Playbill Vault’s Today in Theater History: March 19

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1872 Birthday of singer and actress Anna Held, future wife of Florenz Ziegfeld, and classic sexy French flirt of her time. She performs this role in a series of musical vehicles, including The Doll, The French Maid, Mam’selle Napoleon, The Parisian Mannequinand Miss Innocence.

1901 Birthday of a revolutionary scenographer Jo Mielziner who won five Tony Awards for his designs, which include sets for original productions of Death of a seller, guys and dolls, A tram called Désir, South Pacific, The king and me, Gypsy, 1776and dozens of others.

1915 Patricia Morisson was born in New York. In 1948, she played with alfred drake in the original production of Kiss me, Kate. Her father is actor and playwright William Morrison.

1931 Charles CochranProducer Cochran’s 1931 Review has a book and music designed by Cowardly Christmas. He treads the boards of the Pavillion Theater in London. Bobby Clark, Melville Cooperand Ada Mai are in the cast.

1953 Jo Van Fleet and Martin Baume are two of the inhabitants of Real Path. Tennessee Williams‘ drama only lasts seven weeks at the National Theater in New York.

1962 Ray Bolger musical comedy stars all americanwith a score of Charles Strouse and Lee Adamsand booklet of Mel Brooks. It holds 80 performances and features the song “Once Upon a Time”.

1998 Proving that everything old can become very new again, Cabaret transforms Henry Miller’s Theater into the Kit Kat Club. Directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshallthe revival opens tonight with Natasha Richardson, Ron Rifkin, Marie-Louise Wilsonand Alan Cumming. He won four Tony Awards, including Best Cover of a Musical. The production later moved to Studio 54, where it saw several big stars such as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Marie McCormackand Susan Egan play the role of Sally Bowles. It ran for 2,377 performances, making it one of the few Broadway revivals to last longer than the original.

2000 A new staging of Eugene O’Neillit’s A Moon for the Wickedfeaturing Cherry Jones and Gabriel Byrne, opens at the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway. The revival and its stars earn Tony nominations, and Roy Dotrice wins for featured actor in a play.

2002 british actor Henry Goodman takes on one of Broadway’s most coveted roles: Max Bialystock in the musical The producers. But it only lasts about a month, to be summarily replaced by a lining Brad Oscar.

2003 R-Rated Puppet Musical Opening Night Avenue Qby Robert Lopez, jeff marxand Jeff Whittyat Off Broadway Vineyard Theater. It moved to Broadway a few months later and won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical.

2008 Paul Scofieldwhose sonorous voice, commanding presence and sadly dignified demeanor made him one of the leading figures on the London and international stage during the second half of the 20th century, dies aged 86. He is perhaps best known for originating the role of Sir Thomas More in Robert Boulonthe story game A man for all seasons.

2009 A revival of Arthur LaurentsLeonard BernsteinStephen Sondheim musical West Side Story opens on Broadway at the Palace Theatre. Directed by librettist Laurents, the staging weaves Spanish into the book and songs, with “I Feel Pretty” and “A Boy Like That” delivered entirely in Spanish. The translations are written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

2015 Elisabeth Moss stars in Wendy Wasserstein’s first Broadway revival The Heidi Chronicles, opening at the Music Box Theatre. The production only had 53 performances.

More birthdays from today: Mables Mabley (1894-1975). Hugh Wheeler (1912-1987). Phyllis Newman (1933-2019). Renee Taylor (born in 1933). Glenn Close (born in 1947). Maria Friedman (born in 1960). Neil La Bute (born in 1963).

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