Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 29

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 29
Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the original 1951 Broadway production of The King and I.
Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the original 1951 Broadway production of The King and I. Photo courtesy of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization

1950 Joshua Logan transports the action of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard to 19th century Louisiana for his adaptation, The Wisteria Trees. It runs 165 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.

1951 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's The King and I dances into the St. James Theatre in New York. An English governess (Gertrude Lawrence) is hired to tutor the prince and princesses of Siam, but also finds a willing student and friend in the King (Yul Brynner). Jerome Robbins choreographs. There are 1,246 performances.

1956 Earle Hyman is Mister Johnson, a Nigerian uncomfortable with the imposed British culture. Norman Rosten adapts Joyce Cary's novel. It runs 44 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.

1966 It's a Bird…It's a Plane...It's Superman soars slightly at the Alvin Theatre in New York. There are just 129 performances of the David Newman, Robert Benton, Lee Adams, Charles Strouse musical. Bob Holiday wears the cape, Patricia Marand is Lois. Harold Prince stages.

1976 Samuel Beckett directs his play Waiting for Godot in German at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with actors from Berlin's Schiller Theatre.

1981 John Kander and Fred Ebb turn the Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr. film, Woman of the Year, which starred Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, into a musical. Woman of the Year opens at the Palace Theatre and stars Lauren Bacall and Harry Guardino.

1984 Dustin Hoffman plays Willy Loman in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, opposite John Malkovich as Biff. The production runs 97 performances and produce a minor scandal when the much-praised Hoffman fails to earn a Tony nomination for his performance.

1992 Herb Gardner's drama of a son's feelings about his harsh Jewish father opens on Broadway at the Royale Theatre. Conversations With My Father stars Tony Shalhoub, Judd Hirsch, and David Margulies. It closes nearly a year later on March 14, 1993.

2001 The Invention of Love, Tom Stoppard's drama about British poet A.E. Housman, opens on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton play the poet at different ages, and both win Tony Awards for their performances.

2004 Actors' Equity Association celebrates its 90th anniversary with a bash at The Players Club.

2009 Tovah Feldshuh plays a Polish woman who hides a group of Jews from the Nazis during World War II in a transfer of the Off-Broadway hit, Irena's Vow. Directed by Michael Parva, Dan Gordon's play opens on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

2012 The musical Newsies, based on the 1992 Disney film, opens on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. Jeremy Jordan stars as Jack Kelly, the charismatic newsboy who leads a strike against newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The production wins Tony Awards for Alan Menken and Jack Feldman's score, and for Christopher Gattelli's choreography.

Today's Birthdays: Lawrence Grossmith 1877. Derek Oldham 1887. Howard Lindsay 1889. Pearl Bailey 1918. Eileen Heckart 1919. Eric Idle 1943. Megan Hilty 1981.

Watch highlights from the 2012 Broadway production of Newsies:

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