Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 5

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 5
 
Girl From the North Country becomes the final Broadway show to open before theatres are closed in 2020.
Matt McGrath, Mare Winningham, and Todd Almond in <i>Girl From the North Country</i>
Matt McGrath, Mare Winningham, and Todd Almond in Girl From the North Country Matthew Murphy

1908 Actor Rex Harrison is born. He makes his London debut in Florence Kilpatrick's Getting George Married, and later stars in the London production of Noël Coward's Design for Living. Among his numerous productions in London and on Broadway, he is best known for his portrayal of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.

1948 Birthday of British musical comedy star Elaine Paige, who creates roles in the original London productions of Evita, Chess, and Cats.

1969 What the Butler Saw stands exposed at the Queen's Theatre in London. Joe Orton's black comedy stars Ralph Richardson and Coral Browne. It runs 101 performances.

1974 John Gielgud is Prospero in the National Theatre production of The Tempest . Peter Hall directs the production at London's Old Vic.

1978 Carol Channing reprises the role of Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, which she originated in 1964, in a revival of Hello, Dolly! at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. She reprises the role once again at the same theatre 17 years later.

1981 Charles Strouse, Lee Adams, and Michael Stewart revisit the characters from their hit musical Bye Bye Birdie with the sequel Bring Back Birdie, opening at the Martin Beck Theatre. Despite the return of Chita Rivera in the role of Rose, the show fails to live up to its predecessor, and closes after 4 performances.

1989 Hizzoner!, starring Tony Lo Bianco as New York mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, closes faster than burlesque. After opening February 24, Paul Shyre's monodrama closes after 12 performances.

1991 At the Westside Arts Theatre Off-Broadway, some budding talent emerges at the opening of And the World Goes 'Round, a musical revue featuring the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. The production was conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman, and David Thompson, and stars Robert Cuccioli, Karen Mason, and Karen Ziemba.

2004 London stage star Elaine Paige makes a rare New York appearance, playing Mrs. Lovett in the New York City Opera production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd opposite Mark Delavan.

2012 Jane Alexander is the enigmatic title character in Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque, the inaugural production at the Pershing Square Signature Center's End Stage Theatre. David Esbjornson directs the production, which also stars Laila Robins, Michael Hayden, and Peter Francis James.

2013 The West End premiere of Peter Morgan's The Audience, starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, opens at the Gielgud Theatre. Stephen Daldry directs the play, which imagines a series of pivotal meetings between Her Majesty the Queen and various prime ministers. The production transfers to Broadway two years later.

2015 Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David's dysfunctional family comedy Fish in the Dark opens on Broadway at the Cort Theatre. David also stars in the play, opposite Rita Wilson, Jayne Houdyshell, Rosie Perez, and Marylouise Burke.

2019 The world premiere of "Daddy" by Jeremy O. Harris opens at the Pershing Square Signature Center. With direction by Danya Taymor, the new drama is an exploration of intimacy and identity in which Basquiats, gospel, and fantasy collide around a Bel Air swimming pool. Leading the cast are Ronald Peet, Alan Cumming, and Charlayne Woodard, alongside Carrie Compere, Tommy Dorfman, Kahyun Kim, Denise Manning, Hari Nef, and Onyie Nwachukwu.

2020 The Broadway premiere of the Conor McPherson-Bob Dylan musical Girl From the North Country opens at the Belasco Theatre. Featuring a book and direction by McPherson, the Great Depression-era set musical offers a slice-of-life look at a small community in Duluth, Minnesota, where the Laine family operates a rundown guesthouse. The company includes Tony nominees Marc Kudisch and Mare Winningham, along with Todd Almond, Jeannette Bayardelle, Matthew Frederick Harris, Caitlin Houlahan, Robert Joy, Luba Mason, Ben Mayne, Tom Nelis, Colton Ryan, John Schiappa, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, Rachel Stern, Chelsea Lee Williams, Jay O. Sanders, Austin Scott, and Matt McGrath.

More of Today's Birthdays Jack Cassidy (1927-1976). Warner LeRoy (1935-2001). Charles Fuller (b. 1939). Alain Boublil (b. 1941). Michael Gore (b. 1951). Penn Jillette (b. 1955).

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