Tuesday, January 19, 2021

This Week in Broadway History: January 17 - 25

This Week in Broadway History:
January 17 - 25
(Starting next week, weeks will run Tuesday - Monday for this column.)

    • January 17, 2008: David Mamet's political play, November, starring Nathan Lane opens its 205 performance run at the Barrymore Theatre.

    • January 18, 1998: Ragtime, the epic musical starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie and Judy Kaye opens at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, where it will play 834 performances and win 4 Tony Awards.
    • January 19, 2017: The final play in August Wilson's play cycle to arrive on Broadway, Jitney, opens at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater for a limited run of 62 performances. The play wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.
    • January 20, 1954: Henry Fonda stars in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial which opens at the Plymouth Theatre.
    • January 21, 1903: The very first Broadway adaptation of The Wizard of Oz opens with a book and lyrics by L. Frank Baum himself.
    • January 22, 1953: Arthur Miller's The Crucible makes its Broadway debut at the Martin Beck Theatre.

    • January 23, 2005: The musical adaptation of Little Women starring Sutton Foster as Jo March and Maureen McGovern as Marmee opens at the Virginia Theatre.
    • January 25, 1968: Lillian Gish, Hal Holbrook and Tony-nominee Alan Webb opened in I Never Sang For My Father at the Longacre Theatre.


    • January 18, 1974: Michael Bennett holds a meeting with Broadway ensemblists who share their stories. It is recorded and becomes the basis for A Chorus Line.
    • January 20, 2003: Broadway artist, and later theater namesake, Al Hirschfeld passed away at age 99.
    • January 25, 1996: Many of history's great artists did not know success during their lifetimes. Jonathan Larson, who passed away on this date one day before the first preview of Rent was one such artist.
    • January 25, 2003: The Michael Crawford Gothic musical Dance of the Vampires closed at an estimated loss of $12 million.


    Jesse L. Martin     Katie Finneran     

    Eartha Kitt     James Earl Jones

    January 17:
    legendary actor James Earl Jones, director and subject of Mack and Mabel Mack Sennett, legend Eartha Kitt, Tony-winning actor Denis O'Hare  January 18: actor Danny Kaye, actor Mark Rylance, Rent actor Jesse L. Martin  January 19: the original Phantom Michael Crawford, 9 to 5 composer Dolly Parton, actress Veanne Cox  January 20: comedy icon George Burns   January 22: two-time Tony-winner Katie Finneran  January 23: designer Irene Sharaff, Broadway icon and legend Chita Rivera  
    January 24: playwright Sarah Ruhl, actor Carrie Coon, Rony-winner Daveed Diggs  January 25: Company's original Bobby Dean Jones, actor and bullet ArianaDeBose, Tootsie actor John Behlmann


    The winter blues definitely hit Broadway this week. It would be your final chance to catch Cathy Rigby's debut as Peter Pan at the Lunt-Fontanne, James Clavell's Shogun: The Musical (including a shipwreck, earthquake, and ninja-prostitutes) at the Marquis, and the Tony-winning revue, Black and Blue at the Minskoff, all three of which closed on January 20.

    Aspects of Love & Buddy on Broadway
    Still, there were some things to see, like the award-winning revival of Fiddler on the Roof, starring Topol and Marcia Lewis. If rock and roll nostalgia is your thing, you could catch Paul Hipp as Buddy Holly in Buddy. And the brand new Ahrens-Flaherty musical Once On This Island was making a star of LaChanze at the Booth Theatre. Both the long-running A Few Good Men and the not so long-running Aspects of Love were finishing up their runs at the Music Box and Broadhurst Theatres, respectively.


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