Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 8

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 8
Helen Mirren in The Audience.
Helen Mirren in The Audience. Joan Marcus

1920 Ziegfeld Girls of 1920 enjoys a 78-performance run at the New Amsterdam Roof Theatre. This revue boasts the talents of Fanny Brice and W.C. Fields.

1932 Bert Lahr and Lupe Velez star in Hot-Cha! a musical by Mark Hellinger, Ray Henderson, and Lew Brown. It runs 119 performances at the Ziegfeld Theatre. It's the last original musical produced by impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, who dies four months later.

1941 American novelist and playwright Sherwood Anderson dies in Panama. Two of his best known works are Winesburg, Ohio and Triumph of the Egg. He was 65 years old.

1960 In the year Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho opens, star Anthony Perkins returns to the stage to make his musical debut in Frank Loesser's Greenwillow. The production runs 97 performances at Broadway's Alvin Theatre.

1961 Jean Kerr's comedy Mary, Mary opens at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Barbara Bel Geddes and Barry Nelson star as a divorced couple who are forced to spend the night together because of a snowstorm. It runs 1,572 performances, overlapping with a 1963 film adaptation that stars Nelson opposite Debbie Reynolds.

1999 Everybody's Ruby, Thulani Davis' drama based on a true murder and the writer, Zora Neale Hurston, who covered the trial, opens at the Joseph Papp Public/Anspacher Theater. Phylicia Rashad stars, with staging by Kenny Leon.

1999 Don't be afraid... Night Must Fall. Or maybe you should be. Matthew Broderick stars as Danny, smiling and sinister, in the revival of Emlyn Williams's 1936 thriller. Judy Parfitt and J. Smith-Cameron co-star. John Tillinger directs at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre.

2009 Anna Manahan, the Tony winning Irish actor who played the monstrous mother Mag in Broadway's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, dies at age 84.

2015 Peter Morgan's The Audience, starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in imagined meetings with each of her Prime Ministers, opens on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Mirren wins a Tony Award for her performance, as does Richard McCabe for his performance as Harold Wilson.

2016 Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick's musical Disaster!, a parody of 1970's disaster movies, opens on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. The cast includes Roger Bart, Kerry Butler, Kevin Chamberlin, Adam Pascal, Faith Prince, Rachel York, and Jennifer Simard. It runs 72 performances, and earns Simard a Tony nomination for her performance.

Today's Birthdays: Eileen Herlie 1918. Cyd Charisse 1922. Paul Shyre 1929. David Cryer 1936. Lynn Redgrave 1943. Carole Bayer Sager 1947. Ashley Spencer 1985.

Watch highlights from Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick's 2016 Broadway musical Disaster!:

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