PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: JULY 19
By David Gewirtzman
1938 Stage and film actor Burgess Meredith divorces Margaret Perry today. Perry, an actress, is the daughter of Antoinette Perry, after whom the Tony Awards are named. The union was rather short-lived, as the future star of "Rocky" only married his now-ex-wife little more than two years earlier, in January of 1936.
1951 Dolores Gray and Bert Lahr lead a cast of 75 in the revue Two on the Aisle, opening on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre for a run of 276 performances. Abe Burrows directs the show with sketches and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Jule Styne. In his review for the New York Times, critic Brooks Atkinson calls Two on the Aisle "genuine entertainment, full of brains, talent, wit, humor and splendor."
1967 David Wayne, Constance Towers and Barbara Cook are on-board the Cotton Blossom as the latest New York revival of the Oscar Hammerstein II-Jerome Kern musical, Show Boat, opens at the Music Theatre of Lincoln Center. Lawrence Kasha directs and Ron Field choreographs this latest revival, which will run 63 performances.
1990 Got a dime? Off-Broadway's John Houseman Theatre becomes the Broadway Jukebox as Ed Linderman's musical revue opens. The show is new every night as audience members pick 30 songs to be performed from a collection of 90 Broadway showtunes from relatively obscure musicals. The impromptu players include Robert Michael Baker, Susan Flynn, Beth Leavel, Gerry McIntyre, Amelia Prentice and Sal Viviano.
1999 Pretty in... Blues. Film star Andrew McCarthy takes over the role of Clifford in Warren Leight's 1999 Tony Award-winning jazz drama, Side Man. McCarthy, known for roles in movies such as "Pretty in Pink," "Mannequin," "St. Elmo's Fire" and "Weekend at Bernie's" replaces Scott Wolf (from TV's "Party of Five").
2002 Billy Joel's musical Movin' Out opens its tryout at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago. Mixed reviews will prompt director/choreographer Twyla Tharp to overhaul the production, bringing it to Broadway three months later to acclaim, and to eventual Tony awards for both the primary creators.
2010 Husband-and-wife actors Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie join the cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal at the Booth Theatre. Mazzie and Danieley succeed Tony winner Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James, respectively, as Diana and Dan Goodman.
2011 Ghost – the Musical, a stage version of the Academy Award-winning 1990 non-musical film, opens in London at the Piccadilly Theatre. Directed by Matthew Warchus, the show features music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, and a book by Bruce Joel Rubin. The production, including original stars Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy, will transfer to Broadway in spring 2012.
Today's Birthdays: Pat Hingle 1924. Helen Gallagher 1926. Dennis Cole 1940. Mark O'Donnell 1954. Campbell Scott 1961.
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