1920 Birthday of Nanette Fabray, star of Broadway musicals High Button Shoes, Love Life (Tony Award), Arms and the Girl, and Mr. President.
1925 Birthday of Jane Connell, star of smart 1950s revues with her husband, Gordon Connell; later a reliable and beloved character actor in Broadway musicals including Mame (as Agnes Gooch), Dear World, Me and My Girl, and Crazy for You.
1952 The first (and unsuccessful) attempt to turn Giuseppe Verdi's Aida into a Broadway musical. Called My Darlin' Aida, the production is directed by Charles Friedman, who also supplied lyrics for Verdi's music. The show runs 89 performances at the Winter Garden. A more successful adaption comes along in 2000.
1954 Kim Stanley gets her first star billing in Horton Foote's drama, The Traveling Lady, as it opens at the Playhouse Theatre.
1962 The British revue opening at the John Golden Theatre is definitely Beyond the Fringe. It runs 673 performances and stars Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Alan Bennett, operating on the periphery of all things normal and straitlaced.
1964 Robert Preston returns to Broadway in the title role of Ben Franklin in Paris, with a score by Mark Sandrich, Jr. and Sidney Michaels. It runs 215 performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
1992 John Leguizamo's second major solo show, Spic-O-Rama, opens at the Westside Theatre. His first show, Mambo Mouth, opened in 1991 and won him an Obie Award. The new show, in which he looks at his family from a childhood perspective, runs 80 performances.
1995 The Public Theater is host for a show that recounts African-American history through a tap dance revue. George C. Wolfe directs Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk in its pre-Broadway run downtown at the Public's Newman Theater. The show, conceived and choreographed by "tap dance kid" Savion Glover, transfers to Broadway's Ambassador Theatre in April 1996, where it wins a Tony Award for Best Choreography, and is nominated for Best Musical.
2005 The Producers co-stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick re-team for a revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, which sells out its limited run and an extension.
2011 David Henry Hwang's Chinglish, a comedy about an Ohio businessman selling his goods in China—where there is mutual misunderstanding of language and business etiquette—opens on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre. The play, performed in English and Mandarin (with projected English supertitles), stars Jennifer Lim and Gary Wilmes.
2013 Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Rafe Spall star in a Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Mike Nichols directs the 14-week limited engagement.
2015 Annaleigh Ashford returns to Broadway as an outspoken pooch in A.R. Gurney's comedy Sylvia, opening at the Cort Theatre. The cast also includes Matthew Broderick, Julie White, and Robert Sella. It runs for 79 performances.
2016 A Broadway revival of William Finn and James Lapine's musical Falsettos opens at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, and Andrew Rannells star in the production directed by Lapine, who also directed the show's 1992 original Broadway run.
2019 Beautiful—The Carole King Musical, which opened on Broadway January 12, 2014, plays its final performance at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Upon closing, the musical charting the success of singer-songwriter Carole King played 60 previews and 2,418 regular performances, surpassing the original production of Annie and the 1998 revival of Cabaret to become the 27th longest-running musical in Broadway history.
More of Today's Birthdays: Dylan Thomas (1914-1953). Ruby Dee (1922-2014). John Cleese (b. 1939). Elena Roger (b. 1974). Allie Trimm (b. 1994).