Today's Birthday 11/18

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthday 11/18#0
Posted: 11/18/03 at 7:46pm
Carl Weber 11/18/1786 6/5/1826 composer: Der Freischutz (contains the beautiful aria - Leise, Leise), Euryanthem Oberon, Invitation to the Dance; began the era of German romantic music

W. S. Gilbert 11/18/1836 - May 29, 1911 Writer, Lyricist, Source Material, Knighted in 1907, team: Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance

Clarence Day 11/18/1874 - 12/28/1935 American writer, source mat'l - Life With Father

Amelita Galli-Curci 11/18/1882 - 11/26/1963 - opera soprano: “If not the greatest coloratura soprano of all time, she must surely be recognized as among the world’s finest examples of true operatic artistry.”

Imogene Coca 11/18/1908 - Jun 2, 2001 wife of King Donovan, performer - Garrick Gaieties (Sterling Holloway); New Faces of 1934 (Henry Fonda, Leonard Sillman); On the Twentieth Century; tv's & film's Emmy Award-winning comedienne, actress: Your Show of Shows [1951]; Sid Caesar Invites You, It’s about Time, Grindl, Admiral Broadway Revue, National Lampoon’s Vacation

Johnny Mercer 11/18/1909 - Jun 25, 1976 Lyricist, Composer, Performer - St. Louis Woman; Li'l Abner; Saratoga (Howard Keel, Carol Lawrence); Foxy; Dream; Academy Award-winning composer, lyricist: On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe [1946], In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening [w/Hoagy Carmichael] [1951], Moon River [1961], Days of Wine and Roses [1962]; Autumn Leaves, One for My Baby, Charade, Satin Doll, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Come Rain or Come Shine, Hooray for Hollywood, Jeepers Creepers, I’m An Old Cowhand, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive; wrote or co-wrote over a thousand songs

Dorothy Collins 11/18/1926 - Jul 21, 1994 wife of Raymond Scott (1952 - 1965) divorced, wife of Ron Holgate (1966 - ?) divorced, performer - orig Follies (Ethel Barrymore Colt, Yvonne De Carlo, Alexis Smith, Gene Nelson, John McMartin, Graciela Daniele ; , My Boy Flattop, Your Hit Parade, sang with Benny Goodman band

Mel Howard 11/18/1937 Producer, Writer, Director - Bejart; Tango Argentino [bring this back!]; André Heller's Wonderhouse (Billy Barty, Milo & Roger); Tango Pasion

Brenda Vaccaro 11/18/1939 performer - Everybody Loves Opal; Cactus Flower; How Now, Dow Jones; The Goodbye People; Father's Day (Ken Kercheval, Marian Seldes);
Emmy Award-winning actress: The Shape of Things [1973-74]; Once is Not Enough, Cactus Flower, The Goodbye People, How Now Dow Jones, Midnight Cowboy, Airport ’77, Ten Little Indians

Baxter Harris 11/18/1940 performer - A Texas Trilogy: Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander; A Texas Trilogy: The Oldest Living Graduate; The Lady from Dubuque (Irene Worth)

Walter Bobbie 11/18/1945 Writer, Director, Performer - Frank Merriwell; The Grass Harp; orig Grease; 1989 Cafe Crown (Anne Jackson, Fyvush Finkel); 1992 Guys and Dolls; A Grand Night for Singing; 1996 Chicago;

Delroy Lindo 11/18/1952 performer - "MASTER HAROLD"...and the boys.; Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Angela Bassett)

Jeff Gardner 11/18/1962 performer - The Queen and the Rebels (Colleen Dewhurst, Campbell Scott [debut], Stanley Tucci [debut], Fiddle Viracola); Cyrano - The Musical; The Scarlet Pimpernel; LaChiusa's The Wild Party

William Marrié 11/18/1968 - Nov 16, 2002 (as I recall, he died in a motorcycle accident) performer - Movin' Out


A Doll's House 11/18/1907 - Mme. Alla Nazimova, Warner Oland

1919 Irene, the story of a shop girl charming a wealthy young man begins its run. Edith Day and Bobbie Watson star. James Montgomery wrote the book with music by Harry Tierney and Joe McCarthy.

1930 Lili Hatvany says it's Tonight or Never. Her play about a prima donna (played by future Richard Nixon opponent Helen Gahagan) and an opera scout (Melvyn Douglas) runs almost seven months. This is David Belasco's last production before his death.

1930 Marilyn Miller, Fred and Adele Astaire, and Eddie Foy, Jr., are all Smiles. This Ziegfeld production, with a score by Vincent Youmans, is based on a Noel Coward story about a French waif brought to America for a taste of the high life.

1933 Bob Hope has his first featured role on Broadway in Jerome Kern's Roberta, also starring Lyda Roberti, Fay Templeton, Tamara, George Murphy and Sydney Greenstreet.

1942 - Thornton Wilder’s play, The Skin of Our Teeth, opened in New York City. The play was Wilder’s sequel to Our Town. The Skin of Our Teeth starred Tallulah Bankhead, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, Montgomery Clift and E.G. Marshall. One critic wrote, “As of last evening, the theatre was looking up.” 1942 An ice age, a hurricane and the possible end of the world are visited upon the Antrobus family of New Jersey in The Skin of Our Teeth, Thornton Wilder's surreal parable about the survival of man against all odds.The show will win the Pulitzer Prize and run 359 performances.

1946 Ingrid Bergman stars on Broadway as Joan of Arc in Maxwell Anderson's Joan of Lorraine. It runs 199 performances at the Alvin Theatre.

1961 Hoping to follow up her success in The Music Man Barbara Cook takes the role of Liesl in The Gay Life Dietz & Schwartz musical version of La Ronde. It runs just 113 performances at the Shubert Theatre.

1964 Alan Alda plays a young writer having an affair with his prostitute neighbor (Diana Sands) in The Owl and the Pussycat by Bill Manhoff, which opens tonight at the ANTA Theatre and runs 421 performances. The movie is made in 1970 with George Segal and Barbara Streisand.

Fame 11/18/1974 - Lawrie Driscoll, Christine Lavren

Fonteyn & Nureyev on Broadway 11/18/1975

Present Laughter 11/18/1996 - Frank Langella, Steve Ross ("The Prince of Cabaret")

1999 Broadway brushed up its Shakespeare tonight, as Kiss Me Kate opened for the first time since 1965. It starred Marin Mazzie and budding actor Brian Stokes Mitchell as the famous leading duo and runs to this day, racking up over 800 performances since.

2001 Another notable day for Alan Alda: He opens on Broadway in the (nearly) solo show, QED, in which he impersonates thoughtful physicist Richard Feynman at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre.


1307 - The story of William Tell shooting the apple off of his young son’s noggin is said to have taken place on this day. The story is of either Swiss, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, or Persian origin.

On this day in 1928, Walt Disney debuted his talking, animated cartoon, Steamboat Willie, at the Colony Theatre in New York. The short film featured a character who had been named Mortimer. Walt changed the name to Mickey Mouse. Steamboat Willie was the first cartoon with synchronized sound.

1932 - For the first time, a tie occurred for the Best Actor Academy Award. Wallace Beery and Fredric March were only one vote apart so the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ruled it a tie. Both received an Oscar at the Fifth Annual Academy Awards, March for his performance in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Beery for his role in The Champ. March thought it rather funny that the two were honored for ‘best male performance of the year’ when they each had adopted a child that year. The Champ also was honored when Frances Marion received the Writing/Original Story Academy Award for the film. There was only one Best Actress Award and it was presented to Helen Hayes for her performance in The Sin of Madelon Claudet. The movie, Grand Hotel (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), earned the top honors as Outstanding Production. Walt Disney also received two awards: an honorary award for the creation of Mickey Mouse and for the cartoon short subject, Flowers and Trees.

1986 - For the first time since his departure from his own late-night TV show, Jack Paar was a guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. One of TV’s great lines came from the show, when Carson quipped (after one of Paar’s long, long spiels), “Why is it that I feel I’m guesting on your show?”

1994 Bandleader Cab Calloway died at age 86.

(sources: IBDB, NYT's ON THIS DAY,’s Those Were The Days,