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before the Christian era, had been translated into English by W. Bartholomew. Vandenhoff had been a very popular actor with the “pitites” of the National Theatre; his daughter was an uncommonly clever girl, universally admired, but Vandenhoff himself was now merely tolerated. It was expected that with Miss Vandenhoff in “Antigone,” and Mendelssohn's sublime music, the piece would prove not only a success but a standard revival. A very large and critical audience assembled and listened intently to the play, but soon grew weary at the monotony of the dialogue and the absence of change in scenery, notwithstanding the stray gems of the great musical composer. The piece would assuredly have proved a failure, when a wag in the pit brought matters to a serious consummation. A messenger, dressed as a soldier, with shield upon his arm, mounted upon the stage, and, kneeling before the king, delivered messages of about five words in length. After performing this caper some dozen times, he finally mounted the stage and delivered this awful piece of intelligence: "My lord, Antigone is dying.” The messenger's shield had been decorated with alternate rings of black and white, after the manner of a target. There he was kneeling, with this weapon, occupying the centre of the stage, when an inveterate tobacco chewer, evidently a practiced hand, flung a quid plumb on the centre of the target — a shot clean in the bull's-eye. This piece of waggery brought down the house, and the absurdity of the entire piece burst upon the audience, who hailed the descent of the curtain with unrestrained mirth and laughter. In January, 1853, George Vandenhoff returned to Europe. In August, 1855, he returned to this country, and three days after his arrival was married to Miss Makeah, a lady who had appeared at the Winter Garden Theatre. In November, 1858, Mr. Vandenhoff was admitted to practice at the bar. He possessed a commanding figure, graceful gestures, and an open and manly countenance, a voice of strong and pleasing quality, and he walked the stage with grace and dignity.
During the summer of 1846, Edwin P. Christy's Minstrels had possession of the house, making their New York début Aug. 22. James H. Hackett leased the theatre in the fall of 1846. Mlle. Blangy danced here. Messrs. Chippendale and John Sefton were engaged to manage it by a Mr. Smith, who had a carpet store on Broadway, and the season was one of the shortest on record — one night only. Jan. 4, 1847, an Italian opera season was begun under the management of Signors Sanguinico S. Patti (father of Adelina Patti) and Pogliani. “Linda di Chamounix” was presented for the first time in America, with Clotilda Barili as Linda. March 3, “I Lombardi" was sung.
This season terminated March 31. April 9 began another season of Italian opera, but this lasted only until June 7, 1847
John Sefton became the manager, Aug. 11, 1847, and opened Aug. 16, with the Ravel Family and a dramatic company, including Charles Walcot, T. Placide, Byrne, Vache, Constantia Clarke, Mary Taylor, Mrs. Watts and Mrs. Henry. The season closed Oct. 2. Mlle. Augusta opened Dec. 15, with a ballet troupe and a German vaudeville company; but the latter, after performing two nights, gave place to a detachment of the Park Theatre company, consisting of John Dyott, W. B. Chapman, Frank Rea, D. Anderson, John Povey, Mmes. Vernon, Abbot, Knight and Dyott. John Dyott appeared Dec. 17, and remained until January, 1848.
William E. Burton was the next lessee. The theatre had terribly run down, and Burton's speculation was regarded as a suicidal affair. He opened, however, July 10, 1848, and gave it his own name.
"HE whole establishment had a thorough renovation; a new
proscenium was erected, and private boxes constructed; a new drop curtain was painted by Mr. Hielge. John Brougham was stage manager. “Maidens, Beware!
"Maidens, Beware!" "Raising the Wind," "The Irish Dragoon," and three ballet divertisements by the Viennoise children formed the initial programme. In the first piece Joseph Grosvenor and Mrs. Jane Hill (right name Hilson, being the wise of Charles Hilson, stage doorkeeper, and afterwards known as Mrs. W. E. Burton) made their first appearance in this city. James E. Dunn joined the company on the opening night. He played Fizgig in “The Irish Dragoon" and Fainwould in “ Raising the Wind. Mr. Dunn, E. N. Thayer, and Mrs. Hughes were brought on by Burton from his Arch Street Theatre (Philadelphia) company. Mr. Dunn remained about one month, when he went to the Old Bowery, opening there Aug. 14, 1848, as Prince Felix in “Cinderella.
On July 13 Oliver B. Raymond first appeared in New York as
Wm. E. Burton
Mrs. Hughes Toots 0. B. Raymond | Florence
Miss J. Hill
Jas. C. Dunn Susan Nipper
Mrs. (Nelson) Brougham "Donbey. and Son” was a failure on its first production; it had a sun of four consecutive nights, and after one more representation it was shelved. The first night's receipts were under the expenses,
the second night reached eighty dollars, and the third and fourth nights, respectively, amounted to seventy-seven and seventy-two dollars. Brougham, the author of the dramatization, was to receive eight dollars a night royalty as long as the piece was acted. The Lehmans were then engaged, and at the expiration of three weeks "Dombey and Son" was reproduced.
Geo. Clifford Jordan played for the first time in this city July 26, 1848, acting the Chevalier in “The Angel of the Attic." Having a manly figure, a fresh complexion, with regular features, and ever dressing in the height of fashion and with excellent taste, he divided with Lester Wallack the honor of being considered the handsomest man on the American stage. He became an excellent comedian. During 1853 he paid a flying visit to England, but did not act there. In 1855 he joined the company at Laura Keene's Varieties, and afterwards went to her new theatre. During the season of 1860-61 he was a member of the company at the Varieties Theatre, New Orleans, La., and espoused the cause of the South in their coming rebellion very warmly. He was a member of “The Cocktail Guard,” and at the conclusion of the season there he sailed for England. He died in London, Eng., Nov. 15, 1873. Aug. 16 "Dombey and Son" was revived with this cast : Dombey John Nickinson | The Native
C. T. Parsloe Carker. George Jordan Rob the Grinder
Frank Rea Bagstock and Bunsby John Brougham Florence
Charlotte Nickinson Toots O. B. Raymond Edith
Mrs. A. Knight Sol Gills Marshall | Mrs. Skewton
Mrs. Vernon Walter Gay J. Delmon Grace Susan Nipper
Mrs. Brougham Capt. Cuttle Wm. E. Burton Flowers
Miss Williams Brogley
Hamilton An extraordinary incident occurred during its irregular season, presenting a scene never rivalled on the American boards. There was in our town a beautiful Aspasia who was more generally known as the "Lady in Black." Belle West, as the lady was then styled, was a woman of singular beauty and of fascinating powers, yet, strange to say, she could neither read nor write. She had originally been a dressmaker, clandestinely married to a young engineer, whose wealthy family discarded him on account of the unequal match. Her husband perishing in the steamer “Home,” Belle made her appearance as the friend of the son of a deceased butcher, who had left a handsome estate. Two years sufficed for the waste of the butcher's wealth, when Belle discarded her lover to make place for a wealthy Jew broker, one of the pillars of the Exchange. Poor Solomon paid dearly for his whistle, for, after settling upon her an ornamental cottage and a liveried turn out,” he was surprised to find that with a new admirer, she had eloped to New Orleans. A few years after she reappeared as the “Lady in
W. M. Ward became stage manager. William Henderson on that date made his first appearance here in several years, acting Marteau in "The Carpenter of Rouen." W. H. Chapman took a benefit Aug. 12, and Mollie Williams played Ninette in "The Savage and the Maiden;" Aug. 13 W. M. Ward acted Mazeppa; Charlotte Crampton appeared Aug. 20 as Shylock in the trial scene from the “Merchant of Venice. Aug. 22, “Ingomar," Annie Hathaway as Ingomar, and Fanny Herring as Parthenia; Aug. 24" Richard III." was given, with Miss Hathaway as Gloster, Fanny Herring as Richmond; Aug. 27, “Macbeth,” Hathaway in the title rôle, Rachel Denvil as Lady Macbeth. Miss C. Le Roy and " Yankee Lefler appeared Aug. 29 in “The Hunter's Bride," "The Wandering Boys,” and “Married Blind." "Rosina Meadows was played Sept. 5.
In November many alterations were made in the house, and it was opened Nov. 14, with Lafe Nixon & Aymar's Circus, and was called the CHATHAM AMPHITHEATRE. Aymar & Sherwood were the managers. In the company were Tony Pastor (clown), William Pastor, James Melville, Durand, Painter, William, Walter, and Albert Aymar, and Charles Shay. “Buck Bison, or Baby Blanche" was presented Dec. 5, with Louise Wells (Mrs. Late Nixon) in the leading rôle. Previous to the drama equestrian performances were given. Mrs. Matt Peel's Campbell Minstrels opened Jan. 23, 1860, under the direction of John T. Huntley, who had married the widow of Matt Peel. Charley White was in the organization. On March 4 this house was known as the UNION THEATRE, under the lesseeship of Yankee Lefler. The opening bill consisted of " Lucrezia Borgia," " Lend Me Five Stirlings" and “Tre Merry Cobblers." W. H. Meeker and Rachel Denvil being the principais
March 11, Yankee Lerder appeared in “Tea Vigdis ja a Bar. T 03." The house was closed in a few nights 12 respea
Vares & 1960, as the National Concert Saloon, with pretty waiter sus The prices of admission were: Bores, 12 cents: pit, 6 cents The next managers were !. Howard Rogers and losarac Foster. Tter Comenced March 6 with "The waren ard Tbe Gipsy Farmer, os Tars Asbore." C. J. Festes acted Luke Fie 30g in refrst cared play, and Mrs. Van Deezea Kose Feng The S:2: Spangled Banner" was sung by the compar. Tre season *24 a rece The house was reopened is a Sones Season
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matic performances were given by Mme. Schroder Dummler, with “Don Juan.” In 1861 it was opened Nov. 16 as the National Music Hall, by Fox & Curran, but although they spent considerable money in fitting it up, it failed to pay, George Lea assumed the management in December.
He was at that time managing the Melodeon on Broadway and Hooley's Theatre in Brooklyn. He used to commence the “star" part of the performance at the Melodeon at 8.30, take the actors in carriages to the Chatham, and, by 9.45, he would start with them in carriages to Brooklyn. He kept a small stock company at each house. This he continued to do for about one month. Purdy was stage manager for Mr. Lea in Brooklyn, at ten dollars per week. The old Chatham Theatre was torn down in October, 1862. A portion of the building still stands, and is occupied by B. M. Cowperthwait & Co., furniture dealers.
PALMO'S OPERA HOUSE
'HE place of amusement known as “Palmo's Opera House'
was erected upon the site of Stoppani's Arcade Baths, Nos. 39 and 41 Chambers Street, by Sig. Ferdinand Palmo, who had accumulated a little fortune as proprietor of the Café des Mille Colonnes, in Broadway, between Hospital and Duane Streets. It was the ambition of his life to establish a theatre in which the music of his own beloved Italy might find a permanent home, and he had sufficient confidence in the taste and liberality of the public to believe that his investment would be remunerative. His was the fourth attempt to introduce Italian opera in this city, and the second to give it an individual local habitation. The venture proved disastrous, and poor Palmo sacrificed all that he possessed, and became eventually dependent upon the charity of others, after serving as a cook in a hotel and in several restaurants. a small theatre compared to those of the present day, and would seat hardly eight hundred persons. The house was well constructed, ingeniously contrived for acoustic purposes; in fact, it was as convenient and comfortable as any theatre could be.
The initial performance took place Feb. 3, 1844, and the following is a copy of the programme:
PALMO'S N. Y. OPERA HOUSE.
Performance to commence at half-past seven.
SATURDAY EVENING, FEB. 3, 1844.