PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MARCH 6

By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Ernio Hernandez and Anne Bradley
March 6, 2014

1933 Maxwell Anderson indicts Both Your Houses, a political story at the Royale Theatre. Morris Carnovsky is in the cast of this Theatre Guild production. It will go on to win the Pulitzer Prize.



1940 Ernest Hemingway details the Spanish Civil War in The Fifth Column. This Theatre Guild production re-worked by Benjamin Glazer stars Franchot Tone and Katherine Locke.

1969 The morality of the creation of the hydrogen bomb is explored in Heinar Kipphardt's In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which opens today at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre for a run of 162 performances. The cast includes Joseph Wiseman, Philip Bosco, Herbert Berghof and Paul Rudd.

1974 The two surviving members of the Andrews Sisters, Patty Andrews and Maxene Andrews, are featured in Over Here!, a musical set in the world of USO shows during World War II. The supporting cast includes future stars John Travolta, Janie Sell, Ann Reinking, Treat Williams and Samuel E. Wright.

1978 Brian Clark ponders Whose Life Is It, Anyway? His drama stars Tom Conti as a paralyzed man eager to end his life. After a run at London's Mermaid Theatre it will transfer to the Savoy for a run of 672 performances. The following year, Tom Conti will win a Tony for the role on Broadway. Then a return engagement in 1980 changes the lead character's gender for Mary Tyler Moore.

1978 Micheal MacLiammoir dies today. Co-founder of Dublin's Gate Theatre, he is remembered as an actor, director, designer, and playwright. He employed a young Orson Welles who had traveled to Ireland. He later appeared as Iago in Welles' film version of Othello.

1983 The "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet comes to life once more as the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical, On Your Toes, is revived on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. The revival will outrun its predecessor to play 505 performances and close May 20, 1984.

1989 "Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find he's been turned into a giant cockroach." It was a punchline in The Producers, but Franz Kafka's story Metamorphosis becomes an actual Broadway drama today, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov as Gregor. It runs 96 performances at the Barrymore Theatre.

1993 Jeffrey, Paul Rudnick's "AIDS comedy," as one reviewer calls it, opens Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre. It stars John Michael Higgins and will run through Jan. 16, 1994.

2002 One Mo' Time, one of the longest-running Off-Broadway revues of the 1980s, opens on Broadway, but does not enjoy a repeat of its success. It closes after a month's run.

2003 From Britain's National Theatre comes Vincent in Brixton, a portrait of artist Vincent Van Gogh as a young man (Jochum ten Haaf), struggling to support himself as an art dealer, falling in love with an older woman (Clare Higgins), absorbing images that he will someday turn into masterpieces.

2008 Debbie Allen's all-black revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring Anika Noni Rose as Maggie and James Earl Jones as Big Daddy, opens at the Broadhurst Theatre. The production also features Phylicia Rashad as Big Mama and Terrence Howard as Brick.

2011 A starry Broadway revival of Jason Miller's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning 1972 drama That Championship Season opens on Broadway at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Noth, Jason Patric (whose late father wrote the play) and Kiefer Sutherland star in the Scranton, PA-set drama about a team of high school basketball players who reunite to hash out the past on the anniversary of their winning game.

Today's Birthdays: Oscar Strauss 1870. Ring Lardner 1885. Lou Costello 1906. Ella Logan 1913. Stephen Schwartz 1948. Shuler Hensley 1967.