1961 American ideals and and practices are put on trial as The Red Eye of Love opens at New York’s Living Theatre. The satire by Arnold Weinstein lasts 169 performances.
1967 Michael Langham stages his final season as artistic director of Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival. His final production with the Festival is a new staging of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra.
1970 Parliamentary history is made as Sir Laurence Olivier becomes the first actor to be seated in Britain’s House of Lords when he is named a life peer. At the time, he is playing Shylock in a National Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice.
1981 Sam Bobrick and Ron Clark‘s comedy Wally’s Cafe opens on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it runs for 12 performances. James Coco and Rita Moreno star as a New Jersey couple that open a roadside café in the California desert, with Sally Struthers as an aspiring actor who is hired as their waitress.
1996 The world of pornography enters the theatre as Ronnie Larsen’s Making Porn plays at the Actor’s Playhouse. The erotic comedy-drama, in which a straight man becomes a porn star in the gay adult video industry, stars Rex Chandler. Larsen also directs and co-stars in the production, which runs 395 performances.
1998 The Jello Is Always Red, a musical revue of songs and sketches by Clark Gesner, who created You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, plays Off-Broadway at the York Theatre Company. James Morgan directs the production starring Celia Gentry, Neal Young, and Gesner himself.
2012 The world premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn opens Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. Amy Brenneman, Beth Dixon, Virginia Kull, Kellie Overbey, and Lee Tergesen star in the comedy-drama about the fallout from choices made by two women of the generation that followed the modern women’s movement. The play is nominated as a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
2017 A wanted woman goes on an epic adventure through the Wild West in Kirsten Childs‘ new musical Bella: An American Tale, opening at Playwrights Horizons. Robert O’Hara directs a cast that includes Ashley D. Kelley, Kenita R. Miller, Paolo Montalban, and NaTasha Yvette Williams.
2018 The world premiere of Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick begins preview at the Public Theater Off-Broadway in a production from Ma-Yi Theater Company. The re-imagining of Richard III starred Gregg Mozgala a 16-year-old outsider in the deepest winter of his discontent: his junior year. Picked on because of his cerebral palsy (as well as his sometimes-creepy Shakespearean way of speaking), Richard is determined to have his revenge and make his name by becoming president of the senior class. The cast also features Marinda Anderson, Alex Breaux, Shannon DeVido, Sasha Diamond, and Tiffany Villarin.