1905 Theatrical producer Sam S. Shubert dies in a train accident. His brothers Lee and J.J. honor him by naming many of the theaters they are to build after him, including their flagship on Shubert Alley in New York. He was 35 years old.
1906 Gerald Du Maurier begins a signature performance as Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman. The story of the gentleman thief turned into a play by author E.W. Hornung and Eugene Presbrey runs 351 performances at London’s Comedy Theatre.
1925 A Bit o’ Love gets a bit of time. John Galsworthy‘s drama lasts just four performances at the 48th Street Theatre on Broadway. O. P. Heggie plays a minister who remains married to his wife just to protect her true love’s identity.
1930 A rare revival of Henrik Ibsen‘s The Vikings opens on West 54th Street in New York. It the first play presented by producer Richard Herndon at his recently renamed New Yorker Theatre, formerly known as the Gallo Theatre. Forty-three years later, the theatre is transformed into legendary nightclub Studio 54.
1981 Lena Horne sings many of the classic songs of her career and talks about her experiences performing in the Cotton Club, in Hollywood, and on Broadway in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. Originally announced as a four-week limited engagement, she continues performances for over a year at the Nederlander Theatre. Though the show opened after the cutoff for the 1981 Tony Awards, the American Theatre Wing honors Horne with a special award at the year’s ceremony, less than a month later.
1988 Stephen King‘s novel gets turned into a musical as Carrie opens on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. The Michael Gore–Dean Pitchford show stars Linzi Hateley as blood-doused Carrie, opposite Betty Buckley as her mother. The cast also includes Charlotte d’Amboise, Darlene Love, and Sally Ann Triplett. Despite running five performances, the musical gains a cult following, and is revived Off-Broadway in 2012.
1999 The married Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, who appeared in dozens of plays together, return to Off-Broadway and star in Tennessee Williams Remembered, featuring their own reminiscences of the playwright and scenes from the late dramatist’s works. Wallach, who won a Tony for his role in the original production of The Rose Tattoo, made his stage debut and met Jackson in an Off-Broadway production of Tennessee Williams‘ This Property Is Condemned.
2012 The world premiere of Hands on a Hardbody—Doug Wright, Amanda Green, and Trey Anastasio‘s musical based on the documentary feature film about a Texas endurance competition—opens at the La Jolla Playhouse. Directed by Neil Pepe, the production stars Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster, and Keala Settle. Hands on a Hardbody transfers to Broadway in 2013, but lasts only 28 performances.
Today’s Birthdays: Boris Tomashefsky (1858-1939). Al Shean (1868-1949). Edith Oland (1870-1968). Wilfred Hyde White (1903-1991). Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003). Burt Bacharach (b. 1928). Lindsay Crouse (b. 1948). Gabriel Byrne (b. 1950). Deborah Warner (b. 1959). Erin Dilly (b. 1972). Kendra Kassebum (b. 1973). Jason BIggs (b. 1978). Jennifer Damiano (b. 1991).