PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: APRIL 10

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and Robet Viagas, Ernio Hernandez and Anne Bradley
10 Apr 2014

1868 Birthday of master actor George Arliss, who starred in a series of historical vehicles, including Hamilton and Disraeli.



1957 Laurence Olivier is The Entertainer. John Osborne's drama exposing the final turns of a song-and-dance man plays at London's Royal Court Theatre.

1968 Joel Grey is George M!. This Michael Stewart and John Pascal & Francine Pascal musical about the life of showman George M. Cohan will win 427 performances. Joe Layton choreographs and directs.

1974 The Other Place is inaugurated by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is dedicated as a space for developing new scripts and experimental versions of classics. One of the newer works of the season is Mike Leigh's Babies Grow Old.

1974 Actress Patricia Collinge dies today at the age of 81. She was one of the original performers in The Players, the acting troupe founded by Edwin Booth. Among her numerous performances is her appearance opposite Tallulah Bankhead in the 1939 production of The Little Foxes.

1980 A Broadway revival of Paul Osborn's Morning's at Seven opens at the Lyceum Theatre, gets surprise rave reviews and goes on to run more than 500 performances and win Tony Awards for Best Revival, Best Director (Vivian Matalon) and Best Featured Actor (David Rounds). The cast includes Maureen O'Sullivan, Teresa Wright, Nancy Marchand, Elizabeth Wilson and Gary Merrill.

1995 Diamonds are Broadway's best friend once again as the revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opens at the Lyceum Theatre. The Jule Styne musical based on the novel by Anita Loos returns to the stage with KT Sullivan as Lorelei Lee.

2000 In London in 1965, three one-act plays by Noël Coward played under the title Noel Coward's Suite in Three Keys. On Broadway in 1974, the show (minus one play) became Noel Coward in Two Keys. Tonight, Hayley Mills, Judith Ivey and Paxton Whitehead open Off Broadway in Noel Coward's Suite in Two Keys at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

2003 Broadway gets to "Be Italian!" again as a revival of the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical Nine, opens at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. Antonio Banderas leads a cast of more than a dozen women, including Chita Rivera, Laura Benanti, Jane Krakowski and Mary Stuart Masterson. The production will go on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

2010 Dixie Carter, the stage and television actress who played the tempestuous and fiercely dignified Julia Sugarbaker for seven seasons on television's "Designing Women," and carved out a late career as a nightclub singer, dies at age 70. Her Broadway credits included the roles of Melba Snyder in Pal Joey, Maria Callas in Master Class and Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

2011 Aaron Tveit is a young con man with the golden touch in Catch Me If You Can, the new musical by Hairspray songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and playwright Terrence McNally that opens at the Neil Simon Theatre. Jack O'Brien directs a cast that also includes Norbert Leo Butz, Tom Wopat, and Kerry Butler.

2012 A new production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night opens at the West End's Apollo Theatre. Directed by Anthony Page, it stars David Suchet as James Tyrone, Laurie Metcalf as his wife Mary, and Kyle Soller and Trevor White as their sons Edmund and Jamie.

More of Today's Birthdays: Edith Day 1896. Max Von Sydow 1929. Laura Bell Bundy 1981.