PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MARCH 9

By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez
March 9, 2014

1856 Comedian Eddie Foy is born today. He'll star in vaudeville and on Broadway, notably in Mr. Hamlet of Broadway, The Earl and the Girl and Piff! Paff!! Pouf!!!. His son, Eddie Foy, Jr., will also star on Broadway.



1922 Eugene O'Neill's drama The Hairy Ape, the story of a stoker brutalized by his work, opens at Provincetown Playhouse.

1959 Juno, Marc Blitzstein's musical adaptation of Juno and the Paycock, opens at the Winter Garden Theatre with Shirley Booth and Melvyn Douglas. It flops after 16 performances.

1961 Dore Schary adapts and directs Morris West's novel, The Devil's Advocate. Leo Genn stars in this drama that will run 116 performances at the Billy Rose Theatre.

1966 The English Stage Company is served 18 summonses as a result of William Gaskill's production of Edward Bond's controversial play, Saved. Lord Chamberlain had demanded certain changes be made; the company did not comply. Bond and the company are forced to pay costs.

1978 Moliere in Spite of Himself plays at the Colonnades Theatre Lab in New York. This drama is adapted and staged by Michel Lessac and it will run for 100 performances.

1978 Encompass Theatre, an off-off Broadway group, launches a series of plays titled Hear Their Voices: Women Founders of the American Theatre, 1910-1945.

1986 At the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of Hamlet, Kevin Kline will inhabit the "distracted globe" of the Bard's immortal counterpart. The stageplay will open at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and close May 11.

1989 Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles opens today at the Plymouth Theatre. The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning drama stars Joan Allen and becomes something of a landmark in plays by and about modern American women.

2002 Leonard Gershe, author of the play Butterflies Are Free, the 1969 Broadway comedy that launched the career of Blythe Danner, dies at 79.

2008 Following a 2007 Off-Broadway run at 37 Arts, In The Heights opens at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Lin-Manuel Miranda co-wrote and stars in the show about life among the Latino residents of Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, along with Mandy Gonzalez, Karen Olivo and Priscilla Lopez. The production will go on to win four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

2009 33 Variations, writer-director Moisés Kaufman's music-infused play that lured Jane Fonda back to Broadway after a 46-year absence, opens at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

2010 Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, opens at the West End's Adelphi Theatre. Set at the Coney Island fairgrounds 10 years after The Phantom disappeared from the Paris Opera House, the musical stars Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom, and Sierra Boggess as Christine.

More of Today's Birthdays: Will Geer 1902. Taina Elg 1930. Joyce Van Patten 1934. Raul Julia 1940. Beau Bridges 1941. Lonny Price 1959.