150 YEARS AGO (1863)
Charles Edward Ringling is born in McGregor, Iowa, one of seven brothers. In order to raise money to start their own circus, the Ringling brothers will start a touring hall show in 1882 called “Ringling Brothers’ Classic and Comic Concert Company.” Charles and four of his siblings will go on to create the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1884.
125 YEARS AGO (1888)
The Players Club opens at 16 Gramercy Park in New York City. It is founder Edwin Booth’s ambition that the club be a place where actors can mingle “with minds that influence the world.” It will remain a place for art, business, law and medicine to come together, and become the birthplace of Actors’ Equity Association.
50 YEARS AGO (1963)
The Girl Who Came to Supper, a musical adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play The Sleeping Prince, opens on Broadway, with a book by Harry Kurnitz and music and lyrics by Noël Coward. The musical stars José Ferrer and Florence Henderson and runs for 112 performances. It is Coward’s last full score.
25 YEARS AGO (1988)
The Neo-Futurists opens Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at Stage Left Theatre in Chicago. Conceived and directed by Greg Allen, the “ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes” is now Chicago’s longest-running show.