1776 Birthday of E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), whose stories form the basis of the ballets Coppelia and The Nutcracker.
1905 Opening night of Buster Brown, based on Richard F. Outcault's comic strip about a kid and his dog. It runs 95 performances at the old Majestic Theatre.
1933 U.S. premiere of Noël Coward's Design for Living, in which he co-stars with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Depression-era audiences are scandalized and titillated by the story of a menage a trois. It runs 135 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
2000 Cherry Jones and Gabriel Byrne star in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, to be followed by a run at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theater. The production receives four 2000 Tony Award nominations and one win for Roy Dotrice (Best Featured Actor in a Play).
2008 S. Epatha Merkerson plays a woman trying to cope with loneliness, longing, and an alcoholic husband (Kevin Anderson) in a revival of William Inge's 1950 drama Come Back, Little Sheba at the Biltmore Theatre.
More of Today's Birthdays: Pierre Augustin Beaumarchais 1732. Estelle Winwood 1883. Vicki Baum 1888. Ernest Borgnine 1917. Donald Saddler 1918. Helen Stenborg 1925. Maria Tallchief 1925. Carrie Coon 1981.