Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 6 | Playbill

Playbill Vault Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: March 6

Happy birthday to Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz.

Stephen Schwartz Marc J. Franklin

1933 Maxwell Anderson indicts Both Your Houses, a political story at the Royale Theatre. Morris Carnovsky is in the cast of the Theatre Guild production. The play wins the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

1940 Ernest Hemingway details the Spanish Civil War in The Fifth Column. The Theatre Guild production re-worked by Benjamin Glazer stars Franchot Tone and Katherine Locke.

1948 Composer Stephen Schwartz is born in New York. He writes music and lyrics for Broadway musicals including Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked. He also writes the songs for the animated film The Prince of Egypt, and lyrics to Alan Menken's music for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas.

1962 There was vaudeville, but This Was Burlesque. Ann Corio stars in the revue, which runs Off-Broadway for over 1,500 performances.

1969 The morality of the creation of the hydrogen bomb is explored in Heinar Kipphardt's In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, opening at the Vivian Beaumont Theater for a run of 162 performances. The cast includes Joseph Wiseman, Philip Bosco, Herbert Berghof, and Paul Rudd.

1974 The two surviving members of the Andrews Sisters, Patty Andrews and Maxene Andrews, are featured in Over Here!, a musical set in the world of USO shows during World War II. The supporting cast includes future stars John Travolta, Janie Sell, Ann Reinking, Treat Williams, and Samuel E. Wright.

1978 Brian Clark ponders Whose Life Is It, Anyway? His drama stars Tom Conti as a paralyzed man eager to end his life. After a run at London's Mermaid Theatre, it transfers to the Savoy for a run of 672 performances. The following year, Conti wins a Tony for the role on Broadway. A return engagement in 1980 changes the lead character's gender for Mary Tyler Moore.

1978 Micheal MacLiammoir dies. Co-founder of Dublin's Gate Theatre, he is remembered as an actor, director, designer, and playwright. He employed a young Orson Welles who had traveled to Ireland. He later appeared as Iago in Welles' film version of Othello.

1983 The "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet comes to life once more as the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical On Your Toes is revived on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. The revival outruns its predecessor to play 505 performances.

1989 "Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find he's been turned into a giant cockroach." It was a punchline in The Producers, but Franz Kafka's story Metamorphosis becomes an actual Broadway drama, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov as Gregor. It runs 96 performances at the Barrymore Theatre.

1993 Jeffrey, Paul Rudnick's "AIDS comedy," as one reviewer calls it, opens Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre. It stars John Michael Higgins, and runs through January 16, 1994.

2002 One Mo' Time, one of the longest-running Off-Broadway revues of the 1980s, opens on Broadway, but does not enjoy a repeat of its success. It closes after a month's run.

2003 From Britain's National Theatre comes Vincent in Brixton, a portrait of artist Vincent Van Gogh as a young man (Jochum ten Haaf), struggling to support himself as an art dealer, falling in love with an older woman (Clare Higgins), and absorbing images that he will someday turn into masterpieces.

2008 Debbie Allen's all-black revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring Anika Noni Rose as Maggie and James Earl Jones as Big Daddy, opens at the Broadhurst Theatre. The production also features Phylicia Rashad as Big Mama and Terrence Howard as Brick.

2011 A Broadway revival of Jason Miller's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning 1972 drama That Championship Season opens on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Noth, Jason Patric (whose late father wrote the play), and Kiefer Sutherland star in the Scranton, Pennsylvania-set drama about a team of high school basketball players who reunite to hash out the past on the anniversary of their winning game.

2014 Robert Schenkkan's political drama All the Way, starring Bryan Cranston as U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, opens on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre. It wins Tony Awards for Best Play, and for Cranston's performance.

2016 Lupita Nyong'o makes her Broadway debut in Danai Gurira's Eclipsed, about a group of women being held captive in the African nation of Liberia. The production was first seen Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2015.

Today's Birthdays: Oscar Strauss (1870-1954). Ring Lardner (1885-1933). Lou Costello (1906-1959). Ella Logan (1910-1969). Shuler Hensley (b. 1967).

Look Back at the Musicals of Stephen Schwartz

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