Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 11 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 11

In 1959, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun opens on Broadway.

Claudia McNeil, Sidney Poitier, and Diana Sands Friedman-Abeles/New York Public Library

1954 The Golden Apple is the musical retelling, by John LaTouche, of the Judgment of Paris myth. It begins performances Off-Broadway at the Phoenix Theatre, and after winning a Drama Critics' Circle Award, moves to Broadway's Alvin Theatre for 125 performances. Kaye Ballard and Jonathan Lucas lead the cast. The score is provided by Jerome Moross.

1959 Lorraine Hansberry's drama A Raisin in the Sun premieres starring Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil. The play explores the intricacies of an African American family and is awarded the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play. Lloyd Richards directs the 530 performances, first at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, and then at the Belasco Theatre.

1999 The Lion in Winter is revived by the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York. Stockard Channing and Laurence Fishburne portray Eleanor of Aquitane and King Henry II in James Goldman's historical drama. Michael Mayer stages.

2001 A Class Act, a musical tracing the life of A Chorus Line lyricist-composer Ed Kleban opens on Broadway.

2002 Manhattan Theatre Club hosts a reading of Sex and the City-State, a musical based on the Greek classic Lysistrata, after it was banned at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The show has a book by Larry Gelbart, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by David Zippel. Then-A.R.T. Artistic Director Robert Brustein told The Boston Globe that he pulled the plug because the script was "ferociously obscene—much more than Aristophanes."

2003 A four-day strike by Broadway pit musicians, which was supported by actors and stage hands, ends early this morning after an all-night bargaining session. Minimum numbers of musicians required at some theatres are reduced slightly.

2005 Christina Applegate stumbles during the Chicago tryout of her Sweet Charity revival and breaks her foot. Producers close the show, but at Applegate's insistence that the show must go on, reopen it with understudy Charlotte d'Amboise in the title role. Applegate undergoes weeks of intensive therapy and miraculously returns to the production in time for its May 4th Broadway opening.

2010 Next Fall, Geoffrey Nauffts' romantic dramedy that explores questions of love, sexuality, religion, family, and tolerance, opens at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre. Sheryl Kaller directs the play, which was first produced Off-Broadway by Naked Angels Theater Company.

2011 Emmy-winning comedian Kathy Griffin makes her Broadway debut in Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony at the Belasco Theatre. The solo show marks the first time the Tony Awards have been mentioned by name in the title of a Broadway show.

Today's Birthdays: Dorothy Gish (1898–1968). Vinnette Carroll (1922–2002). Albert Salmi (1928–1990). Martin Richards (1932-2012). Joseph Brooks (1938-2011). Stephen Bogardus (b. 1954). John Barrowman (b. 1967). Terrence Howard (b. 1969).

Look Back on A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway

More Today in Theatre History

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