Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: July 1

1930 Comedian Jack Benny appears on Broadway in Earl Carroll’s Vanities of 1930. The revue also features Patsy Kelly, Jimmy Savo, and The Collette Sisters.

1931 Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. says goodbye to the Ziegfeld Follies as the final installment of the great showman’s legendary revue opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre. Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 stars Helen Morgan, Harry Richman, and Buck and Bubbles. There are 165 performances.

1993 The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Measure for Measure, directed by Michael Rudman and co-produced by George C. Wolfe, opens at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The company includes Lisa Gay Hamilton as Isabella, Kevin Kline as The Duke, Blair Underwood as Claudio, Andre Braugher as Angelo, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Lucio.

1998 Becky Ann Baker, Jessica Hecht, and Alan Tudyk star in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Paul Rudnick‘s newest play, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. The comedy, from the penner of Jeffrey and I Hate Hamlet, is a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve. The production, directed by Christopher Ashley, makes its Off-Broadway debut later the same year at New York Theatre Workshop.

1999 New York Shakespeare Festival‘s The Taming of the Shrew opens at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Allison Janney and Jay O. Sanders star as Kate and Petruchio in the music-infused production directed by Mel Shapiro.

2010 A Michael Greif-helmed musical production of The Winter’s Tale, featuring music by Tom Kitt, opens at the Delacorte in Central Park. The Public Theater production features a cast that includes Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Francois Battiste, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Nyambi Nyambi, Richard Topol, and Heather Lind.

2013 Mary Zimmerman directs the world premiere stage adaptation of the 1967 Walt Disney film The Jungle Book, opening at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman score includes “The Bare Necessities” and “Trust in Me,” as well as additional unused songs written for the film.

2015 Original Little Shop of Horrors star Ellen Greene returns to the role of Audrey for a series of concerts at New York City Center, presented as part of the Encores! Off-Center series. Jake Gyllenhaal co-stars as Seymour.

Today’s Birthdays: Susan Glaspell (1876–1948). Charles Laughton (1899–1962). Olivia de Havilland (1916–2020). Ralph Young (1918–2008). Farley Granger (1925–2011). Leslie Caron (b. 1931). Jean Marsh (b. 1934). Twyla Tharp (b. 1941). Terrence Mann (b.1951). Thomas Sadoski (b. 1976). Nick Blaemire (b. 1984).