Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 9

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: August 9
 
In 2018, Be More Chill opens Off-Broadway.
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The cast of Be More Chill Maria Baranova

1967 Playwright Joe Orton is found dead in his London flat. Also found dead is his companion, writer and actor Kenneth Halliwell. It appears that Halliwell murdered the Loot playwright and then killed himself.

1978 A New York newspaper strike leads producers to use TV and other media to advertise their shows.

2003 Julie Andrews makes her directing debut at Long Island's Bay Street Theatre with a revival of The Boy Friend, the musical with which she made her Broadway debut in 1954. Meredith Patterson plays Andrews' role (Polly).

2012 A revival of Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony Award-winning musical that intertwines classic fairytales, opens at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Shakespeare in the Park production stars Donna Murphy as the Witch, Denis O'Hare as the Baker, Amy Adams and the Baker's Wife, and Jessie Mueller as Cinderella.

2014 Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez's musical Up Here opens its world premiere engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California. Betsy Wolfe and Matt Bittner topline the musical, which takes place inside the head of a computer repairman (Bittner) with a vivid imagination. Alex Timbers directs.

2018 The New York premiere of Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz's musical Be More Chill opens Off-Broadway at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Will Roland stars in the show about an awkward high schooler who succumbs to the influence of the Squip, a pill-shaped supercomputer purported to make its user more chill. The production sells out its limited engagement, and transfers to Broadway the following year.

2019 Producer Ken Davenport launches the inaugural Rave Theatre Festival, offering over 20 emerging artists the chance to have their work seen by a wider audience.

Today's Birthdays: Paul Kelly (1899–1956). P.L. Travers (1899–1996). Anne Brown (1912–2009). Robert Shaw (1927–1978). Dick Anthony Williams (1934–2012). Melanie Griffith (b. 1957). Anna Kendrick (b. 1985).

Watch highlights from the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods:

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