Among the other celebrated stars of the theatre who have appeared here are: Helen Hayes, John Barrymore, Joan Rivers, Carol Channing, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Bernhardt, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn. Playwright John Guare was an assistant manager here. Shirley MacLaine was an usher and her brother, Warren Beatty, was the stage doorman at one time.
The first performance in the theatre was "Man of the World," in 1835. When the theatre reopened its doors in 1850, after a disastrous fire, the featured performer was Miss Jenny Lind, "the Swedish Nightingale."; The first attraction in 1952 when the National returned to stage performances after a short period as a movie house was Call Me Madam, starring, of course, Ethel Merman.