Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: March 4

playbill-vault’s-today-in-theatre-history:-march-4

In 1993, Martin Short and Bernadette Peters star in the musical The Goodbye Girl.

1922 Eugene O’Neill‘s drama The First Man describes the strange tale of a scientist who curses the unborn child in his wife’s womb. The wife dies in childbirth and the child thrives. Augustin Duncan stages and stars. There are 27 performances at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

1933 Jimmy Durante and Lupe Velez star in the musical revue Strike Me Pink, which opens a 105-performance run at the Majestic Theatre. The show has music and lyrics by Lew Brown and Ray Henderson. Three years later, Eddie Cantor and Ethel Merman star in a film adaptation that replaces the stage songs with new ones written by Lew Brown and Harold Arlen.

1952 The Vortex by Noël Coward is revived at London’s Lyric, Hammersmith. Among the cast are Adrianne Allen, Isabel Jeans, and Dirk Bogarde.

1969 Guess there wasn’t a right way to fix The Wrong Way Light Bulb, opening tonight. The play by Leonard Spigelgass closes at the John Golden Theatre after only seven performances. James Patterson, Barnard Hughes, Miriam Colon, and Claudia McNeil star.

1993 Marvin Hamlisch and David Zippel team up to create The Goodbye Girl, which opens at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre. The musical, based on the 1977 Neil Simon screenplay, stars Martin Short and Bernadette Peters. Six years later, Peters opens at the same theatre with…

1999 …a revival of Annie Get Your Gun, which hits the Broadway bullseye. Bernadette Peters stars with Tom Wopat in the Irving Berlin musical, directed by Graciela Daniele. The show’s original book, written by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields, is updated by Peter Stone, with the politically incorrect songs “I’m An Indian, Too” and “I’m A Bad, Bad Man” excised.

2002 Mary Zimmerman‘s Metamorphoses, based on Ovid‘s tales, makes a splash on Broadway at its opening night, performed in and around a pool of water that takes up most of the stage at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Zimmerman wins a Tony Award for her direction.

2004 The musical Mamma Mia! celebrates its 1,000th performance on Broadway. Days later the show’s cast album is certified platinum.

2010 The world-premiere of Martin McDonagh‘s A Behanding in Spokane opens on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Christopher Walken, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, and Sam Rockwell star in the play about a man who has been searching for his lost hand for more than 40 years.

2016 Carnegie Hall presents a large-scale revival of West Side Story at the Knockdown Center, a restored 50,000-square-foot factory located in Queens. The production features a cast of nearly 50, and a 200-person chorus. Skylar Astin stars as Tony, opposite Morgan Hernandez as Maria.

Today’s Birthdays: Robert Emmett Keane (1883–1981). John Garfield (1913–1952). Keith Charles (1934–2008). Paula Prentiss (1939–2010). Romain Frugé (b. 1959). Steven Weber (b. 1961). Laura Michelle Kelly (b. 1981). Lilli Cooper (b. 1991).

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