Tuesday, February 16, 2021

This Week in Broadway History: February 16 - 22

This Week in 
Broadway History:
February 16 - 22

  • February 16, 2007: The future Tony-winning Best Play, Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? opens at the Golden Theatre, starring Mercedes Ruehl and Bill Pullman. This odd play stayed for 309 performances.
  • February 18, 1948: Henry Fonda starred in 1948's Best Play, Mister Roberts, which opened its 1,157 performance run on this date.

  • February 18, 1982: The short-lived play (just 52 performances), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre, starring Sandy Dennis, and a Broadway newbie named Cher.
  • February 19, 1992: The Gershwin tune-fest Crazy For Youfeaturing spectacular Susan Stroman choreography, opened at the Shubert Theatre. It would win the Tony Award for 1992, and played an impressive 1,622 performances.
  • February 19, 2007: 5 performances was all The Story of My Life was all this Will Chase-Malcolm Getz two-hander would get at the Booth Theatre.

  • February 20, 2014: The Bridges of Madison County played an even 100 performances after opening on this date at the Schoenfeld Theatre.
  • February 20, 2020: The controversial Ivo van Hove revival of West Side Story opened at the Broadway Theatre.

  • February 21, 1991: The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Best Play by Neil Simon, Lost In Yonkers began its acclaimed run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
  • February 21, 2002: Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Tony winner for Best Special Event, began its run at the Neil Simon Theatre.

  • February 22, 1961: The very first Neil Simon play to make it to Broadway, Come Blow Your Horn, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it stayed for 677 performances.
  • February 22, 1983: Perhaps the most infamous flop in Broadway history, Moose Murders, opened and closed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

  • February 17, 2003: Broadway shut down for several performances thanks to 20 inches of snow and a blizzard.
  • February 17, 2015: It was opening night off-Broadway for a new show called Hamilton.

  • February 21, 2019: Joel Grey directed Fiddler on the Roof - In Yiddish, which opened off-Broadway.
  • February 22, 2005: Broadway star of Beauty and the Beast, Heath Lamberts (he played Cogsworth) passed away age 63.

Billie Joe Armstrong     Etai Benson

Corbin Bleu     Trent Kowalik  Kiril Kulish

  • February 16: The Phantom of the Opera designer Maria Björnson, actor (Once On This IslandHailey Kilgore, dancer/actor (Billy ElliotKiril Kulish, actor (NewsiesKara Lindsay, actor (Avenue QJohn Tartaglia
  • February 17: composer/actor (American IdiotBillie Joe Armstrong, actor (Seminar) Jerry O'Connell, actor (Here Lies Love) Conrad Ricamora
  • February 18: Broadway's Belle Susan Egan, actor (Cabaret) Molly Ringwald, actor (The Prom, Shrek) Christopher Sieber
  • February 19: To Kill a Mockingbird actor Jeff Daniels, actor (Side Show, PhantomHugh Panaro, actor (The Mystery of Edwin DroodGeorge Rose
  • February 20: The Band's Visit's Etai Benson, actor (Peter Pan, Chicago) Sandy Duncan, actor (Waitress, BeautifulJessie Mueller, actor Sidney Portier
  • February 21: actor (Holiday Inn, Kiss Me, Kate) Corbin Bleu, In the Heights' actor Andrèa Burns, actor (The Little Mermaid, Ratatouille) Titus Burgess, Tony-winner (Gypsy) Tyne Daly, Tony-winner (Grey Gardens) Christine Ebersole
  • February 22: Jagged Little Pill's Celia Rose Gooding, actor (Little Shop of Horrors) Ellen Greenedancer/actor (Billy Elliot) Trent Kowalik, Miss Saigon/Allegiance actor Lea Salonga


62 years ago, theatergoers sure had a lot to choose from! If plays were your thing, perhaps you were one of the first ever to see Eugene O'Neill's new play, A Touch of the Poet, starring the great Helen Hayes. She was so great, the show was playing at the theater named for her! If you had tickets for the Booth Theatre, you were seeing Tony-winner Anne Bancroft in Two For the Seesaw. Tony nominee Anthony Perkins was showing off his talents at the Barrymore in Look Homeward, Angel. The hottest play ticket was for the 1958 Tony Award Best Play, Sunrise at Campobello, starring Ralph Bellamy as FDR at the Cort.

If musicals were more your style, there were plenty of choices, too. The original production of West Side Story was thrilling audiences at the Winter Garden, just before moving to the Broadway Theatre. Good luck getting a ticket to the 1958 Tony winner for Best Musical, The Music Man, now starring Eddie Albert and Barbara Cook at the Majestic. 

If cutting edge, brand spankin' new shows are your thing, you'd want to run to the Lunt-Fontanne and snag a seat to the soon-to-close Goldilocks with Elaine Stritch and Don Ameche. Or, if you could get a ticket to the newly crowned smash hit Redhead, with Gwen Verdon and Richard Kiley, you'd just go across the street to the 46th Street Theatre! Rodgers and Hammerstein had a big hit  in the making with the recently opened Flower Drum Song at the St. James, starring Pat Sazuki, Baayork Lee and Jack Soo.

Talk about being alive during the Golden Age! Before 1959 was over, the world would be introduced to no less than The Sound of Music, A Raisin in the Sun and Gypsy!


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