This Week in Broadway History:
June 1 - 7
June 1, 1971: Good grief! You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a smash hit off-Broadway, opened at the Golden Theatre, where it lasted only 32 performances.
June 3, 1975: The 46th Street Theatre was a whoopee spot when Chicago opened. The Merry Murderesses plead their case 936 times by the time the show closed.
June 1: Actor Steven Boyer (Hand to God), actor Amy Shumer (Meteor Shower), composer/rock legend Alanis Morissette (Jagged Little Pill), actor Thom Sesma (Pacific Overtures), Tony Award-winner Jonathan Pryce (Miss Saigon)
June 2: Actor Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants), actor Zachary Quinto (The Boys in the Band), actor Wayne Brady (Kinky Boots), actor Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess), Tony Award-winner Joanna Gleason (Into the Woods), EGOT winner Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line)
June 3: Tony Award-winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), actor Barbara Walsh (Falsettos, Company)
Steven Boyer Norm Lewis
June 4: Tony Award-winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed), 3-time Tony nominee Mary Testa (Oklahoma!, Xanadu)
Alanis Morissette Ashley Park
June 5: Playwright David Hare (Skylight), actor Colm Wilkinson (Les Miserables)
June 6: Tony nominees Ashley Park (Mean Girls) and Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening), Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray, Torch Song)
June 7: Actor Michael Cera (The Waverly Gallery), composer of 3 Best Musicals Charles Strouse (Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, Annie)
📆ON BROADWAY THIS WEEK IN 2009📆
The annual Broadway feeding frenzy was at a fever pitch as the Tony Awards ceremony would be happening that Sunday. There were a number of hit shows in contention in a variety of categories, and audiences were flocking to see several plays, musicals and revivals.
Among the hit plays were the hilarious revival of Blithe Spirit with the legendary Angela Lansbury, the new play God of Carnage starring The Sopranos' James Gandolfini, a revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and an all-star revival of Exit the King.
But, as usual, it was the musicals that were tough tickets, including Billy Elliot: The Musical (future Best Musical), Next to Normal (soon-to-be Pulitzer Prize winner), and the revivals of West Side Story and Hair. Other shows were slightly easier to get into - 9 to 5, Shrek: The Musical, and Guys and Dolls.
By the end of the week, everyone would be talking about the 3 Billys, Alice Ripley, Diane Paulus, Karen Olivo, Greg Jbara, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey and Sir Elton John. And about a dozen shows would announce a closing date.