White fawn

Event Information

Niblo's Garden

Proprietor / Lessee:
William Wheatley

Manager / Director:
William Wheatley
Henry C. Jarrett
Henry Palmer

Howard [composer] Glover

Event Type:
Play With Music

Record Information


Last Updated:
26 March 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

06 Jul 1868, 7:30 PM
07 Jul 1868, 7:30 PM
08 Jul 1868, 7:30 PM
09 Jul 1868, 7:30 PM
10 Jul 1868, 7:30 PM
11 Jul 1868, Afternoon
11 Jul 1868, 7:30 PM

Program Details

White fawn to be withdrawn after Saturday (07/11/68) evening performance.

Benefit for Howard Glover, conductor, on Saturday afternoon.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Clipper, 04 July 1868, 102.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 06 July 1868.
Announcement: New York Post, 06 July 1868, 2.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 06 July 1868, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 07 July 1868, 4.
Announcement: New York Herald, 10 July 1868, 8.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 11 July 1868, 110.
Advertisement: New York Clipper, 11 July 1868, 110.
Announcement: New York Herald, 11 July 1868, 8.

“The centipedal drama of the ‘White Fawn’ takes its farewell of New York at Niblo’s Garden this evening. It has been played at this establishment once hundred and seventy-five consecutive times, and its immediate predecessor the ‘Black Crook,’ four hundred and seventy-four times. Both spectacles combined gave employment to over two hundred and fifty persons, and the receipts amounted to something over one million of [sic] dollars. Messrs. Wheatley, Jarrett and Palmer continue the management until the first of September, when Mr. Wheatley retires, and Messrs. Jarrett & Palmer become sole lessees and managers.”

Announcement: New York Post, 11 July 1868, 2.
Review: New-York Times, 12 July 1868, 5.

“The regular season at Niblo’s Garden ended last evening with the one hundred and seventy-fifth performance of ‘White Fawn.’ . . . The spectacular drama has had a run of 650 nights at this house, and in that time has brought nearly a million of dollars to the treasury.” 

Announcement: New York Sun, 13 July 1868, 2.

“Saturday night was memorable as the closing of Niblo’s Garden, and the final disappearance of the White Fawn. This piece was played nearly two hundred times, and its predecessor, the Black Crook, nearly five hundred times. Mr. Wheatley has made a fair fortune, and at the close of August will formally retire from the stage and from management.”

Review: New York Clipper, 18 July 1868, 118.

“This fairy burlesque, spectacle, pantomime, gymnastic, acrobatic, dramatic ballet d’action, has been withdrawn from the boards at Niblo’s,

‘And melted into air, thin air,

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud capped towers, the gorgeous palaces

Dissolved and faded, leaving not a rack behind.’

The one hundred and seventy-fourth and last performance took place on Saturday, July 11th. It was produced for the first time on Friday evening, January 17th. The house was densely crowded by an anxious audience, who had been promised something superior to anything yet witnessed in this country. But the result was otherwise, and many went away sorely disappointed. The production of the ‘Crook’ introduced many novelties that had not been witnessed on such an extensive scale for years. The scenery not only eclipsed anything of the kind seen in New York in several years, but the dancing was great, which was one of the features of the entertainment. Old theatre-goers had become satiated with the dull heavy tragedies and sensational blood and thunder pieces, and at this time Manager Wheatley presented something light and attractive in the shape of the ‘Black Crook,’ and a score of ballet girls, who, with their short skirts and their Tarleton dresses, displayed a well rounded stuffed calf or a neatly turned ankle. So great was the demand for pads after the arrival of this corps de ballet in this country, that our theatrical costumers found it necessary to import a large lot by the first steamer. Of course such an exhibition became the town talk, and all the sports of the city had to take in the ‘Crook’ as often as once a week, and we have heard of several parties who, struck with the manufactured beauty of some of the coryphees, have spent night after night at Niblo’s, reveling in the charms of their would-be love. The ‘Crook’ was produced in such a manner of completeness of detail and magnificence as to give it a run of four hundred and sixty-five performances. As soon as Manager Wheatley saw the the ‘Crook’ was on the wane, he commenced the getting up of the ‘Fawn,’ and parties left for Europe to secure talent. A new corps de ballet, engaged in Europe, arrived here before the ‘Fawn’ was ready. So as to save salaries the managers of the ‘Parisienne’ ballet troupe sent them to Chicago, where they appeared in ‘the spectacle of ‘Undine,’ but it was soon found that, in an artistic point of view, they were not so good as the old dancers of the ‘Crook,’ consequently they were kept itinerantizing through the country, and the ‘Fawn’ was presented with the same old familiar faces in the ballet. This was a sorry disappointment to all, as something fresh had been promised and what was wanted. In his endeavors to surpass the ‘Crook,’ Manager Wheatley undertook more than he was able to perform. Everything in the spectacular way that could be thought of or devised was introduced in the ‘Crook,’ which was a novelty here, and the result was, the ‘Fawn’ was a failure from the first night, notwithstanding the number of nights it has been played. The original cast was as follows:—King Dingdong, Mr. Mark Smith; Count Tinculum, Mr. E. B. Holmes; Prince Leander, Miss Lucy Egerton; Lord Twaddledum, Mr. Vining Bowers; Abdalla, Hernandes Foster; King Solomon, Mr. Martin; Queen Saffronella, Miss Mary Wells; Princess Graceful, Miss Jennie Delacy; Finetta, Miss Lizzie Wilmore; Princess Alka, Miss Mena Montague; Aqualina, Miss Fanny Stockton; Ruby, Miss Kate Palmer; Turquoise, Miss Colson; Emerald, Miss L. Leclaire. Bonfanti, Sohlke, Van Hamme, Coasta and M’lle Billon were the principal dancers. The three Hemmings Brothers and Amy Bennett appeared in the harlequinade. The piece was presented in a prologue and three acts. On the first night twenty-eight minutes were consumed in the prologue, then ensued a wait of twenty-eight minutes, when the first act or ‘Yellow Empire’ was presented, changing to the ‘Enchanted Lake’; a beautiful and effective scene. The dresses worn by the attendants on the Princess in the procession surpassed anything in the costume line seen in this city for a long time. The transformation of the Princess into the White Fawn terminated the act, which occupied one hour and seven minutes. A wait of twenty-five minutes, and the second act commenced with the ‘Fish Kingdom,’ thirty-five persons representing every kind of fish. The Can-can was here introduced by Sohlke and Van Hamme. During this act George Vining Bowers was hissed for gagging and making use of a political speech. For a minute the excitement was great, three cheers being given for Gen Grant and three for Andy Johnson. The second act closed at half past eleven. At six minutes to twelve the curtain rose on the third act, the ‘Kingdom of Alka,’ in which was introduced the pantomime, with the Hemmings Brothers and Amy Bennett. The acrobatic, gymnastic and other feats introduced by these brothers were so old and drawn out to such a length that they were hissed during the whole time they were on the stage, which was forty minutes. Harry Hemmings was also hissed for attempting a little business while in female attire that would not be countenanced. In the midst of the hissing the curtain was dropped, when Manager Wheatley came forward and announced that for twenty minutes he had, with eighty carpenters and twenty gas men, been trying to get the transformation scene ready, but it was impossible, and he therefore dismissed the audience at seven minutes of two. A second performance was given the following afternoon, terminating with the palace of Alka, omitting the pantomime and the Hemmings Brothers, as well as the transformation scene. Mena Montague and Lucy Egerton, brought to this country from Europe, were failures, as well as the Hemmings Brothers. The transformation scene was presented for the first time on January 20th. In order to give the carpenters time to set this scene the curtain was dropped on the third act, and after a wait of twenty-five minutes it was revealed, occupying just twelve minutes to show itself, the performance terminating at seven minutes past eleven. It was a magnificent affair and no doubt cost considerable more money than the one in the ‘Crook,’ but it was not so showy or taking with the audience, nor did it give the same satisfaction. The great trouble with it was that there was too much of it within the given space; it was too crowded, so much so that the curtain descended before all could be seen. Too much gold foil was used and when the twenty pans of red fire was lit and its effect thrown upon the scene, the general effect was destroyed. The great beauty of the transformation in the ‘Crook’ was in the variety of changes, each change being complete in itself, and displaying something more beautiful than the preceding one. After the first week’s performance of the ‘Fawn’ the curtain dropped at eleven o’clock. Several dances were omitted, also some of the badly sung songs, besides the pantomime and other business. From Jan. 20th to Feb. 8th Lizzie Wilmore was sick, and her role was played by Mrs. Mark Smith. The fiftieth performance was given on March 6th. On April 30h and May 1st and 2d Fanny Stockton was ‘off’ on account of sickness, and Mrs. Mark Smith played her role. On March 10th business commenced to fall off, and for four weeks there was a nightly decrease in the attendance. On April 13th, several novelties were introduced, consisting of the weeding out of the funeral music and presenting something fresh and lively by Howard Glover, the English composer, who made his debut in this country as chef de orchestra. The reconstruction in the second act with the corps de ballet in new costumes, and a comic ballet by Sohlke, Van Hamme and ballet, followed by a characteristic ballet entitled the ‘Farragut Matelot, with Bonfanti in blue satin shirt and pants, and twenty ladies dressed in navy suits, each holding a miniature satin flag. It was one of the best arranged and effective ballets yet seen on this stage. In the third act a march by seven giants and a number of children was given, also military tactics by fifty-two ladies dressed in full uniform. Fraulein Schlager made her bow in a dance. The performance terminated at a quarter to one o’clock. The house was densely crowded. The one hundredth performance was given on the afternoon of April 25th, from which date the attendance commenced to fall off, and for several weeks it is doubtful if the receipts reached the actual daily expenses. Then the managers went into a new line of business, for paper houses were to be seen almost every night for two months. Business became so bad that all kinds of gags were resorted to. On April 27th, the ‘Carnival of Venice’ ballet was given by Bonfanti and M. De Costa. On May 9th, Mlle. De Rosa, danseuse, said to be direct from Europe, and Marie Westmaler, of the ‘Undine’ ballet, in Chicago, made their debut. Bonfanti closed her engagement on May 9th and went to Chicago. Her place in ‘Farragut Matelot’ ballet was filled by Westmaler. On May 11th, Lucy Egerton gave up the role of Prince Leander to Mrs. Mark Smith, which was in turn assumed on May 18th by Lillie Eldridge. On June 1st, Mena Montague and Mary Wells left, and their parts were filled by BelleLaud and Mrs. Mark Smith. La Petite Schlager withdrew on May 23d. Business continuing bad, quite a number of persons in the various departments of the piece were discharged. The one hundred and fiftieth performance was given on June 13th. The last matinee was on Saturday, June 20th. Mark Smith withdrew from the cast after the performance on July 4th, and his role was played by E. B. Holmes the balance of the run, the singing being cut out.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 18 July 1868, 118.

“Howard Glover, leader of the orchestra at Niblo’s had a benefit at that house on the afternoon of the 11th, but the affair was anything but a benefit in reality, for the attendance was quite slim.”