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The Daily Agenda for Saturday, February 16

Jim Burroway

February 16th, 2013

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Events this weekend: Arizona Gay Rodeo, Laveen, AZ; Sydney Mardis Gras, Sydney, NSW.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Katharine Cornell: 1893. She shared the title of “The First Lady of the Theatre” with Helen Hayes; as good friends and colleagues, they each deferred the title to each other. While Hayes is probably more well known today, Cornell’s own acting and contributions to the theater are legendary. Part of her success can be attributed to her collaboration with her husband, Guthrie McClintic, a successful director and producer. Their marriage was both professional and one of convenience: Cornell was lesbian and McClintic was gay. She was a member of New York’s “sewing circles, with relationships with Tallulah Bankhead and Mercedes de Acosta, among others. Meanwhile, McClinctic directed Cornell in every play since their marriage.

Cornell’s acclaimed Broadway roles include the title character of George Bernard Shaw’s Candide, Countess Ellen Olenska in The Age of Innocence, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning in The Barretts of Wimpole Street — and that’s just before the Great Depression. Her career continued unabated through the 1950s. Her appearance in the title role of 1936′s St. Joan won her a bevy of honorary degrees from several colleges and universities, and she won a Tony Award for Best Actress for  Antony and Cleopatra in 1947. After McClintic died in 1961, Cornell decided to retire rather than work with another director. She restored the 300-year-old Association Hall on Martha’s Vineyard, which was later rename the Katharine Cornell Theater. She died of pneumonia in 1974, and was buried next to the theater named in her honor.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

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