Fifth Avenue Opera House
22 August 2016
“Monday evening, October 29, first appearance of Mr. Rollin Howard, the great sensation prima donna and burlesque artiste, who will appear as Madame Pay-Ripper in the Bakeman’s Concerts.”
“At the new Fifth Avenue Opera House the new piece, St. George and the Dragon – pronounced a ‘decided success’ – enters a second week. Mr. Rollin Howard, a great favorite on the Ethiopian stage, makes a first appearance. The programme includes the act Parent, Come Home, by W. S. and J. H. Budworth, and a Guide to the Stage, in which Mr. J. H. Budworth will give his imitations of popular actors.”
“Budworth’s Minstrels will present a livelier programme this evening than they have done yet. The new ethiopian [sic] spectacle of ‘St. George and the Dragon,’ and a new burlesque on the ‘Pay-ripper and Bake-man’ concerts will be performed; and Rollin Howard, the popular tenor, will make his first appearance.”
“At the cosy little opera house adjoining the Fifth Avenue Hotel, where the Budworths and their really fine company cater to the amusement of large and respectable audiences, an addition was made last evening to the programme, which, during the week past, has proved so highly attractive. The addition referred to was a ‘Grand Burlesque on the Bateman Concerts,’ in which Mr. Rollin Howard, the most artistic burlesque performer on the Ethiopian stage, made his first appearance at this establishment. Mr. Howard is almost too well known to the playgoing public to warrant a description of his peculiar line of performances; suffice it to say that on this occasion he burlesqued Madame Parepa in a most effective manner. The burlesquing did not consist in merely acting the buffoon and screeching in a falsetto tone without regard for time or tune, but in a truly artistic and close imitation of the celebrated prima donna to style, dress and manner; her habitual smile, her peculiarity of bowing first to the orchestra, then to the audience, and finally to the leader, and her style of singing, in the very difficult L’Estazi of Arditi, were truthfully yet comically portrayed by Mr. Howard, and were well received and rapturously encored by the audience. The Budworths proved to be as irresistible as ever in their comicalities, and Mr. Henry as pleasing and effective in his ballads.
The management of this establishment will undoubtedly tend to elevate negro minstrelsy, and the character of their audiences is such as to give good encouragement to their enterprise. They should, however, forego the long-tailed, split-backed body coat so commonly used, and adopt costumes more within the range of probability in certain parts, and they may find it to their advantage. The programme presented last night will be continued throughout the week.”