1881 Birthday of B. Iden Payne, a producer and playwright who, as a professor at the University of Texas, inspires three generations of Broadway artists, including Tommy Tune and the songwriting team of Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, who dedicate The Fantasticks to him and model the role of the Old Actor after him.
1897 Birthday of master actor Morris Carnovsky, who originates roles in Awake and Sing!, Golden Boy, My Sister Eileen, The Brothers Karamazov, Saint Joan (U.S. premiere), Elizabeth the Queen, Cafe Crown, and Rhinoceros.
1901 Florence Eldridge is born as Florence McKechnie. She marries actor Fredric March, and they star together in the Pulitzer-winning dramas The Skin of Our Teeth and Long Day's Journey Into Night, in which she originates the roles of Mrs. Antrobus and Mary Tyrone, respectively.
1905 U.S. premiere of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, which runs 192 performances at the Hudson Theatre.
1919 Shubert theatres across the country close when stagehands and musicians join the Actors' Equity strike.
1934 Sophie Tucker gets a black eye when she steps between two women fighting over her autograph outside the Empire Theatre in London.
1946 Presented as a fundraiser for the American League for a Free Palestine, Ben Hecht's pageant A Flag Is Born, featuring music by Kurt Weill, opens on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre. The production stars Paul Muni and Celia Adler as an aging, dispossessed Jewish couple that journeys from post-World War II Europe to Palestine. The cast also includes journalist and World War II war correspondent Quentin Reynolds, opera singer Mario Berini, and actor Marlon Brando.
1996 An American pianist and his elderly Viennese teacher argue over Schumann's "Dichterliebe" in Jon Marans' Old Wicked Songs at Off-Broadway's Promenade Theatre. The drama starring Hal Robinson and Justin Kirk plays for 210 performances before closing March 9 of the following year.
2002 Previews begin at The Public Theater for Richard Greenberg's baseball drama Take Me Out, which wins the 2003 Tony Award as Best Play after a transfer to Broadway.
2002 Continuing the sports-related night in New York, a huge evening rally in Times Square to kick off the pro football season causes Broadway producers to push back their curtain time to 8:30 PM.
2003 Film star Heather Graham plays a woman who decides to go through with a blind date the day following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Craig Wright's play Recent Tragic Events, beginning performances at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons.
2019 The Broadway revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal opens at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre September 5. The Jamie Lloyd-helmed production, previously seen in the West End, stars Zawe Ashton, Charlie Cox, and Tom Hiddleston.
More of Today's Birthdays: Victorien Sardou (1831–1908). Luella Gear (1897–1980). Carol Lawrence (b. 1932). William Devane (b. 1940). Raquel Welch (b. 1940).