By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Christopher Reichheld and Anne Bradley
13 Dec 2012
1929 Birthday of Christopher Plummer, star of Broadway's J.B., The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Cyrano, Arturo Ui, Othello, Barrymore and King Lear, and memorably on film as Capt. Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music".
1959 A Clean Kill written by Michael Gilbert, starring Peter Copley and Rachel Roberts, details the unnerving possibility of a pharmacist planning a murder. Directed by Alastair Sim this thriller will run at London's Criterion Theatre for 142 performances.
1970 Maureen Stapleton is The Gingerbread Lady in Neil Simon's first drama. This story of an alcoholic singer's decline is staged by Robert Moore at the Plymouth Theatre. The production will run for 193 performances.
1979 The Negro Ensemble Company presents Home by Samm-Art Williams, who is also in the cast. This show, about a young black man's resistance to fight in the Vietnam war, plays as the St. Marks Playhouse for 82 performances, before transferring to Broadway.
1998 Nicole Kidman makes her Broadway debut in David Hare's The Blue Room, a transfer from London's Donmar Warehouse. Though nudity is brief for her and co-star Iain Glen, UK critics panted over the production's sexual wattage, one scribe going so far as to call the show, "pure theatrical Viagra."
1999 Screen star Ally Sheedy takes over the role of Hedwig Schmidt in the Off-Broadway rock musical about a sex-change operation gone wrong, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Sheedy's portrayal of Hedwig is the first and last time a woman plays the title role in the OB production. Sheedy remained with the show for only a few stormy weeks, until Matt McGrath assumes the role on Jan. 6.
2009 Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music returns to Broadway with Catherine Zeta-Jones making her Broadway debut as Desirée Armfeldt, and Angela Lansbury as her mother Madame Armfeldt. Directed by Trevor Nunn, the production was previously seen at London's Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End.