Playbill Vault's Today In Theatre History: March 18

News   Playbill Vault's Today In Theatre History: March 18
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in Once.
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in Once. Joan Marcus

1927 Birthday of composer John Kander, who will compose scores for Broadway's Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Woman of the Year, Zorba and other musicals.

1952 George Tabori's Flight Into Egypt is staged by Elia Kazan at the Music Box Theatre. Zero Mostel, Jo Van Fleet and Paul Mann are the Viennese refugees struggling to get to America.

1963 Using the play by Robert E. Sherwood and Jacques Deval, David Shaw devises Tovarich. Peter Glenville directs Vivien Leigh and Jean-Pierre Aumont. Songs are composed by Lee Pockriss and Anne Croswell. There will be 264 performances.

1965 Elizabeth Allen plays a lonely woman desperate for love and wondering, Do I Hear a Waltz?. Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim provide music and lyrics for Arthur Laurents' adaptation of his play, The Time of the Cuckoo. Sergio Franchi is the married man who comes into her life. There will be 220 performances.

1966 The League of Resident Theatres is founded. LORT will promote community interests, raise funds, and renegotiate with labor unions every three years for regional professional theatres. Peter Zeisler is the first director.

1993 At the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig opens after an Off-Broadway run at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. The comedy-drama stars Jane Alexander, Robert Klein and Madeline Kahn who will win a Tony for Leading Actress in a Play.

1999 Playwright David Hare makes his Broadway acting debut at the Booth Theatre in a solo written by and about himself. Via Dolorosa or "Way of Sadness," about the Arab-Israeli conflict, will run through June 13.

2010 Australian drag comedienne Dame Edna Everage joins forces with cabaret singer Michael Feinstein for All About Me at the Henry Miller's Theatre. An odd-couple semi-vaudeville/semi-musical about their lives and careers, the show features a script by Christopher Durang, and staging by Casey Nicolaw.

2012 Once, the stage musical based on the Oscar-winning film about an Irish singer-songwriter named Guy, who meets a muse in the person of a Czech immigrant named Girl, opens at Broadway's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. A company of 13 actor-musicians — led by Steve Kazee's Guy, and Cristin Milioti's Girl — performs all roles and serves as the on-stage orchestra in the fable about a stuck troubadour fearful about moving forward. The production will go on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

2012 Ulu Grosbard, a Belgian-born American stage director who brought a naturalistic touch, intelligence, a low profile and unending patience to the Broadway premieres of The Subject Was Roses, American Buffalo and The Price, dies at age 83.

2014 Angela Lansbury opens in Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit at the West End's Gielgud Theatre, marking her first London stage appearance in nearly 40 years. Lansbury reprises the role of Madame Arcati that she previously played in a Tony-winning performance on Broadway in 2009.

More of Today's Birthdays: Johann Strauss, Sr. 1804. Rose Coghlan 1851. Vanessa Williams 1963. Sutton Foster 1975.