Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: June 8

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: June 8
 
David Henry Hwang's drama FOB, set in a small restaurant in California, opens Off-Broadway in 1980 on its way to winning an OBIE for Best Play.
Tzi Ma, Calvin Jung, and Willy Corpus in <i>FOB</i>
Tzi Ma, Calvin Jung, and Willy Corpus in FOB Martha Swope

1925 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart make their lyric and songwriting debut in The Garrick Gaieties at Broadway’s Garrick Theatre. Sterling Holloway, Sanford Meisner, Philip Loeb, and Romney Brent lead the cast.

1934 Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies is Mary and Laurence Olivier is Lord Bothwell in Gordon Daviot’s historical play Queen of Scots. It runs for 106 performances at London’s New Theatre.

1943 Former Ziegfeld Follies and George White’s Scandals star Ann Pennington makes her final Broadway appearance as barmaid Gretchen in The Student Prince. J. J. Shubert directs the revival of Sigmund Romberg and Dorothy Donnelly’s operetta at the Broadway Theatre.

1980 The dichotomy between Chinese traditions and Americanization is the focus of FOB, which opens at The Public Theater. David Henry Hwang’s drama, set in a small restaurant in California, wins Obies for Best Play and for star John Lone.

1997 Michael Mayer directs a production of Peter HedgesBaby Anger at Playwrights Horizons. The play stars Kristen Johnston and John Pankow as the stressed parents of a boy who gets cast in an award-winning commercial as a girl.

2015 Bombshell, the fictional musical from the television series Smash with a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, is presented in a one-night-only concert to benefit The Actors Fund. The event reunites cast members from the series including Christian Borle, Will Chase, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, and Debra Messing.

Today’s Birthdays: Robert Preston (1918–1987); Alexis Smith (1921–1993); Jerry Stiller (1927–2020); Joan Rivers (1933–2014); Jefferson Mays (b. 1965); Julianna Margulies (b. 1966).

Watch highlights from the 2015 concert of Bombshell:

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