Tony Pastor’s Opera House

Event Information

Tony Pastor's Opera House

Event Type:
Variety / Vaudeville

Record Information


Last Updated:
3 April 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

14 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
15 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
16 Sep 1868, 2:30 PM
16 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
17 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
18 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
19 Sep 1868, 2:30 PM
19 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM

Program Details

First appearance of Little Nell from Maguire’s Opera House in San Francisco. The program also included Dutch, Irish, and African sketches performed by Johnny Thompson and Frank Kearns and a “clog act” by Alice Somers.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 September 1868.
Announcement: New York Herald, 14 September 1868, 4.

“At Tony Pastor’s Opera House a mammoth and varied programme is offered. The new sensational of ‘Six Nights in the Bowery’ will be the great attraction during the week, and this evening ‘Little Nell,’a dashing young vocalist from San Francisco, will make her debut before a New York audience at this popular establishment.”

Review: New York Herald, 15 September 1868, 7.

“The Bowery ‘Opera’ House is in a perfect fever of success, as is evidenced nightly since the commencement of the season by the immense patronage and consequent influx of currency. In his company Tony has introduced a number of new members of first class ability in their respective performances and nearly all the old favorites continue to grow in public favor. There are one or two gentlemen in the company who would be dangerous opponents on the past style if they happened to get a nomination for a Council-manic seat. Tony is a little ‘phatter’ and quite ‘phunny’ as ever, while Billy Emmett and Johnny Thompson fairly divide with him the appreciation of their patrons. Of these members who are not entitled to the privilege of election to office there is Jenny Engel, still dashing and attractive in her musical mélange; Alice Somers, a new face, but an adept in clogs, who bids fair to make some of of the champion cloggists look well to their honors. The programme is nightly filled with favorite selections and varieties and generously appreciated by the most enthusiastic audiences.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 19 September 1868, 190.

“Little Nell, a young lady of about sixteen years, and announced as the ‘California Wonder,’ makes her debut in this city this evening at Tony Pastor’s Opera House. She is to appear in a selection of ballads and in a song and dance. She also plays the banjo. The afterpiece this week is ‘Six Nights in the Bowery.’”

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 19 September 1868, 191.
Review: New York Clipper, 26 September 1868, 198.

“Little Nell is the title given a young lady who made her debut on the 14th as the ‘California Wonder.’ We stated last week that she was about sixteen years of age. We have since been requested by her father—who ought to know—to state that she is only eleven. He appeared in a couple of ballads and, later in the evening, as Topay, with a song. She has a harsh voice, which needs considerable cultivation before she can expect to succeed as a vocalist. She is also very awkward on the stage, not knowing what to do with her arms. Her style wants toning down considerably for a lady audience.”

Review: New York Clipper, 26 September 1868, 198.

“Tony Pastor is presenting at his Opera House in the Bowery, one of the best variety entertainments yet offered at any house in this city. He has a company of first class performers engaged, who give a first class performance, and the consequence is that the house has been not only full every evening since the present season commenced, but on many evenings the passage ways have been crowded with camp stools, and standing room has not been attainable, as was the case on the 16th inst. Tony is deserving of this success, for he has labored hard to make his place popular, and he has always secured talent whenever it presented itself. With such names as Johnny Thompson, Frank Kerns, and Billy Emmett, who have few, if any, equals in their line of business, Jennie Engel and Addie Lebrun in the vocal department, and Helene Smith, Nellie Gray and Mary Gorenflo as representatives of Terpsichore, with George Thompson, T. G. Riggs and J. W. Collier for the proper rendition of the dramas, not forgetting Tony himself, is it any wonder that business is great?”