Stella Adler

Stella Adler was born on New York City’s Lower East Side on this date in 1902 to Sara Adler (Levitskaya) and Jacob Adler, who were luminaries of the Yiddish stage; actress Celia Adler was her half-sister. Stella Adler was a child actor by four and a star in her own right by the 1920s, before studying Stanislavsky’s […]

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Ira Gershwin

Lyricist Ira Gershwin (Israel Gershowitz), a Pulitzer Prize-winner (for Of Thee I Sing, 1932) and prolific songwriting collaborator with his younger brother, George Gershwin, was born on the Lower East Side of New York on this date in 1896. His parents were immigrants from Russia, who had come to the U.S. in 1891. After taking odd jobs […]

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The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music, by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics), premiered on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on this date in 1958. It starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel as the parents of the von Trapps, a real-life musical family that left Austria during the rise of Nazism. The Sound of Music ran for […]

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Anna Sokolow

Choreographer Anna Sokolow (1910-2000) debuted on Broadway on this date in 1937 with a program featuring political dance works, including Excerpts from a War Poem, described by a critic as taking “the essence of fascism, embodied in a poem extolling the beauties of war,” only to tear this “ideology mercilessly apart, line by line, exposing a […]

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Disney’s Composer

Alan Menken, composer of scores for Walt Disney animations including The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and Pocahontas (1995), as well as for films and Broadway musicals that include  Little Shop of Horrors (1982 on Broadway, ’86 on film), Newsies (1992), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), and Sister Act (2009), […]

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Susan Strasberg as Anne Frank

Susan Strasberg, who created the role of Anne Frank on Broadway and became the youngest actor to be featured on a Broadway theater marquee as a result, was featured on the cover of Life Magazine on this date in 1955. Born in New York in 1938, she was the daughter of famed acting coach Lee Strasberg. She debuted in […]

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Gold in Oklahoma!

The soundtrack to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! became the first album certified as gold by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) on this date in 1958. The musical was the first written together by the Broadway team and earned them a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. The original production opened on March 31, 1943 and ran for 2,212 performances before becoming an Oscar-winning […]

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Sammy Fain’s Many-Splendored Thing

Songwriter and film composer Sammy Fain (Feinberg) was born in New York on this date in 1902, the son of a cantor. Fain was a self-taught pianist who played by ear. A  frequent collaborator with Irving Kahal, Fain’s best-known songs included “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella,” “Tender Is the Night,” “You Brought a New […]

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Abie’s Irish Rose

Abie’s Irish Rose, a play about a young Irish woman and a young Jewish man who marry despite the objections of their families, premiered at Broadway’s Fulton Theater on this date in 1922. It would run for  2,327 performances until October 1, 1927, a record that would not be broken until Hello, Dolly! came to the stage in […]

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March 15: My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady debuted on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theater on this date in 1956. It was written by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe and directed by Moss Hart, and it set a record for the longest run of a show on Broadway up until that time (2,717 performances). My Fair Lady probably […]

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