Born November 13th, 1833 in Maryland, Edwin Booth had an affinity for the acting world; he was named after the actors Edwin Forrest and Thomas Flynn, and his father, Junius, was a British actor who
Booth returned to the stage January 4, 1866, in the role of Hamlet. He had been in retirement since April 14, 1865 - the date of Lincoln's assasination.
Booth also seems to have been encouraged to return to acting by friends and had a degree of public sympathy for the actions of his brother. "The night of his reappearance brought a vast, cheering throng to the Winter Garden, which at once made evident the deep affection of the public and its determination to show the actor that he was in no way to be allowed to suffer fro the outrageous deed of his brother" (20). Booth played Hamlet without interruption until Jan. 24 when he reprised the role of Ruy Blas for the first time in 3 years at a matinee (20). Hamlet ran until Jan. 30, but paled in comparison to the 100-night run and cast of the 1864-65 show (20). Booth made frequent appearances on the stage during the 1866-67 season. Odell records that at one point, Booth was playing the Winter Garden, the Italian opera, and Brooklyn simultaneously.
Booth opened his own theater - Booth's Theatre - in 1869. The theater was located at the south-east corner of Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street. To build the theater, Booth entered a business partnership in 1867 with Richard A. Robertson, businessman of Boston, after the buring of the Winter Garden (Odell claims this was an "unfortunate partnership"). Booth began this business relatioship in the hopes of "building a new house dedicated to the very highest forms of dramatic art" (422). The site for the Theatre was chosen by J.H. Magonigle, who had been married to the first Mrs. Booth's sister, and who remained a close friend. Houses were demolished on the site of the theater and excavations revealed solid rock that had to be blasted before the foundations could be laid. The corner stone of Booth's Theatre was laid April 8, 1868. The front of the building was 184 ft. long; the Theatre occupied 150 ft. with a wing taking up the other 34 ft. This wing extended 76 ft. down Sixth Avenue and was used for shops, offices, etc. The Theatre itself was 100 ft. deep, 120 ft. high. Booth's Theatre also had a much admired facade with two large doors (one stage entrance, one for the auditorium) and three small exit doors in between. The second storey had four windows and was capped by a mansard roof with three towers.
On the inside of the Theatre, the vestibule was paved with Italian marble, and at its south end a stone stairway led to the balcony which was decorated with Gould's bust of Booth's father. There was a gallery above the balcony, and above the gallery there was an amphitheater. The house seated 1750 with standing room for more. A statue of Shakespeare was placed in the middle of the proscenium arch and busts of Garrick, Talma, Edmund Kean, G.F. Cooke, and Betteron were placed above the proscenium. The stage was 76 ft. high and there were 55 ft. from the footlights to the rear wall. Backstage there was a green room, star dressing rooms, and thirty ordinary dressing rooms. The architects for the Theatre were Renwick and Sands. In terms of staff, J.A. Booth was treasurer, Magonigle was business manager, Mark Smith was stage manager, and E. Mollenhauer was the leader of orchestra.
In addition to the public and acting spaces, carpenter shops were housed underneath the sidewalk of 23rd Street. A Pamphlet, Booth's Theatre -- Behind the Scenes, reprinted in 1870 in Appleton's Journal discusses the workings of the theater. The structure seems to have housed massive amounts of machinery to run the theater. Scenes were sent up to the stage from below by hydraulic rams which, as Odell states, "eliminated the ancient magic of flats sliding in grooves and clicking to in the middle of the stage." Booth's Theatre also did away with rectangular side-wings. "Side scenes were solid walls of rooms or in outdoor sets oblique paintings through which the eye could not see through to the regions 'off stage'" these scenes did not run on grooves, either, and were held in place by long braces. "Act drops, drop scenes, canvases fell down complete, taut, and unwrinkled from the well-equipped fly-regions and rigging lofts." No rollers or cylinders ; "immense spaces above allowed the raising or lowering of pictures stretched on frames". Booth's Theatre also contained a very well stocked prop and scene room.
The Theatre opened Feb.3, 1869, with Romeo and Juliet to an audience who had bought their seats at auction; the highest-priced seat went for $125(422-4). Mary McVicker, step-daughter of J.H. McVicker, Chicago actor-manager, became the second Mrs. Booth at Long Branch (N.J.) June, 1870 (424). The Times, Feb. 4, 1869, describes the theatre as "one of the most important ever dedicated to the art. Its exterior grandeur is only equaled by the beauty and brightness of its interior decorations. It lacks, however, the spacious freedom of the Grand Opera House, and is particularly deficient in lobby room. Ladies's dresses were rent and disordered last evening in a way that will bring a powerful interest to bear against the theatre." The review continues to discuss the performance and the feats of set design that led to delays, but not disasters, during the show (424-5).
The Theatre had trouble with Saturday matinee and evening performances. Booth decided to act six times a week, but the question of how to fill the theatre during the nights when he did not appear was a problem (425-6).
The Times seems to have been traditionally unfriendly to Booth in its reviews of his acting.
Booth read, on May 8, 1869, part of Byron's Manfred at a Philharmonic Society Concert.
Booth's Theatre seems to have had a troublesome business partnership from the first season (427). Booth's seems to have struggled at the beginning of its second season and paled in comparison to Wallack's (565). Odell notes that the outstanding production of the 1869-70 season was Hamlet, with Booth in the title role, "a performance now mellowed to the point of richness which from the time forward for yeras stamped the impression idelibly on the public consciousness. Thereafter for us Booth was Hamlet and Hamlet was Booth, one and inseparable"(567-8).
Booth, in the role of Hamlet, was the subject of series of pictures by Napoleon Sarony that are featured in Volume VII of The Annals of the New York Stage. Odell also reprints Booth's reviews from the Herald. Hamlet ran six ngihts a week from Janaury to mid-March (567-8).
Booth read "The Passions" at Steiway Hall Feb.12, 1870.
In the 1865-66 season, Brougham starred in his own comedy, Playing with Fire, previously seen in 1861-62 at Wallack's during a Winter Garden Revival. This play was followed by Brougham's Game of Love now called Flies in the Web (19).
Brougham was busy at the Winter Garden early in the 1865-66 season. He began the summer season of 1866 with Playing with Fire and Flies in the Web. The summer season closed Sept. 1, "apparently in the height of a success perhaps the greatest he ever had as a start; his long absence from New York had increased the desire to see his genial, rollicking art" (23). Brougham returned for nine nights on Sept. 6, 1866. Odell states, "The genial Brougham, in whose bright lexicon of eternal youth there was apparently no such work as fail (Odell italicizes)..." (143).
Brougham appeared in the 1866-67 season at the Olympic. His play, The Christian Martyrs under Contstantine and Maxentius played at Barnum's Feb. 4, 1867, and included "a 'grand triumphal procession' which eployed all of Van Amburgh's menagerie" (180). HE also played at The Academy of Music, Brooklyn, in the 1866-67 season.
Brougham played "in his own 'satire upon the vices, follies, and sensations of the present times'" called The Lottery of Life in 1868 at Wallack's (277). This show played to an average nightly receipt of $1,344 in its first week and dropped to an average of $296.86 2/3 in its fourth week, but improved later (278).
Brougham also took part in several benefits in the 1867-68 season. Odell claims Playing wtih Fire, Metamora and Dombey and Son were "points of departure" during these shows (379).
Brougham sub-let a small theater on January 25, 1869 - originally a small theater in 24th Street behind the Fifth Avenue Hotel. The theater was formerly a minstrel hall that had opened autumn 1867 as a home of a burlesque that ended around New Year's, 1868 because of the murder of Thomas Sharpe by Edwin Kelly, the minstrel. In June, 1868, James Fisk, Jr. acquired control of the Grand Opera House and leased the deserted building on 24th St. Fisk entirely reconstructed the building's interior and sub-let it to Brougham at an annual rent of $2,700 with Broughm receiving a $250/week salary with 25% of net profits after expenses including the rent (428). Odell isn't sure how much Brougham actually received according to his pay and contract. The theater would later come under the direction of Augustin Daly and become quite famous. Odell reprints a description of the theater from the Times.
The building opened as Brougham's Theatre on Jan. 25,1869, with a new and original two-act comedy by Brougham called Better Late than Never. Brougham made a few remarks after the show that night and then stagd The Dramatic Review for 1868 beginning with "an allegorical picture representing Manhatta, Brooklyna (the oldest of Manhatta's family, and a remarkably forward young lady, proud, pious, and independent, holding but ferry little intercourse with her Ma, and that she means to abridge), New Jersia, North Rivero ('a fluent individual'), East Rivero, Mlle. Fashion, Public Opinion, Melpomene ('an old and meloncholy muse, who has seen better days'), Captain Jinks" (430). "The illustrations included skits on The Emerald Ring, Barbee Bleue, After Dark, The Fox's Nest (Humpty Dumpty), Boufee a la Mode, The Lancashire Lass, THe Man at the Wheel (Ixion), Pike's Grand Palace, etc." (430). The Opening show lasted two weeks, followed by a combination of The Dramatic Review and Brougham's "new effervescence" An Irish Stew, or, the Mysterious Widow of Long Branch (according to Allston Brown) derived from the same source as A Bull in a China Shop. Odell observes that Brougham most likely "reached the end of his resources" by March.
On March 8,1869, Brougham produced Much Ado about a Merchant of Venice "'from the orignal text -- a long way.' This 'entirely new, free and independent Shakespearean contribution' to the general revivals was produced 'at an enormous outlay of mental tribulation," with an interesting cast (430). Bad reviews from the Times followed that remarked on the heaviness of the play and the actors' inabilities to sing (431).
Later in March "were announced 'the last nights' of Brougham, 'previous to his departure for California'" (431). Odell claims Brougham didn't get along with Fisk and was most likely frozen out of the theater - Odell surmises from "his admission in a farewell speech to the audience on April 3  that he was as much suprised as any one at the speedy close of his season" (431). Fisk resumed control of the theater on April 5, 1869.
A benefit to raise money for Brougham was held May 19, 1869, by his friends. The benefit included an afternoon show at Niblo's Garden and an evening show at the Theatre Francais. The Niblo show ran The School for Scandal starring Brougham as Sir Oliver, with a strong cast-largely from Wallack's, but with two members of the Thompson Troupe (Odell thinks this is odd, but recalls a connection to Wallack's that would have made this cast possible). The receipts for this show were $3,467, with "tickets selling at a premium" (445). The evening show appears to have been a variety of recitations, plays, song, sketches, and remarks by Brougham himself (461).
Brougham was seen on stage in May, in some of his own plays and sometimes in others' plays. A "poor thriller by himself" (in which he appears) "founded on Robinson's story of Annie Judge, full of madness and excitement, and entitled The Red Light, or, the Signal of Danger" opened the summer season of 1869-70 (563-4). Brougham produced another of his own plays during this summer season Minnie's Luck, or, Ups and Downs of City Life. This show was produced "for the exploitation of a young actress, Leona Cavender" -- the play had been moderately successful at Mrs. Conway's Park Theatre but had done a bad two weeks at Wallack's (564).
This might be the William Butler who debuts on Nov. 5, 1866, as part of Kelly and Leon's minstrels (unconfirmed).
Curtis spoke as part of the lecture series at the Reformed Dutch Church between 21st Street between 5th and 6th Ave. during 1865-66 season. His March 21, 1866 lecture was titled "The Good Fight" (92). Curtis gave same lecture for the Westbury Educational association two days later in Jamaica, Queens (126). Curtis also gave this lecture on Staten Island December 29, 1865; Odell states that Curtis is a "noted resident" of Staten Island (127).
Curtis was the Westbury Lecture Room lecturer March 18, 1867, "his talk enlarging on Conservatism." On Dec. 26, 1866, he lectured at the Old Dutch Church, Tompkinsville, Staten Island (266). Odell mentions that the "silvery eloquence" of Curtis was heard Dec. 18, 1868, at Cooper Institute on Political Morality (514).
Curtis also gave a lecture about Charles Dickens January 28, 1869, at Lyric Hall. Odell expresses a desire to have been at the event (515). Curtis Spoke at the Pavilion Hotel, New Brighton, Feb. 18, 1869, on Political Morality (557). He lectured October 26, 1869, at the Church of the Reformation in Brooklyn with a "silvery discourse" on American Literature (676).
Odell reports that "George William Curtis gave 1870 a dignified start" Jan. 7 with a lecture on Staten Island on American Literature given at the Unitarian Church in New Brighton (692). Odell again remarks that Curtis is "silver tongued." Curtis gave a lecture on "Our National Folly - the Civil Service" on February 17 (postponed from the 15th), 1870, at the Baptist Church, Port Richmond, Staten Island, which was attended by 80 people. His next lecture on April 18th in this venue brought an audience of 100 and was on Thackeray. Odell states that this lecture "was so fitting for his own style and taste that one might have expected a crowded hall" (693).
Odell makes references Daly's biography written by his brother, Judge Joseph F. Daly, called Life of Augustin Daly. Odell discusses Daly's later management of the Grand Opera House, New York and the future members of his theatrical companies.
Odell attibutes the New York Theatre's first success to Daly's dramatization of Charles Reade's novel Griffin Gaunt, or, Jealousy produced Nov. 7, 1866. Odell claims people liked the play and it saved the management as well as improved Daly's reputation. Odell includes reviews (182-3). Daly produced a "striking play," Under the Gaslight, at the New York Theatre, August 12, 1867, which lasted well into the next autumn (186). Daly also wrote a new version of Leah entitled The New Leah in the 1866-67 season (240-1). Daly adapted Nos Bons Villegeois, which was produced under the title
Odell claims that "few of my readers know of this Brooklyn invasion [at Conway's] by the restless Daly" and refers to Daly as a "now important young playwright" (241). Odell calls him "the prolific carpenter of plays." Daly's melodrama A Flash of Lightning played June 10, 1868. Odell says it is difficult to remember that Daly wrote this play in light of his other work. A review is included (293). The play had a long run despite "absurdity."
Odell mentions the New York Theatre (728 Broadway) in 1867-68 (still known at that time as the Worrell Sisters' Theatre) because it opened with Under the Gaslight, which Odell notes as "the first of its kind to use a purely external force as a determining factor in the action. The man tied to the tracks just before the express dashed by was the prototype of many a hero or heroine exposed to some great peril from modern engines or mechanical contrivances" (301-2). Odell also notes that the cast was strong for this production. A reviews that statest that the show plays with the "manifest absurdity of the plays" is reprinted by Odell (302).
Daly patented the effect that made the railroad scene work properly; it was similar to a technique used on the London stage in The Engineer (According to Allston Brown) (304).
Daly dramatized Henry Ward Beecher's novel of Norwood. He also dramatized The Pickwick Papers, according to his brother. These two adaptations were done in the 1867-68 season (304). Daly wrote New York by Gaslight in the 1867-68 season(353).
Daly is mentioned as one of the "prominent figures in the controversy that has been raged since Wallack's elaborate [Shakespearean] revival now under review" (419). The controversy may have been over a "realistic staging of Shakespeare."
Odell mentions Daly's takeover of Brougham's Theatre (later the Fifth Avenue Theatre). Odell argues that the closing of the Fifth Avenue Theatre in 1868-69 (July 3, 1869)was a good omen of Daly's management, "to us perhaps the most important event of those years in New York" (432). The theater opens Jan. 29, 1869, as Brougham's and again on August 16, 1869, under Daly's management (432). Odell notes that it was reported in the June 10, 1869, Times that the Fifth Avenue Theatre had been leased for $27,000 for one year by Daly (432).
Daly's The Red Scarf played during the 1868-1869 season (466), as did A Flash of Lightning.
Odell cites Daly's "entry into the field of management" as one of the most significant events of the 1869-70 season and several seasons afterwards. Odell says that even those who knew his plays couldn't have anticipated his success at managing the Fifth Avenue Theatre. Odell claims this theater was "conceived in terms of originality". "Actors were startled into a loyalty hitherto unknown...[according to Judge Daly] they worked harder than ever they ever worked for a man who, they saw, workied harder than they; they were content with small salaries, perhaps not always regularly paid, from a man who drew, at times, nothing from the treasury for himself, but poured back into the theatre his love the money that came, not always too freely, into the box-office. This was Augustin Daly and this was the spirit he awoke in his loyal associates" (571). D.H. Harkins brought the theater to Daly's attention after it failed under Brougham and the French. Daly asked James Fisk, Jr. to find out how to rent it - and told him he could offer no security deposit. Daly rented the theater at $25,000 a year with a payment of six weeks rent in advance. Daly did not get help from his father- in-law, "Duff of the Olympic Theatre," and got the money to lease the theater (571). Daly's first company was a combination of well-known and new actors. He seems to have pleased both his staff and his public. Odell cites E.A. Dithmar Memories of Daly's Theatres and includes some excerpts on p.573.
Daly's staging and acting tricks seem to have been imitated with success. The burlesques of Under the Gaslight are said to have affirmed the success of the play (391).
She appeared in King Lear as Regan in the 1868-69 season at Niblo's (442). In the 1869-70 season Deland appeared in The Red Light, or, the Signal of Danger with Brougham. This play was a relative failure (564). Deland was also in The Tempest as Miranda at the Grand Opera House (597).
Lectured at the (Brooklyn) Athenaeum in the 1865-66 season in December on "Social Aims," "Resources," and "Books and Culture" (113). Emerson repeated these lectures at the New England Congregational Church and added "Classes of Men" and "Success and Clubs." The audiences for these lectures were not large; interest in Emerson seems to have been low that winter (118). During the 1867-68 season Emerson lectured at Packer Institute on "Eloquence," "The Man and the World," and "The Relation of Intellect and Morals" (398).
M.W. Fiske is mentioned as an old favorite on the stage in the 1867-68 season (404). She took part in The Glorious Seven, a burlesque that boasted several actresses of the time and "forty graceful beauties" and Odell says that this show is the predecessor of future similar revues (647). Fox might also be known as Minnie Maddern -mentioned as "the afterwars famous Mrs. Fiske" (564). (unconfirmed if this is the right Mary Fox/Fiske)
His play The Mountain Bell was first performed in the 1867-68 season at Mrs. Conway's (382). During the same season A Sensation Drama, or, the Perplexed Author was also performed. Gayler is also recorded as being on stage as an actor (391).
Gayler Presented a dramatization of his own novel, Out of the Streets "as published in Frank Leslie's Chimney Corner" at the New York Theatre in the 1868-69 season. There seems to have been some staffing problems with the actors during the play's run (450).
Gayler's Fritz, Our Cousin German played at Wallack's during the 1869-70 season and starred J.K. Emmet.
Odell mentions that he was "in the chair" for Anna Dickinson's lecture called "Something to Do," February 29, 1867 (227). Greeley lectured January 7, 1868, on "Self-Made Men" at the Brooklyn Academy (388). He spoke at the Masonic Temple on Dec. 8, 1867, on "Temperance" (406). Greeley also spoke at Apollo Hall on "Self-Made Men," February 23, 1869 (515).
Greeley spoke during the 5th Anniversary celebration of the Brooklyn Library Association, Dec. 29, 1869, at Dr. Porter's Chruch. This event seems to have been highly noted among one of many "church fairs and festivals" written about in the "amusement" columns of the Brooklyn Times (687).
Greeley lectured on "Self-Made Men" at Town Hall in Queens (?) March 1, 1870. Odell notes the "comical enough" admission fee of 30 cents (690).
Odell mentions that Mayor Oakley Hall occupied a box at the opening of Booth's on Feb. 3, 1869, for the performance of Romeo and Juliet (424).
Heron played in a benefit Feb. 23, 1865. Odell claims her "glory methinks was withering" and this performance seems to be her single visit to the Bowery that season (44).
Heron presented Camille with George C. Boniface March 12, 1866, in Brooklyn (108). Odell calls her a "diminishing force in the theatre, as must be all, ultimately, who depend on temperment rather than art" (292). Odell makes this statement while referring to her performance as "the everlasting, never-dying Camille" at the end of the 1867-1868 season at the Broadway (292).
Heron did a week of performances during the Williamsburgh part of the 1867-68 season (May, 1868). She starred in Gamea, the Jewish Mother May 4, Camille May 5, Medea May 6, The Hunchback May 8, and Mathilde May 9 (404). Odell mentions that the actors had to hold a benefit at the the end of the month because the manager left with everyone's salaries (404).
Heron played "her inevitable Camille" Saturday nights in Novemeber, 1868 at Niblo's (442). She filled in with Camille during Mrs. D.P. Bowers' illness that prevented her show from going on at Niblo's that same season (442).
Heron becames the acting teacher of a Miss Agnes Ethel during 1868. Odell reprints reviews of Ethel's debut as Camille. Agnes Ethel is described as "destined to a short, but bright career on the stage" (509-510).
Jefferson resumed his role as Asa Trenchard in Our American Cousin on Oct. 4, 1866. This performance received good reviews from William Winter (139). Jefferson continued to play the Olympic Theater for a good portion of that season (139).
The Olympic began the 1867-68 season under the direction of Mrs. John Wood with Jefferson in Rip Van Winkle (279). Odell reprints reviews of this season from the Times on p.279-80.
Jefferson also plays Rip van Winkle at Booth's during the 1868-69 season. Odell mentions that Jefferson's retirement ended the first season at Booth's (it is unclear is this statement means that Jefferson planned to retire completely or for the summer). Jefferson played Rip Van Winkle at the Brooklyn Academy in the 1869-70 season after having a successful run at Booth's (666).
Keene attempted to prevent a production of Our American Cousin in the 1865-66 season. She created a lot of newspaper controversy between herself and J.S. Clarke, who was producing and acting in the show for his New York debut. Keene mades insinuations about Clarke as brother-in-law of John Wilkes Booth (which he was), but the court sided with Clarke (18).
Odell makes mention of the members of Keene's company in their later careers. Odell also states that the melodrama Hunted Down is "associated chiefly with our recollections of the last days of Laura Keene" (664).
Menken is written about as part of what Odell claims is the Broadway Theatre's turn "away from comedy to mere sensationalism" in the 1865-66 season (34).
Menken began her engagement in Mazeppa April 30, 1866. Odell describes her as "beautiful and erratic." The show ran for nearly a month. Menken received bad reviews from the Tribune because of her scandalous performance. Odell reprints the Tribune review of Mazeppa on p.34-35. Mazeppa runs to May 21, followed by The French Spy. A benefit was held for her shortly after that included The French Spy and Black-Eyed Susan. Odell cites T.Allston Brown's mentions that her engagement ended abruptly because of her illness (35). Menken reappeared the next month at the Broadway.
Odell states that "The myth of Menken is one of the ineradicable obsessions of American theatrical history, aided as it is by the well-known photographs of her taken with the elder Dumas and Algernon Charles Swinburne, and by the legends of her wild romantic life" (34).
Nasby "Harangued" May 24, 1870, on "Wimmin's Rights" a week after Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke at Apollo Hall (669). Nasby also lectured at Town Hall (Queens?) Feb. 9, 1870, on "Stuggle with the Woman Question" (690).
Nast drew "new and original" caricatures for the book that accompanied Fox's Volume II of Humpty Dumpty that played at the Olympic Theatre in the 1868-69 season (433).
Odell mentions a concert given in his memory June 12, 1869, with afternoon and evening performances at Steinway Hall. The concert appears to have been well cast with noted musicians.
Smith is a member of what Odell argues is Wallack's strongest company in the 1867-68 season (269). Odell mentions that at this point Smith has returned from his "uncertain management" of the New York Theatre (269).
Smith, as described by William Winter in Leaf from My Journal, had: "extraordinary truthfulness to nature, extraordinary precision of method, large humanity, strong intellect" (271).
Odell mentions that Smith remained briefly at Wallack's and that one "deplores his descent from the classics to The White Fawn" - a major flop at Niblo's in 1867-68 season (284). Odell mentions that Smith should not have left Wallack's at this time to manage and act at the New York Theatre (181).
Smith had managed the New York Theatre in the 1866-67 season and became a part of the company there. It seems that the management of the theater (728 Broadway) was problematic - the government raised an issue about a non-payment of a revenue tax on the theater (which was imposed on all theaters after the war). Despite these problems, Odell notes that after Sept. 5, 1866, "the New York Theatre started on a more or less interesting winter campaign" (181).
Smith was present to "assist" Saidee A. Cole, a pupil of Professor Brown, an "elocutionist" when she read at Dodworth's May 11, 1867 (227). Smith is also mentioned as singing in one of Colby's concerts; he sang "The Fine Old English Gentleman" (233).
Smith played Friar Lawrence in the opening production (Romeo and Juliet) at Booth's, Feb. 3, 1869. Odell mentions that Smith was a "noble recruit" from Wallack's but "curiously cast" in the opening show (424). The Times for March 1, 1870 notes that Smith had resigned as stage manager at Booth's and was succeeded by D.W. Waller. For two weeks prior, Waller had played Smith's role in Romeo and Juliet because Smith had gone west for the funeral of his father, Sol Smith. Smith returned and resumed role the of Friar Lawrence, but not the job of stage manager (425).
Odell mentions that Sothern played a role originally intended for Jefferson at the London Haymarket in Home by Roberston. Sothern originated the role abroad, but did not play it in America (561).
In the 1866-67 season he assembled the Max Strakosch Alliance which put on a "grand inaugural concert" Oct. 1, 1866 at Cooper Institute (228).
Strakocsh and Maretzeck were the team with "wretched management" of the Academy of Music that could not bring Adelina Patti (diva) to their stage (374). Odell mentions that in the 1868-69 season they presented Clara Lousie Kellogg, who had had success in Europe, at the Academy of Music, in concerts ending with the third act of Faust. This was quite a popular concert series (471).
It is important to note that Max Strakosch is NOT Maurice Strakosch - they are brothers. Maurice was married to Amalia Patti and helped her sister Adelina get her very successful career started (653).
Taylor lectured as part of the Mercantile Library lectures for the Athenaeum in March, 1866. His lecture was titled "Ourselves and Our Relations." Henry James, Thomas Carlyle, and Oliver Wendell Holmes were also a part of this series (114).
Twain gave a "humorous lecture May 15, 1867, at Irving Hall on "The Sandwich Islands, then delivered 'prior to his departure for the Holy Land.'" Odell mentions that this was most likely a witty and amusing event. Twain also gave this talk at Cooper Institute on May 6 (227-228). On May 10, 1867, Twain spoke about the Sandwich Islands at the Athenaeum; these lectures were described as "serio-comic" (253). Twain lectured March 16, 1869, at the Newton Y.M.C.A. on "American Vandals Abroad" (553). He lectured at the Bedford Avenue Reformed Church for the Brooklyn Library Association, E.D., Dec.1, 1869, on "The Sandwich Islands" (686).
Wallack's opened for its fifth season Sept. 21, 1865. The "outstanding feature" of Wallack's "theatre royal of America" in 1866-67 was the production of Roberston's comedy Ours preceeded by "minor successes and quasi-failures." Improvements were made to the theater for this season (as mentioned in opening show's program note): "during the recess the house had been cleaned at renovated througout, that extra stalls had been added, the parquette and boxes newly carpeted, and 'every requisite for the comfort and convenience of the audience carefully considered'" as well as "'a new stage has been laid and other mechanical improvements effected, in order to render the production of all plays in a most complete manner'" (128). Admission prices for orchestra seats were raised to $1.50, which is what the price remained in the best theaters for the next 20 years (128-9).
Odell argues that Wallack's 1867-68 company was the strongest company yet at Wallack's and "perhaps the most brilliant for comedy and drama known up to that time in America" (269). The strong cast, however, did not play the theater at the same time; some returned, some were new, and some left after short stints (269).
Odell mentions that Wallack's was reluctant to do Saturday matinees and "was about the last stronghold to fall before the demand to Saturday matinees." Wallack's only broke its tradition of not doing them for Oliver Twist, which was a great success and brought in weekly receipts of $7,256.70 and $7,394.55 for the week with the matinee performance (273).
Lester Wallack's return brought the theater successful receipts, even though a major actress, Mary Gannon, fell ill and eventually died. Lester Wallack abolished benefits and farces this season [1867-68] from Wallacks; other theaters followed suit amid controversy (275).
Wallack's began it 17th season (its 9th in the new theater) in 1868-69 on Sept.23, 1968. Odell feels that during this season the female cast list was a rare weakness for Wallack's. The much liked lead actress Mary Gannon has died and the others on female list seemed to match former greats. Receipts for the season appear to have fluctuated (414).
The controversial Much Ado About Nothing was performed at Wallack's in the 1868-69 season. It was the first time Shakespeare was performed at Wallack's; the performance may have occurred because of the opening of Booth's Theatre. Much Ado About Nothing was an extravegant production and was the last time Wallack's did Shakespeare until 1880 (416-419).
The 1869-70 season brought sense of competition from Booth's Theatre (founded the year before) and Daly's Fifth Avenue Theatre, which would soon become a theatrical force (559).
Wallack was in ill health at the opening of Wallack's in Sept. 1865. He returned to Wallack's in the 1865-66 season in She Stoops to Conquer on April 9, 1866,and had a full schedule from that point on (9). Wallack ended his engagement at the theatre on May 5 after several comedies (9).
Wallack returned Dec.3, 1866 , and brought T.W. Robertson's comedies, especially Ours to Wallack's (130-131). Odell reprints reviews of this show on p.131-132. Wallack also brought Ours to Brooklyn on Feb. 8, 1867 (247).
Wallack was a memeber of the strong cast of Wallack's in the 1867-68 season. He played what Odell calls a "star engagement in mid-season" (269). Odell mentions that Wallack was an actor-manager and that he had appeared "but infrequently" since his father's death in 1864.
Wallack began his 1867-68 season on Jan. 13, 1868, his first acting night at Wallack's in 12 months. The opening bill ran a week with average nightly receipts of $1,111.14 1/6. (273). Odell reprints a review of The Wonder from the Times on p. 274.
Benefits stop at Wallack's for good in the 1867-68 season. Wallack "considered the custom undignified, and that, when he came in control, he abolished it, adding to the salaries of the actors a sum equivalent to what they had made by their benefits" (275). Wallack's abolition of farces seems to have been more controversial, but other theaters soon followed his lead and the custom was also abolished (275).
Odell writes that in the 1868-69 season Wallack had already "been for years a star in his infrequent visits to his own theatre." Wallack began his first engagement in 12 months in two shows. The nightly receipts for these performances averaged $1044.75. The double bills seemed to have made a successful first six weeks of Wallack's season (415-16).
Wallack did not bring Shakespeare to Wallack's until after the opening of Booth's. He began a production of Much Ado About Nothing Feb.1, 1869, with very lavish and expensive scenes and costumes. The play seems to have been a very rare and extravagant production. Odell reprints a disapproving review from the Times from Feb. 8,1869 on p.417-18. Wallack seems to have aroused controversy over the production of Shakespeare and how it should be done. Much Ado About Nothing had a lengthy run, but Wallack did not attempt Shakespeare again until 1880 when he began his last season at Wallack's with As You Like It (415-419).
Odell states that on August 28, 1865, Ward "inaugurated a series of 'farewell' talks, 'Artemus Ward among the Mormons,'still with panoramic effects -- this time of the Moonlight Waters of Salt Lake, the Illuminated Mormon Temple, etc. These were his 'last nights' prior to a journey in Europe. He lectured at Irving Hall for two weeks; then, on the 9th [of September], 'adoo! adoo!'" (91).
After this engagement, but before Europe, Ward appeared at the Athenaeum and gave the same "Mormon-Utah pictures and comicalities" (111-12). Ward also appeared on Oct. 5 at Tenor's Washington Hall in one of his "Farewell Nights in America" and gave his lecture on the Mormons with "eighteen panoramic pictures of the 'Streets of Salt Lake City and the Valley of Utah'" (116). Odell expresses a wish to have attended the event.
Odell uses Winter as a source for citations, reviews, etc. Odell cites Winter's review of Jefferson's return to the stage in the lead role (Asa Trenchard) of Our American Cousin (139). Odell also reprints an excerpt from Winter's review in of Kate Reginolds as Donna Violante in The Wonder that originally appeared in The Tribune (158). Winter is cited about the performances of Polish actor Bogumil Dawison in Othello and Narciss (189-190).
Odell uses Winter's Shakespeare on the Stage as a source for citations and information. According to Odell, Winter's reviews of Wallack's in 1867-68 have become the cannonical understanding and estimation of the company for that year. Odell seems to agree with Winter's contemporary assessment of the company as well as corroborates it with other information (271).
Winter is credited with recording that Edwin Booth very much enjoyed G.L. Fox's comedic interpretation of Hamlet in the 1869-70 season (584). Winter is also cited for other cannonical criticisms of other landmark Hamlets.
(Unconfirmed, may be another Frank Wood) May have been a part of a vairety show that featured the Zanfretta troupe in 1866-67 season (225). Also listed as appearing in a variety in 1868-69 season (505).
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