Friday, September 10, 2010

What Happened on Broadway Last Week (8/30 - 9/5)

August went out with a whimper on Broadway.  Over the centuries, well over 100 productions opened on Broadway on the 30th and 31st of August.  Not one landmark show, not one well-known show.  Not a golden nugget amongst them!

September...not much better to start with, either!

September 1:  The most odd/interesting title of the week goes to a play called The Snark Was a Boojum.  It sounds like a song in Seussical!  It opened at the 48th Street Theatre, where it played a total of 5 performances.

September 2:  The oddest billing of the week: She's Come!  Jenny's Come!, which opened 160 years ago in 1850.  It played Burton's Chamber Street Theatre and closed some time in 1851.  It was billed as "A One Act Musical Extravaganza and Curiosity!"  A precurser to American Idiot?

The longest time between openings on this date:  The last time a show opened on Broadway on September 2nd, it was 1941.  The show was Lady in the Dark, which ran for 305 performances at the Alvin (now Neil Simon) Theatre, 69 years ago.

September 3:  Another odd title, so cute I had to include it: Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, a huge hit in its day, opening in 1904 at the Savoy Theatre.  It played 150 performances!

September 4:  The oldest opening of the week:  1839 (171 years ago), Richilieu opened at the National Theatre (now the Nederlander).  Not long after, the place burnt to the ground.

In 1943, the classic play Tobacco Road played a return engagement of 66 performances at the Ritz (now the Walter Kerr).  I bring this up because...

September 5:  The classic play Tobacco Road played a return engagement of 34 performances in 1942 at the Forrest Theatre (now the Eugene O'Neill).  Still one of the longest running straight plays ever, the original production played 8 years and closed in 1941.  The play was so popular that two consecutive fall seasons began with "return engagements" of the show.


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