Tuesday, February 2, 2021

This Week in Broadway History: February 2 - 8

This Week in 
Broadway History:
February 2 - 8 


  • February 2, 1966: The thriller Wait Until Dark began its 373 performance run at the Barrymore Theatre starring Lee Remick and Robert Duvall. Over the course of its run, it played four different theaters!
  • February 3, 1969: The short-lived musical, Canterbury Tales, opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theater. It featured Sandy Duncan and George Rose.

The original Broadway production of Our Town

  • February 4, 1938: One of the most enduring classics of the American canon, Thornton Wilder's Our Town, came to life for the first official Broadway performance at Henry Miller's Theatre.
  • February 4, 1946: Judy Holliday opens in the now-classic Born Yesterday, which will go on to run an impressive 1,642 performances.
  • February 5, 1959: The musical Redhead, opened at the 46th Street Theatre. The show would go on to essentially sweep the Tony Awards, winning 7, including Best Musical, Best Actor (Richard Kiley), Best Actress (Gwen Verdon) and Best Choreography (Bob Fosse).
Angela Lansbury and Company in Dear World

  • February 6, 1969: Angela Lansbury won her second Best Actress Tony for her role in Jerry Herman's Dear World, which began its brief 121 performance run at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.

  • February 2, 2014: Actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away.on this date. On Broadway, he appeared in Death of a Salesman and True West.
  • February 3, 2012: Tony-winning actor and original George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Ben Gazzara died.
  • February 4, 2004: With its 6,681st performance, The Phantom of the Opera surpasses Les Miserables and becomes the second longest-running show in Broadway hisrory.
  • February 4, 2005: Beloved actor-playwright Ossie Davis passed away. Among his many accomplishments, he wrote and starred in Purlie Victorious, and later wrote the book of the musical version, Purlie.
  • February 6, 2012: The musical drama series Smash makes its debut on NBC.
  • February 8, 2004: The cult-favorite musical, Taboo, about the life and times of Culture Club's Boy George, closes after 100 performances.
Darren Criss     James Dean

Ann Harada     Jonathan Larson

February 2: beloved actor Elaine Stritch, The Producers' Tony-winning Ulla Cady Huffman, Tony-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur; February 3: multi-Tony-winner Nathan Lane, actress Blythe Danner, Avenue Q's original Christmas Eve Ann Harada, Mary Poppins herself Ashley Brown; February 4: composer-writer Jonathan Larson; February 5: playwright John Guare, actress Laura Linney, actors who share the same birth date and year Alex Brightman and Darren Criss, February 6: Head Over Heels choreographer Spencer Liff; February 7: If/Then and Harry Potter actor James Snyder; February 8: actor James Dean, actor Sherie Rene Scott.


Isn't always fun to consider that shows we consider to be classics today all started as unknown entities? Such is the case with what Broadway lovers could have enjoyed as new and exciting this week 55 years ago.

Play lovers could have picked up tickets for the controversial, and soon to be Best Play, Marat/Sade, starring Glenda Jackson, at the Martin Beck Theatre. Over at the Plymouth, comedy fans could enjoy Jack Klugman (as Oscar), Eddie Bracken (as Felix), and Carole Shelley (as a Pigeon sister), in Neil Simon's smash-hit The Odd Couple.

Musical fans could enjoy another smash-hit, Fiddler on the Roof, at the Imperial Theatre. That show was getting ready to move a block down the Majestic, where theater-goers could still see one of the last performances of Sammy Davis, Jr. in Golden Boy. Two new musicals that were star-studded, but struggling had tickets at the box office for last minute purchase: Skyscraper, with Julie Harris, Peter Marshall and Charles Nelson Reilly at the Lunt-Fontanne, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Barbara Harris and John Cullum over at the Mark Hellinger. 

But the hot musical ticket that cold winter was Man of La Mancha at the ANTA Playhouse (known today as the August Wilson) starring Richard Kiley and Joan Diener. Lots to choose from!


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