Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 29

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 29
 
In 2004, Peter Krause and Carla Gugino star in a revival of Arthur Miller's After the Fall.
Carla Gugino and Peter Krause in After the Fall.
Carla Gugino and Peter Krause in After the Fall. Joan Marcus

1976 The Public Theater's New York Shakespeare Festival season (now known as Shakespeare in the Park) includes a John Pasquin-helmed Measure for Measure with Judith Light as Francisca, John Cazale as Angelo, Howard Rollins as Pompey, Sam Waterston as Vincentio, and Jay O. Sanders as Barnardine. The production opens at the Delacorte Theater where it runs through August 29.

1981 An ad in Variety today accuses theatre critic John Simon of being "racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist, vicious, and derisive." Included in the ad/protest are excerpts from Simon's review of Richard III. Simon is quoted as writing in this review that an actor in the show "should never be cast as anything but an itinerant gefilte fish with a nervous condition." Three hundred artists sign the protest, but none are prominent in the theatre industry at that time and, as the ad explains, many people wished to remain anonymous.

1982 The Public Theater premieres Des McAnuff's musical, The Death of von Richthofen as Witnessed From Earth. Written, composed and directed by McAnuff with choreography by Jennifer Muller, the historical drama brings to life German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen (played by John Vickery), who achieved 80 ''kills'' before his death.

2000 Off-Off-Broadway reverses the Elizabethan tradition of casting all men including in females roles as the Queen's Company mounts an all-female Macbeth. The infamous Scottish Play runs its limited engagement at the Mint Space in midtown Manhattan.

2004 Ghosts of the McCarthy era and playwright Arthur Miller’s doomed marriage to movie star Marilyn Monroe haunt a major revival of Miller’s After the Fall at Roundabout Theatre Company. Peter Krause, Carla Gugino, and Jessica Hecht star in the production, directed by Michael Mayer who wove together the best from various versions of Miller’s script. Miller accepts a standing ovation on the stage of the American Airlines Theatre opening night. It turns out to be Miller’s final Broadway curtain call, as he passes away less than five months later.

Today's Birthdays: Booth Tarkington (1869–1946); Maria Ouspenskaya (1876–1949); Theda Bara (1885–1955); Sigmund Romberg (1887– 1951); Peter Howard (1927–2008); Robert LuPone (b. 1946); Josh Radnor (b. 1974).

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