Today's Birthdays 10/12

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthdays 10/12#0
Posted: 10/12/03 at 8:43pm
Perle Mesta (Skirvin) 10/12/1891 - 3/16/1975
socialite: ‘The hostess with the mostes’; diplomat: appointment as U.S. envoy to Luxembourg [1949] inspired Broadway play Call Me Madam; died Mar 16, 1975

Luciano Pavarotti 10j/12/1935 opera tenor, Emmy Award-winning opera star: Pavarotti in Philadelphia: La Boheme [1982-1983]; actor: Yes, Giorgio

Sally Murphy 10/12/1962 performer - THE GRAPES OF WRATH (Gary Sinise); 1994 CAROUSEL; THE WILD PARTY (Toni Collette, Eartha Kitt, Marc Kudisch, Tonya Pinkins, Mandy Patinkin, Norm Lewis, by Michael John LaChiusa)

Hugh Jackman 10/12/1968 performer, husband of Deborra-Lee Furness (1996 - present) - THE BOY FROM OZ; OKLAHOMA; film's X-Men, KATE & LEOPOLD


1935 Cole Porter and Moss Hart join forces for the musical Jubilee, about British royalty. It runs 169 performances at the Imperial Theatre, with Mary Boland and Margaret Adams.

1950 The Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam opens tonight at the Imperial Theatre. With Ethel Merman being the primary basis for pushing this show (which, maybe having something to do with her, had huge advance sales), Walter Winchell announced that "They ought to call it 'Call Me Merman'!" The show's story is suggested by the appointment of Washington hostess Perle Mesta as Ambassadress to Luxembourg. Merman's co-stars for this production included Paul Lukas, Alan Hewitt, Russell Nype, and Galina Talva. The show ran for 644 performances.

Let It Ride 10/12/1961 - George Goeble, Sally Kirk

1964 James Earl Jones is once again in the spotlight tonight playing the title character in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Othello. The show is at the Martinique Theatre, where it will rack up 224 performances.

1965 Brilliant and tortured British farceur Joe Orton makes his Broadway debut today with Entertaining Mr. Sloan at the Lyceum Theatre.

1971 "What's the buzz?/Tell me what's happening" is heard for the first time on Broadway tonight, as all the buzz is focused on fairly unknown Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. The show, based on the platinum-selling album, opens tonight at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. Tonight's stars for this original Broadway production include Ben Vereen, Jeff Fenholt and Yvonne Elliman. Before the show opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, some 2.5 million copies of the album were sold to the curious. The Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Weber collaboration would become a big hit. Jesus Christ Superstar would run on Broadway for 720 shows, and spawn several hit songs, including I Don’t Know How to Love Him (Helen Reddy) and the title song, Jesus Christ Superstar (Murray Head).

1995 The one-diva show, Patti LuPone on Broadway, opens tonight at the Walter Kerr. John McDaniel, later known for musical direction on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," was in charge of musical arrangement for this production. The show will run 46 performances.

1999 A woman struggles to gain back her memory amidst a bizarre group of friends, enemies and family in David Lindsay-Abaire's Fuddy Meers, which begins today at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II. J. Smith-Cameron stars in the world-premiere comedy, directed by David Petrarca, with an original musical score by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown.


1870 Gen. Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63, decendant of Light Horse Harry, signer of the Declaration of Independence

1950 - The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show made its debut on CBS-TV. Burns and Allen had been on the radio since 1935. The TV show ran through Sep 22, 1958, featuring the real-life married couple at home. George played on-screen host/narrator and straight man for Gracie’s scatterbrained (but hillarious) schemes.

1986 - It cost $100 a seat. It featured refreshments and food. It ran for 8.5 hours. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby closed on Broadway this day. Incidentally, those who saw it may remember that there were potty breaks scheduled, so the audience wouldn’t miss one thrilling moment...

(sources: IBDB, NYT's ON THIS DAY,’s Those Were The Days,

Updated On: 10/12/03 at 08:43 PM