Tony Pastor’s Opera House

Event Information

Tony Pastor's Opera House

Event Type:
Variety / Vaudeville

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 January 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

11 Mar 1867, Evening
12 Mar 1867, Evening
13 Mar 1867, Evening
13 Mar 1867, 2:30 PM
14 Mar 1867, Evening
15 Mar 1867, Evening
16 Mar 1867, Evening
16 Mar 1867, 2:30 PM

Program Details

Sam Collyer performed an encore of “Indian club exercises.”

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Fish catcher of Naples; Row at Fulton Market; Massaniello
Participants:  Thomas Grattan Riggs (role: Elvira);  George F. McDonald [actor] (role: Forrest)
aka Katy, the vivandiere


Announcement: New York Clipper, 09 March 1867, 382.

Sam Collyer has been engaged, “together with his two kids, to do a clog dance every night.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 10 March 1867.
Review: New York Herald, 13 March 1867.

“Musical. Tony Pastor’s Opera House. The varied and attractive bill usually presented at this favorite place of amusement is rendered peculiarly interesting this week by the engagement of Sam Colyer, champion of American light weights. He appeared last night with two pupils in a triple clog dance receiving a demonstrative encore and gave a unique exhibition of Indian club exercises. The new musical burlesque of ‘Massaniello [sic], the Fish Catcher of Naples’ has proved a decided hit. It is made up of absurd situations and telling bits at matters of local and recent occurrence told in a rhyming dialogue with a pleasant jingle which ‘brought down the house’ continuously in the boisterous manner peculiar to an east side audience.”

Advertisement: New York Sun, 13 March 1867.

“This week, the modern Gladiator, Mr. Sam Colyer and his sons, Dan and Eddie. New musical burlesque—MASANIELLO, the fish catcher.  Tony Pastor and troupe.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 15 March 1867.

Matinee times.

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 16 March 1867, 387.

Colyer is “the celebrated Modern Gladiator and Exponent of Athletic Art. . . . First time of a new Musical Burlesque, MASSANIELLO, THE FISH CATCHER OF NAPLES. New Scenery, Costumes, Music.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 16 March 1867, 390.

Collyer will “execute a triple clog dance, assisted by his two adopted kids, called Dan and Eddie.”

Review: New York Clipper, 23 March 1867, 398.

Sam Collyer made his debut at Tony Pastor’s Opera House on the 11th inst. to an overflowing house. He appeared in two acts, first in exercises with the Indian clubs, which he handled with considerable ease, going through more motions with them than we have ever before seen. He was loudly applauded and called before the curtain. He next appeared in a triple clog dance with his two pupils. Clog dancing has become so common now-a-days that, to make an impression upon an audience, the performer must be as good as any of his predecessors, or also execute steps that have not before been witnessed. Mr. Collyer is a clever dancer—nothing more. He executes a clog dance that would do for what is called a fill up act. He appears to be out of his element when dancing, not doing it with a good will. He does not execute any new steps, his being the old stereotyped ones of all cloggists. His kids are two very smart boys. They did a song and dance very neatly, and they are also good with the clogs. We prefer their style of dress in their song and dance to any other two performers we know. It smacks of the plantation down South, just as we have seen those happy nigs after their days’ work, dancing on the heel and toe down in Georgia and on the Mississippi steamboats years ago. Collyer and his boys were very well received each evening, the house being crowded every night. The burlesque of ‘Masaniello’ was played, and it was noted for the excellent make-up of G. F. McDonald as Forrest. It is the nearest approach to the great tragedian both in dress and looks that we have ever seen. T. G. Riggs was also very good as Elvira, a young lady. He dressed the character so well that many in the audience would not believe that it was really a man.”