On this day in 1989, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway opened at the Imperial Theater. Jason Alexander is a god damn delight as the narrator – and rightfully won the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (the show won 5 other Tonys, including Best Musical). You can listen to the Original Broadway Cast Recording on Spotify. Be prepared to sing along!
In 2017, at the 89th Academy Awards, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were accidentally given the wrong card for the announcement of Moonlight as Best Picture, and the entire crew of La La Land gathered on the stage before they realized what had happened, leading to one of the craziest moments in Oscar history.
On this day in 1983, Michael Jackson’s Thriller went to #1 on the Billboard album chart – and stayed there for a whopping 37 weeks. The album has sold 33 million copies in the United States alone and currently holds the record for second-best-selling album in the US, behind Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975). Thriller won a whopping eight Grammys, including Album of the Year (beating another masterpiece, The Police’s Synchronicity). If you weren’t alive in 1983, it’s difficult to describe how dominant Thriller was – the singles, the videos, the live performances. This clip is from the television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, and it was the first time Jackson did the moonwalk live.
Actor JT Walsh died on this day in 1998, at the age of 54. One of my favorite character actors of all time, Walsh often played the bad guy in films such as Good Morning, Vietnam and TV series such as The X–Files (season 3 episode “The List”). He had a small but pivotal role in one of my favorite movies, A Few Good Men. In his last film to be released before his death, Breakdown, he terrorizes Kurt Russell and kidnaps his wife (Kathleen Quinlan). It is a doozy of a thriller and I highly recommend it. You can stream Breakdown on CBS All Access.