Manager / Director:
Play With Music
5 February 2017
“‘The Merchant of Venice,’ gorgeously mounted, or that extraordinary adaptation of it known as the ‘Black Crook,’ was performed last evening at this establishment with a degree of spirit and enthusiasm and with a fascination of bright eyes and dazzling arms and legs unsurpassed since the triumphal entry of King Victor Emmanuel into Venice. They say that Dickens came over on purpose from London to see for himself this unapproachable exposition of the loveliest combinations of nature and art, and that all these readings of his are only for the purpose of pulling the wool over the eyes of Horace Greeley, whose admiration for the gifted Charles must not be spoiled. No matter, Dickens has been to see this ‘Black Crook,’ and though the moral of the drama is incomprehensible to Brother Beecher, it was so plain to Dickens as the ghost of Marley. And such houses as the ‘Crook’ still continues to draw could only be drawn by all the highest powers of beauty, talent and Beezlebub. And from the bouquests and wreaths, and baskets and vases of flowers showered upon Bonfanti, Sohlke and some of the other leading dancers last evening, a stranger might suppose, (if a Turk, who could not read the English bills) that it was the first night of the ‘Crook’ instead of the second quarter of the second year right straight on. How long it is to be continued the management cannoty say; but if they can buy off or postpone some other engagements coming due, the ‘Crook’ will still flourish, for its profits are only surpassed by those of the democratic managers of our corporation rings. Surely, after the sanguinary reign of Cromwell and the Puritans, we are entering upon the jolly jubilee of Charles the Second.”
“Mlle. Solhke’s engagement at Niblo’s Garden has revived a local excitement about the ‘Black Crook.’ Her appearance on Monday and last evening for the fascinating Hungarian dance, was greeted with applause that was quite as prolonged as it was energetic.” Continues with brief discussion of Solke reportedly still under contract for Devil’s Auction.