1891 Birthday of composer Cole Porter, 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 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-produces many works by his fellow authors from 1938 to 1963.
1923 Birthday of producer Lore Noto, whose Off-Broadway show, The Failures, closes after one performance, but whose next show, The Fantasticks, becomes the longest-running musical ever—nearly 42 years, during which Noto occasionally takes the stage as one of the actors. His only subsequent production, Broadway's The Yearling, closes after just three performances.
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 Theater 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.
2003 Lincoln Center Theater's world premiere of Jules Feiffer's new play, A Bad Friend, opens at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. Larry Bryggman, Mark Feuerstein, Jonathan Hadary, David Harbour, Jan Maxwell, and Kala Savage make up the cast. Jerry Zaks directs.
2005 Neil Patrick Harris stars in London's Menier Chocolate Factory production of the late Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! Scott Schwartz directs a cast that also includes Cassidy Janson and Tee Jaye.
2005 An all-star concert production of South Pacific is presented at Carnegie Hall. Starring Reba McEntire as Nellie Forbush and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Emile de Becque, the one-night-only presentation of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical also featured Tony Award winner Lillias White, Jason Danieley, Dylan Baker, Conrad John Schuck, Alexander Gemignani, Tom Deckman, Alec Baldwin, Alexio Barboza, Alex de Castro, and Renita Croney.
2015 Tony Award-winning actor and Seinfeld star Jason Alexander returns to Broadway after a 25 year absence to replace Larry David in David's hit comedy Fish in the Dark.
More of Today's Birthdays: Bob Cummings (1908–1990); Jackie Mason (b. 1936); Aaron Sorkin (b. 1961); Josh Hamilton (b. 1969); Natalie Portman (b. 1981); Benj Pasek (b. 1985); Robert Fairchild (b. 1988).