Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: July 6

1939 A young Hollywood hopeful is forced to watch her own career fizzle as her boyfriend’s blossoms in Lew Brown‘s musical Yokel Boy. Lois January and Buddy Ebsen star in the new show, opening at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway. There are 208 performances.

1944 Birthday of Tony Award winner Claude-Michel Schönberg, who begins his career in France as a record producer and singer, and later collaborates with Alain Boublil as composer and a co-book writer of the long-running musicals Les Misérables and Miss Saigon.

2000 The high-altitude comedy, The Man in the Flying Lawn Chair, begins performances at New York City’s 78th Street Theatre Lab. The ensemble-created piece explores the real-life Larry Walters, who launched himself to 16,000 feet in an aluminum lawn chair, with the help of 50 surplus weather balloons, where he was spotted by passing aircraft.

2000 Amos Kamil’s new play, The Flame Keeper, exploring the choices a Jewish professor and German shopkeeper made to survive World War II, opens at Off-Broadway’s 47th Street Theatre.

2000 The Winter’s Tale celebrates its opening at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Brian Kulick directs with choreography by Naomi Goldberg and stars Bronson Pinchot, Keith David, Aunjanue Ellis, Erica M. Tazel, and Bill Buell.

2001 Brooke Shields returns to Broadway as Sally Bowles in the Cabaret revival. Also, pop singer, ’80s icon, and future Tony Award-winning composer Cyndi Lauper stars in David Henry Hwang‘s new musical Largo, which has a brief run at New York Stage and Film’s summer season at Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theatre.

2004 Having first played the West End in 1998, the musical version of Saturday Night Fever returns to London after a sell-out U.K. tour, where it was seen by more than 500,000 people.

2011 The London premiere of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman‘s musical Road Show opens at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Directed by John Doyle, the production stars Michael Jibson and David Bedella as brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner.

2011 Emmy-winning actor-comic Judy Gold, who was seen Off-Broadway in 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, returns to the New York stage in a new show entitled The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom, opening at the DR2 Theatre July 6.

2018 Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber & Stoller, which premiered on Broadway in 1995 and earned seven Tony nominations, begins an Off-Broadway run at Stage 42.

More of Today’s Birthdays: Aleksander Pushkin (1799–1837). Margaret Phillips (1923–1984). Susan Johnson (1927–2003). Donal Donnelly (1931–2010). Ned Beatty (1937–2021). Geoffrey Rush (b. 1951). Christopher Ashley (b. 1964).

Watch Lea Salonga, Stephanie J. Block, Jeremy Jordan, and more celebrate the songs of Miss Saigon and Les Misérables writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg: