1891 Birthday of composer Cole Porter (1891-1964), whose witty, urbane songs grace five decades of musicals, including Anything Goes, Can-Can, Gay Divorce, Silk Stockings, and his greatest hit, Kiss Me, Kate.
1893 Popular and prolific playwright and producer S. N. Behrman (1893-1973) is born. Among his plays are Amphitryon 38, Jacobowsky and the Colonel, No Time for Comedy, and the book to the musical Fanny. As a principal in The Playwrights' Company, he co-produced many works by his fellow authors from 1938 to 1963.
1923 Birthday of producer Lore Noto (1923-2002), whose Off-Broadway show, The Failures, closed after one performance, but whose next show, The Fantasticks, would become the longest-running musical ever—nearly 42 years, during which Noto occasionally took the stage as one of the actors. His only subsequent production, Broadway's The Yearling, closed after just 3 performances. He died six months after The Fantasticks closed.
1974 Theatrical legend Katharine Cornell dies at age 81. She appeared with the Washington Square Players as early as 1917. Her career spanned the next forty years. She toured the country with her husband, director Guthrie McClintic. Among the actors to whom she gave early career boosts were Orson Welles and Marlon Brando.
1977 Joseph Papp announces that the New York Shakespeare Festival will leave Lincoln Center, where it has been the resident production company at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre for four years. Papp has not been happy with the artistic and financial restrictions under which he had been operating. His new address is 425 Lafayette Street.
1991 Elaine May concludes the Lincoln Center Theater season with her Mr. Gogol and Mr. Preen, opening at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Mike Nussbaum stars opposite William H. Macy in the play about a disheveled intellectual recluse who meets a pushy vacuum salesman.
2000 Perhaps you shouldn't say the infamous "Scottish Play" on Broadway. William Shakespeare's Macbeth begins previews at the Music Box Theatre, and runs only 8 previews and 13 performances before closing June 25. The production stars Frasier's Kelsey Grammer and also features Diane Venora, Michael Gross, and Kate Forbes.