Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 18 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 18 In 1982, Cher, Sandy Dennis, and Karen Black star in Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
Karen Black, Cher, and Sudie Bond in Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

1859 Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz is born in Ukraine. Under the pen name Sholem Aleichem he writes many stories in Yiddish, several of which are adapted for the stage, most notably as Fiddler on the Roof.

1915 Blossom Seeley, Nora Bayes, and Joe Jackson are Maid in America. Sigmund Romberg and Harry Carroll provide music for the war-oriented show.

1930 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart collaborate with comedian Ed Wynn on a musical-comedy vehicle called Simple Simon, which runs 135 performances at the Ziegfeld Theatre. The score includes "Ten Cents a Dance."

1948 Mister Roberts, Thomas Heggen's portrait of life aboard a WWII military ship, opens a 1,157-performance run. The production stars Henry Fonda and David Wayne and wins the 1948 Tony Award for Best Play.

1954 Audrey Hepburn stars with husband Mel Ferrer in the medieval romance Ondine, directed by Alfred Lunt. It runs 157 performances at the 46th Street Theatre.

1964 It's Any Wednesdayor any of the 982 days the comedy runs at the Music Box Theatre. Don Porter stars as a pompous businessman balancing a wife and mistress alongside Sandy Dennis, Rosemary Murphy, and Gene Hackman.

1982 Ed Graczyk's Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean opens at the Martin Beck Theatre. Robert Altman directs stars Sandy Dennis, Cher, Karen Black, Kathy Bates, Marta Heflin, and Sudie Bond. The production runs 52 performances.

1999 Paula Vogel's The Mineola Twins opens at the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre. The production, directed by Joe Mantello, stars Swoosie Kurtz as identical twins Myrna and Myra.

2003 Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons christens its new $27 million West 42nd Street mainstage with the first preview of My Life With Albertine, Ricky Ian Gordon and Richard Nelson's musical adaptation of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.

2016 Following an acclaimed Off-Broadway run the previous fall, Stephen Karam’s family ensemble drama The Humans opens on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The production runs 365 performances and wins four Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play (Reed Birney), and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Jayne Houdyshell). A film adaptation of the play, directed by the playwright, premieres in 2021. 

2019 Come From Away opens on the West End.

2020 Alice Birch's Anatomy of a Suicide makes its US premiere at Atlantic Theatre Company. The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning play explores relationships among three generations of mothers and daughters as their lives play out simultaneously on stage.

More of Today's Birthdays: Edward Arnold (1890-1956). Billy DeWolfe (1907–1974). Jack Palance (1919-2006). Jack Palance (1920–2006). Mary Ure (1933–1975). Sinéad Cusack (b. 1948). Cybill Shepherd (b. 1950). John Travolta (b. 1954). Jayne Atkinson (b. 1959). Matt Dillon (b. 1964). Molly Ringwald (b. 1968). Christopher Sieber (b. 1969). Susan Egan (b. 1970). Rupert Goold (b. 1972). 

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