Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 25

Playbill Vault   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 found the theatre-owning and producing empire, the Shubert Organization.

1901 Character actor Ed Begley is born. He stars in the original Broadway production of All My Sons, and wins a Tony Award for his performance as Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind.

1909 Birthday of Jay Blackton (1909-1994), who becomes the conductor of choice for Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, and others. He conducts many Broadway shows, including the original productions of Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, and Call Me Madam.

1925 French-born actor and director Louis F. Massen dies at age 67. He was general stage manager for David Belasco for 12 years. His wife was actor 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 and Christine Andreas play Henry Higgins and 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 wins 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. It runs for 172 performances.

2004 Alec Baldwin plays flamboyant and desperate producer Oscar Jaffe in Roundabout Theatre Company's art deco revival of the 1932 comedy Twentieth Century. Real-life movie star Anne Heche co-stars 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.

Watch highlights from Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away:

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