PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MARCH 1
By David Gewirtzman
1922 Arthur Wing Pinero's The Enchanted Cottage constructs the story of a couple who find themselves transformed by their love for one another. Owen Nares and Laura Cowie are the lucky pair. This drama will run at the Duke of York's Theatre in London for 64 performances.
1944 Even the bright lights of Broadway are affected by World War II. A midnight curfew quiets the Times Square nightlife.
1957 Opening night for the final show to bear the Ziegfeld Follies name, 50 years after the very first edition, and 25 years after its namesake's death. The Ziegfeld Follies of 1957 features songs by Howard Dietz, Carolyn Leigh, Sammy Fain, Marshall Barer and Colin Romoff. The cast included Beatrice Lillie, Billy DeWolfe and Carol Lawrence. It will run 123 performances at the Winter Garden.
1962 There was vaudeville, but This Was Burlesque. Ann Corio stars in this revue that will run for 900 performances.
1964 Athol Fugard's tale of two brothers in South Africa, Blood Knot, stars J.D. Cannon and James Earl Jones. John Berry stages at the Cricket Theatre in New York.
1979 Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens at Broadway's Uris Theatre. Len Cariou stars as the bedeviled barber and Angela Lansbury plays the cannibalistic cook in the production that made a piercing factory whistle infamous. The musical swept the Tony Awards, taking home the prize for Best Musical, Leading Actor and Actress, Director for Harold Prince, Best Book, Score, as well as Scenic and Costume Design.
1998 Yasmina Reza's international hit play Art, opens at the Royale Theatre with Victor Garber, Alan Alda and Alfred Molina starring. Reza's comedy about a blank painting took top honors at France's Molière Awards and London's Olivier Awards and goes on to win the Tony Award for Best Play.
2005 The musical Altar Boyz, which spoofs the boy-band craze, opens Off-Broadway. It will run for than 2,000 performances at New World Stages.
2006 Jack Wild, 53, who won acclaim as the Artful Dodger in the 1968 film version of the 1960 Lionel Bart musical Oliver!, dies in England after a long battle with oral cancer.
2009 A Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls that uses animated projections and introduces author Damon Runyon as a character, opens at the Nederlander Theatre. The classic “musical fable of Broadway” is directed by Des McAnuff, and stars Craig Bierko as Sky Masterson, Oliver Platt as Nathan Detroit, Kate Jennings Grant as Sarah Brown and Lauren Graham as Miss Adelaide.
2011 A stage production of The Wizard of Oz, based on the story by L. Frank Baum as immortalized in the 1939 MGM film musical featuring music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, opens at the London Palladium. Danielle Hope – winner of the reality TV casting show "Over the Rainbow" – stars as Dorothy, alongside Michael Crawford as The Wizard and Hannah Waddingham as the Wicked Witch of the West. The score is supplemented with four new songs written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
Today's Birthdays: Anne Sutherland 1867. Lionel Atwill 1885. Michael Flanders 1922. Robert Clary 1926. Harry Belafonte 1927. Kevin McCollum 1962. Bryan Batt 1963.
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