PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MARCH 12

By David Gewirtzman
and Robert Viagas, Ernio Hernandez and Anne Bradley
March 12, 2014

1928 Birthday of playwright Edward Albee, who will go on to write Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? and Pulitzer-winners, A Delicate Balance, Seascape and Three Tall Women.



1946 Birthday of actress and singer Liza Minnelli, star of Cabaret on film, and Broadway musicals including Flora, the Red Menace, The Rink, The Act and Minnelli on Minnelli among many other projects.

1964 Ann Jellicoe provides a new translation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Tony Richardson directs Vanessa Redgrave and Peggy Ashcroft in this London production.

1964 But For Whom Charlie stars Ralph Meeker at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre. S. N. Behrman's comedy, about a man trying to pry himself away from a domineering father, will run 47 performances.

1971 In the wings after his major number in 70, Girls, 70 comedian David Burns dies of a heart attack.

1987 Jean Valjean begins his years of hiding from Javert as Les MisÚrables opens on Broadway. Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg based their book on the novel by Victor Hugo. Music is provided by Schonberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Trevor Nunn stages. Colm Wilkinson and Terrence Mann star as the arch enemies. It will run for 6,680 performances, and for a time become the second longest running show in Broadway history.

1998 The hills are revived! The 1959 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The Sound Of Music undergoes a Broadway revival at the Martin Beck Theatre. Rebecca Luker stars as the problem-to-be-solved Maria and Michael Siberry as the Captain with a flock of children.

2003 Lynne Thigpen, the respected actress with the rich, strong voice who won a Tony Award for An American Daughter on Broadway, dies today in her Los Angeles home at age 54. She also appeared in the original cast of Godspell and was widely known for starring in CBS TV's drama, "The District," and the PBS educational series, "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?"

2006 Joe Bova, who was Tony-nominated as Prince Dauntless to Carol Burnett's Princess Fred in Once Upon a Mattress, dies at age 81 at the Actors' Fund Retirement Home in New Jersey.

2007 Vilma Ebsen, 96, who, with her brother Buddy, danced through three Broadway shows and one Hollywood musical, dies in California.

2013 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Simon Stephens' stage adaptation of Mark Haddon's novel of the same name, opens at London's Apollo Theatre. The production, directed by Marianne Elliott and starring Luke Treadaway, originally premiered at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in 2012.

More of Today's Birthday George White 1892. Roger L. Stevens 1910. Gordon MacRae 1921. Courtney B. Vance 1960.