Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: June 1

1914 The Ziegfeld Follies of 1914 stars Ed Wynn. Leon Errol dances and co-directs with Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. The musical runs for 112 performances at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York.

1921 It’s Gold that obsesses a sea captain in Eugene O’Neill’s four-act tragedy. Willard Mack stars in the 13-performance run at the Frazee Theatre in New York.

1971 You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown premieres on Broadway at the Golden Theatre. Although Clark Gesner’s musical was a huge success Off-Broadway, running 1,597 performances, the Broadway incarnation does not fare as well, lasting only 32 performances.

1978 Bernard Slade’s Tribute, about a Hollywood publicity agent who is dying of cancer and trying to make amends with his estranged son, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Jack Lemmon stars as the father in the production that plays 212 performances.

1998 A.R. Gurney’s new play, Labor Day, opens at Manhattan Theatre Club. John, the semi-autobiographical protagonist in Gurney’s earlier The Cocktail Hour, reappears in the new work. The Off-Broadway production is directed by Jack O’Brien.

2005 The Donmar Warehouse revival of Guys & Dolls opens at London’s Piccadilly Theatre, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Ewan McGregor, Jenna Russell, Jane Krakowski, and Douglas Hodge.

2009 MCC Theater’s production of Stephin Merritt and David Greenspan’s musical Coraline, starring Jayne Houdyshell in the title role, opens at Off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre directed by Leigh Silverman.

2011 David Tennant and Catherine Tate, known to Doctor Who fans as the Doctor and Donna Noble, open in a production of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre. Josie Rourke directs the limited summer run.

2019 Ars Nova’s Obie-winning production of Underground Railroad Game opens at its new downtown theatre, Ars Nova at Greenwich House. Since debuting with Ars Nova in 2016, the show has toured eight cities on three continents. Creators Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard reprise their performances as a pair of teachers who go round after round on the mat of our nation’s history, tackling race, sex, and power.

Today’s Birthdays: John Van Druten (1901–1957); Joan Copeland (b. 1922); Andy Griffith (1926–2012); Peter Masterson (1934–2018); Morgan Freeman (b. 1937); Cleavon Little (1939–1992); Rene Auberjonois (1940–2019); Jonathan Pryce (b. 1947); Betsy Wolfe (b. 1982).

Watch Betsy Wolfe sing “Let It Sing” from Violet at the 2015 Miscast gala: