PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: APRIL 3

By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez
April 3, 2014

1911 Minnie Maddern Fiske stars as Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh, a woman anxious to conceal her mid-continent past under a veneer of British manners. Harry James Smith's comedy runs at the Lyceum on Broadway.



1924 Birthday of actor Marlon Brando, who will star memorably on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire before heading off to Hollywood, where he will recreate that role, and co-star in "Guys and Dolls" and many other film classics.

1947 George Abbott stages the Barefoot Boy With Cheek at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York. Max Shulman devised this musical about college radicals. Sylvia Dee and Sidney Lippman provide words and music. Red Buttons and Nancy Walker are in the cast.

1950 German-born composer Kurt Weill dies today in New York. Among his many works are Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny, Knickerbocker Holiday, and Lady in the Dark. He was 50 years old.

1958 Say, Darling isn't this a musical about a musical? Abe Burrows and Richard Bissell fashion this story about the transformation of Bissell's novel, "7 1/2 Cents," into the Broadway musical The Pajama Game. Jule Styne composes the score, Betty Comden and Adolph Green provide the lyrics. Vivian Blaine, Johnny Desmond and David Wayne head the cast.

1980 Herbert Ross directs Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures , which opens at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The play about a screenwriter and his distant daughter stars Dinah Manoff, Joyce Van Patten and Ron Leibman.

2000 The sound of 76 trombones blares on Broadway when Susan Stroman's revival of Meredith Willson's The Music Man begins performances at the Neil Simon Theatre. The well-received revival will open April 27, stars Craig Bierko and Rebecca Luker, and settle in for a 699-performance run.

2005 Nearly 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare is a hit on Broadway yet again with a little help from Denzel Washington, who stars as Brutus in Julius Caesar.

2008 The first-ever Broadway revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's South Pacific opens at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont. Kelli O'Hara and Brazilian opera singer Paulo Szot are the lovers who "meet across a crowded room" in the new production directed by Bartlett Sher. Unbilled co-star is the 30-piece orchestra, one of the largest on Broadway.

2013 Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents the world premiere of Jonathan Tolins' Buyer & Cellar, starring Michael Urie as an out-of-work actor who lands a gig working in Barbra Streisand's basement. The production will prove to be a hit, and later transfer to the Barrow Street Theatre for an open-ended run.

More of Today's Birthdays: Leslie Howard 1893. Sherman Edwards 1919. Stan Freeman 1920. Jan Sterling 1921. Marsha Mason 1942. Alec Baldwin 1958. David Hyde Pierce 1959.