Tuesday, January 26, 2021

This Week in Broadway History: January 26 - February 1

This Week in Broadway History:
January 26 - February 1 

  • January 26, 1988: The longest running show in Broadway history opened. The Phantom of the Opera continues to this day at its original home, the Majestic Theatre.
  • January 27, 1982: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoatstarring Laurie Beechman, began its 747 performance run  at the Royale Theatre. 
  • January 28, 1754: The New Theatre on Nassau Street hosted the opening of a new production of Romeo and Juliet.
  • January 29, 1966: Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse returned to Broadway when Sweet Charity opened at the Palace Theatre.
Harrigan 'n Hart with Mark Hamill and Harry Groener

  • January 31, 1985: Harry Groener and Mark Hamill starred as Harrigan 'n Hart for just 4 performances at the Longacre Theatre. Turns out Luke Skywalker beat Darth Vader, but couldn't handle Broadway critics.
  • February 1, 1962: Future Tony-winner Marian Mercer (Promises, Promises) was one of the New Faces of 1962 which opened on this date at the Alvin Theatre.


Andrew Barth Feldman in Dear Evan Hansen

  • January 26, 2019: The Phantom of the Opera celebrates its 31st anniversary and 13,000th performance.
  • January 26, 2020: Andrew Barth Feldman plays his final performance in Dear Evan Hansen.
  • January 27, 1991: The World Premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins opens at Playwright's Horizons.
  • January 29, 2002: Bea Arthur begins her final Broadway appearance at the Booth Theatre with her one-woman show, Just Between Friends.
  • January 30, 2006: Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wendy Wasserstein passes away at age 55.

Jerome Kern     Cynthia Onrubia

Kerry Washington     Joey Fatone


January 26: playwright Jules Feiffer, actor Paul Newman, Tony-winner Celia Keenan-Bolger; January 27: master composer Jerome Kern, Tony-winner Ron Richardson, legendary dancer Cynthia Onrubia, Tony-winning actor Alan Cumming; January 28: actor Alan Alda, dancing legend and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, singer-actor Joey Fatone; January 29: musical theater icon John Raitt, actor Tom Selleck, producer Oprah Winfrey; January 30: producer-director-Broadway giant Hal Prince, acting legend Gene Hackman, Wicked's Norbert Leo Butz, Hedwig Tony-winner Lena Hall; January 31: icon Carol Channing, Equity president Kate Shindle, actor Kerry Washington; February 1: actor Sherman Hemsley, original "Master of the House" Leo Burmester, actor Michael C. Hall


There was a lot to choose from for theater lovers this week 20 years ago. The stunning revival of Cabaret at Studio 54 featured Matt McGrath as the Emcee, Dick Latessa as Herr Schultz, Carole Shelley as Fraulein Schneider, and the first performance of Gina Gershon as Sally Bowles. New productions of The Full Monty, Proof and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife were packing them in.

Over at the Winter Garden, renovations and construction were well under way, as the theater was changed from the Jellicle Junkyard of Cats to the cool blue Greek isles of the upcoming Mamma Mia!

Now cult favorites, both Jane Eyre and Seussical were struggling, but still running. And the original production of Miss Saigon was playing its final performances with Lea Salonga, Will Chase and Ruthie Henshall. It closed on January 28, 2001 after 4,092 performances.


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