Playbill Vault's Today In Theatre History: March 25

News   Playbill Vault's Today In Theatre History: March 25
Mike Nussbaum and Joe Mantegna in Glengarry Glen Ross.
Mike Nussbaum and Joe Mantegna in Glengarry Glen Ross.

1871 Birthday of Lee Shubert, one of the three legendary Shubert brothers who will found the theatre-owning and producing empire, the Shubert Organization.

1901 Character actor Ed Begley is born today. He will star in shows such as All My Sons and Inherit the Wind.

1909 Birthday of Jay Blackton (1909-1994), who will become one of Broadway's most sought-after conductors, the conductor of choice for Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, and others. Original conductor of Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam and other shows.

1925 French-born actor and director Louis F. Massen, 67, dies today in New Jersey. He was general stage manager for David Belasco for 12 years. His wife was actress Marie Burroughs.

1936 A sad day for Broadway as Paul McCullough, half of the popular comedy team of [Bobby] Clark and McCullough, dies after he slashes his own throat and wrists. Despite a hugely successful 31-year career, McCullough had battled depression and exhaustion for most of the previous year. He had just been released after several months' treatment in a sanitarium when he stopped for a haircut, seized the barber's razor, and committed suicide. His shows included Strike Up the Band, Walk a Little Faster and Thumbs Up!

1976 My Fair Lady is revived at the St. James Theatre in New York. Ian Richardson plays Henry Higgins; Christine Andreas is Eliza. Jerry Adler stages the 377 performance run.

1984 Joe Mantegna and J. T. Walsh spout the F word aplenty in the new play by David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross. Covering the intense world of real estate sales, Glengarry opens at the John Golden Theatre and will win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

1997 Christopher Plummer becomes "The Great Profile" as he stars in William Luce's Barrymore at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.

1999 Broadway gets Closer. Patrick Marber directs his play of desire and dissection at the Music Box Theater. The British cast includes Tony Award winner Natasha Richardson, Rupert Graves, Anna Friel and Ciaran Hinds. The show will have run for 172 performances when it closes on August 22 of 1999.

2004 Alec Baldwin plays flamboyant and desperate producer Oscar Jaffe in Roundabout Theatre Company's art deco revival of the 1932 comedy Twentieth Century, co-starring real-life movie star Anne Heche as film diva Lily Garland.

2010 Come Fly Away, Twyla Tharp's dance musical that moves to the music and satin voice of Frank Sinatra, opens on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre. Following four couples as they fall in and out of love during an evening at a crowded nightclub, the show uses original masters of Sinatra's voice with a live onstage band.

2013 Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw star in the world premiere of John Logan's Peter and Alice, opening at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre. The play revolves around the meeting of Alice Liddell Hargreaves (Dench) and Peter Llewelyn Davies (Whishaw) at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, when the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan.

More of Today's Birthdays: Nancy Kelly 1921. Richard O'Brien 1942. Elton John 1947. Sarah Jessica Parker 1965. Lee Pace 1979.