People, Groups, Organizations




Special Topics

About Us

Cast & Crew

Support This Site

Contact Us

First On Stage
Years ago, while teaching college courses in the History of American Musical Theatre, my research exposed numerous instances of innovation in the art form (“this was the first time…”) as theatrical technologies, along with musical styles and forms, evolved. I began to “collect” such phrases, which later included people, theatrical venues and other occasional oddities, into the collection and organized the data chronologically.
At this site, we focus on historical firsts. Innovation creates history, and this is a collection of innovative events, decisions and inventions. Among other things, the collection includes initial appearances of popular shows, songs and performers. Here, you’ll find descriptions of theatrical firsts in America from 1665 to 2000. Each “historical first” appears in bold type.
Generally, the New York opening is considered the finished form of any work (even if subsequent changes occur during the New York run). For the sake of maintaining some historical perspective, this site covers events through the 1999-2000 season.
Ongoing additions to the site include textual entries and pictures of people and theatrical venues. One project will soon offer links to audio files of songs in the public domain; other improvements may occur as they are invented or suggested.
We owe much to those who have assisted in the development and presentation of this material. Please see our “Cast & Crew” page. To everyone who appears there, I offer my deepest thanks.
Perhaps you will find something here that will initiate your own research. You might want to have an item considered for inclusion at the site (if so, please contact me). You might wish to correct an error that you find here (if so, by all means contact me). You may even find items that will pique your curiosity and motivate you to seek answers. We hope that this site will bring you closer to the theatrical art form that has proven time and again to be our most beloved: the musical.
Wayne Hamilton, MFA
First On Stage
Cast & Crew

Content Researcher/Author
Wayne Hamilton, MFA

Jim Moore

Opening Graphics
Dan Schletty & Richard Schletty

Content Contributors/Advisors
Bobby Golibart
Gerald F. Muller, DMA
Alan Pickrell, Ph.D.
First On Stage

Thank you for visiting, a web site that was literally decades in the making. We hope you find the information here useful in your classes, in your research or in exercising your intellectual curiosity.

If so, we hope you’ll make a donation to help support FirstOnStage. This information comes to you quickly and easily without the cost of expensive textbooks or hours of searching for the proverbial needle in the digital haystack.

Your gift will enable site developers to provide ongoing enhancements, including additional textual content, pictures and audio files. PayPal will safely and securely process the transaction.

Thanks for your interest and your generous support!

Visitor Count:

First On Stage Interesting Facts and Trivia about Broadway Musicals, Musical History, Musical Theater, People, Performers, and Songs. A collection of historical firsts in American musical theatre. Jack and the Beanstalk premiered in New York City on November 2, 1896. An extravaganza for children, it featured the first complete score by A. Baldwin Sloane. A. Baldwin Sloane (1872 - 1925) was a prolific denizen of Tin Pan Alley whose songs, if not remarkable, are serviceable. One of Sloane's credits includes having written music, along with Paul Tietjens, for the original stage production of The Wizard of Oz, which premiered on January 20, 1903 at the Majestic Theatre in New York City and featured a script adapted for the stage by L. Frank Baum himself, who also wrote song lyrics (none of the songs from the original production found their way into the 1939 film version). Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Sloan composed for Paint & Powder Club shows there. He eventually moved to New York, where he first wrote songs for vaudeville acts. Later, some of his songs were used in musicals, which led him to the writing of complete scores. In all, Sloane was involved in 34 productions. China Rose, his last musical, was produced in 1925, about a month before Sloane's death.

Ladies and gentlemen, this first selection was randomly generated for your edification and delight!