Today is American director, producer, writer and lyricist Jack O’Brien’s birthday. Born on this day June 18, 1939, Saginaw, Michigan native O’Brien attended the University of Michigan (M.A. 1962) where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.
He served as the Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California from 1981 through the end of 2007. His first play at the Old Globe Theatre was Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors in 1969.
O’Brien has won three Tony Awards and been nominated for seven more, and won five Drama Desk Awards. He has directed and produced musicals, including The Full Monty and Hairspray, contemporary dramas such as The Piano Lesson, The Invention of Love and The Coast of Utopia, Shakespeare classics, including Hamlet and Henry IV (a combination of Part 1 and Part 2), and operas, including Il trittico at the Metropolitan Opera.
He has also been associated with some notorious Broadway failures. In 1972, he wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book for The Selling of the President, which closed after five performances. The Old Globe also co-produced the stage adaptation of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, which closed after only one performance.
Jack O’Brien is 78 years old today.
For more on Jack O’Brien, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_O%27Brien_(director)