PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MARCH 29

By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley, Ernio Hernandez and Robert Viagas
March 29, 2014

1950 Joshua Logan transports the action of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard to 19th century Louisiana for his adaptation, The Wisteria Trees. It will run 165 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.



1951 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's The King and I dances into the St. James Theatre in New York. An English governess (Gertrude Lawrence) is hired to tutor the prince and princesses of Siam, but also finds a willing student and friend in the King (Yul Brynner). Jerome Robbins choreographs. There will be 1,246 performances.

1956 Mister Johnson is Earle Hyman, playing a Nigerian uncomfortable with the imposed British culture. Norman Rosten adapts Joyce Cary's novel. It will run 44 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.

1966 It's a Bird…It's a Plane...It's Superman soars slightly at the Alvin Theatre in New York. There will be just 129 performances of this David Newman, Robert Benton, Lee Adams, Charles Strouse musical. Bob Holiday wears the cape, Patricia Marand is Lois. Harold Prince stages.

1976 Samuel Beckett directs his play Waiting for Godot in German, with actors from Berlin's Schiller Theatre. They appear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

1981 John Kander and Fred Ebb turn the Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr. film, "Woman of the Year," starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, into a musical. #Woman of the Year opens at the Palace Theatre and stars Lauren Bacall and Harry Guardino.

1984 Dustin Hoffman plays Willy Loman in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, opposite John Malkovich as Biff. The production will run 97 performances and produce a minor scandal when the much-praised Hoffman fails to earn a Tony nomination for his performance.

1992 Herb Gardner's drama of a son's feelings about his harsh Jewish father opens on Broadway at the Royale Theatre. Conversations With My Father stars Tony Shalhoub, Judd Hirsch and David Margulies. It will close nearly a year later on Mar 14, 1993.

2001 The Invention of Love, Tom Stoppard's drama about British poet A.E. Housman, opens on Broadway, with Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton playing the poet at different ages.

2004 Actors' Equity Association celebrates its 90th anniversary with a bash at The Players Club.

2009 Tovah Feldshuh plays a Polish woman who hides a group of Jews from the Nazis during World War II in a transfer of the Off-Broadway hit, Irena's Vow. Directed by Michael Parva, Dan Gordon's play opens on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

2012 The musical Newsies, based on the 1992 Disney film, opens on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. Jeremy Jordan stars as Jack Kelly, the charismatic newsboy who leads a strike against newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The production will win Tony Awards for Alan Menken and Jack Feldman's score, and for Christopher Gattelli's choreography.

Today's Birthdays: Lawrence Grossmith 1877. Derek Oldham 1887. Howard Lindsay 1889. Pearl Bailey 1918. Eileen Heckart 1919. Eric Idle 1943. Megan Hilty 1981.