Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 3 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 3

In 2005, Norbert Leo Butz, John Lithgow, and Sherie Rene Scott star in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway.

Norbert Leo Butz, John Lithgow, and Sherie Rene Scott in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Carol Rosegg

1930 Bert Lahr is a Flying High mechanic who breaks an aeronautical record because he doesn't know how to land the plane. The writing team of Buddy DeSylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson provide the lyrics and the score. Kate Smith plays Lahr's love interest.

1947 John Gielgud stages and stars as John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. Oscar Wilde's comedy runs at the Royale Theatre in New York for 10 weeks.

1959 Noël Coward asks for someone to Look After Lulu at Henry Miller's Theatre in New York. The show, based on Georges Feydeau's Occupe-toi d'Amélie and starring Tammy Grimes, runs for five weeks. 

1966 James Goldman's The Lion in Winter opens on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre. Robert Preston stars as King Henry II opposite Rosemary Harris as his wife, Eleanor. Despite only playing 92 performances, Harris wins a Tony Award for her performance. Two years later, Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn star in a film adaptation, which wins Hepburn an Academy Award for Best Actress (tying with Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl), as well as Best Adapted Screenplay for Goldman.

1973 American theatrical producer Richard Halliday dies at age 68. He was coproducer of the Broadway productions of Peter Pan, The Sound of Music, and Jennie, all starring his wife Mary Martin.

1987 David Daniel Kaminsky, known to Broadway and film audiences as Danny Kaye, dies of a heart attack in California. He made his Broadway debut in 1939 in the The Straw Hat Revue, but his 11-minute part in the 1940 musical Lady in the Dark, in which he sang the names of 54 Russian composers in 38 seconds, brought him acclaim that led to years in film. He returned to Broadway in 1970 in Two by Two, despite an injury that forced him to use crutches or a wheelchair.

1994 Bebe Neuwirth gets whatever she wants as Lola in a revival of Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, and George Abbott's musical Damn Yankees. The production opens on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre and features Victor Garber as the devilish Mr. Applegate, later to be replaced by Jerry Lewis.

2002 Jason Robert Brown's semi-autobiographical musical The Last Five Years opens Off-Broadway. Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz play an actor and a novelist, respectively, in the midst of a breakup.

2005 Opening night for the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which stars John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz, Sherie Rene Scott, Joanna Gleason, and Gregory Jbara, with a score by David Yazbek. The show is nominated for several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score, and wins for Best Actor in a Musical (Butz).

2010 The first Broadway revival of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker opens at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Abigail Breslin and Alison Pill star as Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Despite positive reviews for the two leads, the production closes after 38 performances.

2011 Good People, David Lindsay-Abaire's humor-laced drama about a paycheck-to-paycheck single mom reaching out to a now successful old flame, opens on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The production stars Frances McDormand, who wins a Tony Award for her performance.

2013 A classic fairytale gets a happy ending as Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Cinderella opens at the Broadway Theatre, more than 50 years after it premiered on black-and-white television screens in 1957. The staging, which features a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana.

Today's Birthdays: Edna Best (1900-1974). Canada Lee (1907-1952). Jay Presson Allen (1922-2006). Barney Martin (1923-2005). Larry Pine (b. 1945). Ron Chernow (b. 1949). Karole Armitage (b. 1954). Mylinda Hull (b. 1970). Jack Davenport (b. 1973). Paulette Ivory (b. 1976). Matthew James Thomas (b. 1988). 

Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana and Victoria Clark Star in Cinderella

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