!, She Loves Me, The Apple Tree and Fiddler on the Roof.



1936 Proving that our tax dollars can be spent in highly suspect ways, Anne Nichols' comedy depicting a senator engaged to be married but having one last fling, Pre-Honeymoon, fills the Lyceum Theatre. Jessie Royce Landis and Clyde Fillmore are the leads in the eight-month Broadway run.

1948 Based on a recent book by John Gunther, Moss Hart, Arnold Auerbach and Arnold Horwitt script Inside U.S.A. The large cast, led by Beatrice Lillie, who also leads a choral ode to Pittsburgh, will run 399 performances.

1957 Australian Ray Lawler's drama Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is performed by an Australian company at London's New Theatre. This story of Queensland sugar-cane cutters wins 254 showings.

1972 It's not a full term, it's just An Evening with Richard Nixon. Gore Vidal's satire of the President plays just two weeks at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway. Edwin Sherin directs and George S. Irving portrays Nixon.

1996 Sam Shepard is Broadway's newborn baby as his first play to reach The Great White Way, Buried Child, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production, about a family with a terrible secret, is directed by Gary Sinise and features James Gammon, Jim True and Lois Smith. The play makes it to Broadway nearly two decades after it wins the Pulitzer Prize for its original Off-Broadway production.

2000 Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, starring Sir Derek Jacobi, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the show co-stars Roger Rees and Laura Linney and runs through June 11. Michael Mayer directs.

2002 Stephen Sondheim's and James Lapine's Into the Woods gets a starry, high-tech revival with Vanessa Williams, Laura Benanti and John McMartin. The show goes on to win the 2003 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

2003 Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Marisa Tomei star in a Broadway revival of Oscar Wilde's Salome. The company also includes Dianne Wiest and David Strathairn in the production at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

2008 Thurgood - a one-man show starring Laurence Fishburne as Civil Rights activist and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall - officially opens at the Booth Theatre.

2009 Country star and actress Dolly Parton makes her Broadway debut as composer-lyricist of 9 to 5, which opens at the Marquis Theatre. Based on the film by Patricia Resnick (who also wrote the libretto for the musical), the tale of female office workers’ conflicts with their male chauvinist boss stars Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty.

2009 The Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, the modern classic set in a wasteland, opens at Studio 54. The production stars Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane, John Glover and John Goodman.

Today's Birthdays: Eve Arden 1908. Cloris Leachman 1926. Jill Clayburgh 1944. Craig Lucas 1951.