San Francisco Minstrels

Event Information

San Francisco Minstrels Hall

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
30 December 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

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

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Bone squash diavolo; Ethiopian operatic extravaganza
Composer(s): Rice
Participants:  Bobby Newcomb (role: Spruce Pink);  Billy Birch [minstrel] (role: Juba);  David S. Wambold [San Francisco Minstrels];  William H. [San Francisco Minstrels] Bernard (role: The Evil One);  Charley Backus (role: Old Pompey);  Ainsley Scott (role: Bone Squash);  Billy [Ethiopian comedian] Emmett (role: Caesar);  William Henry [minstrel] Rice (role: Juniatta);  W. D. [minstrel] Corrister (role: Jim Brown)
Composer(s): Hays


Advertisement: New York Herald, 09 December 1868.
Announcement: New York Herald, 14 December 1868, 4.

Minstrelsy throughout the city is as successful as its numerous patrons could desire.  Tonight the San Francisco produce a characteristic opera, “Bone Squash Diablo.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 December 1868, 2.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 19 December 1868, 294, 3d col., middle.
Advertisement: New York Clipper, 19 December 1868, 295.
Review: New York Herald, 20 December 1868, 7.

“There was a very large audience at this house last night, and the program was, as usual, excellent. The original opera of ‘Bone Squash Diablo’ was the principal attraction, and the new scene entitled, ‘Pandemonium’ brought the performance to a close. Messrs. Birch, Wambold, Bernard, and Backus kept the audience in a roar by the extraordinary comicalities in which they indulged, and when the curtain finally dropped, it was regretted that the San Francisco humor was dealt out in such a homeopathic dose.”

Review: New York Clipper, 26 December 1868, 302, 3d col., middle.

“‘BONE SQUARE DIABLO,’ an Ethiopian opera, written by the late T. D. Rice, and performed by him  throughout the country with marked success, was brought out by the San Francisco Minstrels on the 14th inst., with the following cast. . . [cast given] It was well placed on the stage, and every character had was capitally performed. Ainsley Scott made a good Bone Squash, singing the music to the satisfaction of all. Birch’s Juba reminded us of a real old ‘nig,’ such as they used to be on the old plantations down South a few years ago. The same remarks will apply to Backus’ Old Pompey. The rest of the characters were well impersonated. In the first part of the evening’s entertainment, C. Templeton sang ‘Write me a Letter from Home,’ and received an encore. In the olio, Billy West appeared in a banjo solo, and was encored three times. He plays the banjo very well indeed, and sings a song in good style.  The olio concluded with Billy Emmett in his burlesque ballads, which set the audience screaming, so much so that he was called out four times, when the curtain was lowered for the opera, but the audience were so boisterous that he was compelled to appear before the curtain and sing another song. This is seldom witnessed at any establishment on Broadway, and it is something that he should be proud of. So far his success has been great.”