Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 22

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 22
 
Happy birthday to Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber

1912 Karl Malden is born in Chicago, Illinois. He appears in numerous Broadway productions, most memorably as Mitch in the original A Streetcar Named Desire.

1923 Shhhh! Marcel Marceau is born in Strasbourg, France.

1930 It's the first day "Being Alive" for composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. The songwriter of Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Sunday in the Park With George, and lyricist of West Side Story and Gypsy is in good Company—Andrew Lloyd Webber shares the same birthdate (see below).

1948 Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is born. Officially dubbed "Lord Lloyd Webber" by Queen Elizabeth, the composer's recent shows include Love Never Dies, Stephen Ward, and School of Rock.

1962 Barbra Streisand and Elliott Gould star in I Can Get It For You Wholesale at the Shubert Theatre in New York. Jerome Weidman adapts his own book with songs by Harold Rome. Arthur Laurents stages.

1973 Check into The Hot L Baltimore and you might be sitting in the lobby with Judd Hirsch. The Circle Theatre Company first produced Lanford Wilson's drama in a hotel lobby before moving it to the Circle in the Square. Marshall Mason directs for a run of 1,166 performances.

1987 Mark Hamill puts down the light saber picks up some biting one-liners in this Larry Shue comedy The Nerd, which opens at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Hamill plays Willum who invites the man who saved his life to his birthday party—only to discover he isn't such a welcome guest. Robert Joy, Peter Reigert, and Patricia Kalember co-star.

1990 John Steinbeck's contemporary classic novel is turned into a stage play as The Grapes of Wrath opens at the Cort Theatre. The Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of Frank Galati's adaptation stars Terry Kinney and Gary Sinise.

1992 Judd Hirsch and Tony Shalhoub star in Conversations With My Father at the Royale Theatre. The play by Herb Gardner follows novelist Charlie as remembers the relationship with his dad, Eddie. Daniel Sullivan directs.

1997 A Prince turns to a King as Tony winner Faith Prince joins the cast of the revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's The King and I at the Neil Simon Theatre. She replaces Donna Murphy as the woman who steals the heart of Lou Diamond Phillips.

2000 The Off-Broadway premiere of Kenneth Longergan's The Waverly Gallery opens at Second Stage's Promenade Theatre. Directed by Scott Ellis, the play starred Eileen Heckart, Josh Hamilton, Maureen Anderman, Anthony Arkin, and Mark Blum.

2005 A revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, starring Jessica Lange. Joining her on stage in the David Leveaux-directed production are Sarah Paulson, Josh Lucas, and Christian Slater.

2007 The Broadway murder mystery musical Curtains opens at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre with a score by Kander and Ebb and a book by Rupert Holmes, who provides additional lyrics. Starring David Hyde Pierce, the show follows police detective and theatre fan Frank Cioffi as he investigates the murder of a leading lady during her opening-night curtain call. Directed by Scott Ellis with choreography by Rob Ashford, the musical also stars Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba, Jason Daniely, Jill Paice, and Edward Hibbert

2009 Following a critically acclaimed London run, Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage opens on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Directed by Matthew Warchus, the play stars James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis as the increasingly belligerent parents of two boys involved in a playground fight. The production wins three Tony Awards, including one for Best Play.

2011 Ghetto Klown, a solo show conceived by and starring John Leguizamo, opens at the Lyceum Theatre. The show takes audiences "from Leguizamo's childhood memories in Queens to the early days of his acting career in the 1980s avant-garde theatre scene, and on to the sets of major motion pictures."

2012 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock oratorio Jesus Christ Superstar gets a 21st-century makeover from Tony-winning director Des McAnuff in the critically acclaimed Stratford Shakespeare Festival production, which opens on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre. Paul Nolan stars as Jesus Christ, opposite Josh Young's Judas.

2016 The world premiere of Sarah Burgess' Dry Powder, helmed by Hamilton director Thomas Kail, officially opens Off-Broadway at The Public Theater. The starry cast features Claire Danes, Hank Azaria, Sanjit De Silva, and John Krasinski.

2018 Disney's Frozen makes the leap from screen to Broadway as it opens at the St. James Theatre. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin star as royal sisters Elsa and Anna. Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez supplement their songs from the original animated film, including the Oscar-winning "Let It Go", with a dozen new tunes.

More of Today's Birthdays: Vivian Beaumont Allen (1885-1962), Joseph Schildkraut (1896-1964), Ruth Page (1899-1991), Sophie Maslow (1911-2006), Karl Malden (1912-2009), Bill Johnson (1916-1957), Paul Rogers (1917-2013), Werner Klemperer (1920–2000), William Shatner (b.1931), Richard Easton (1933-2019), Tommy Hollis (1954-2001), Stephanie Mills (b. 1957), Matt Bogart (b. 1971), Christopher Wheeldon (b. 1973)

Watch Lindsay Mendez sing a mashup of "You Must Love Me" from Evita and "Children Will Listen" from Into the Woods in honor of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim's shared birthday:

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