Undine, the Water Queen

Event Information

Niblo's Garden

Proprietor / Lessee:
Henry C. Jarrett
Henry Palmer

Manager / Director:
Henry C. Jarrett
Henry Palmer

Howard Glover

Price: $1 dress circle reserved; $1.50 orchestra stalls; $.75; $.50 family circle

Event Type:
Play With Music

Record Information


Last Updated:
20 March 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

09 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM
10 Oct 1868, 1:00 PM
10 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM

Program Details

These are the three farewell performances of the Parisienne Ballet, which has been under the management of Jarrett and Palmer for the past two years; its contract expires 10 October 1868 and it next sails for Europe.

First appearance of Jarrett and Palmer's Viennoise Troupe.

Many of the celebrated ballets from The Black Crook and The White Fawn will also be given.

Notes that ticket prices are a “resumption of old prices.”

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Post, 28 September 1868, 2.

“Before the regular dramatic season at Niblo’s begins, the management will give two gala performances, in which all of the dancers of the various troupes engaged by Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer will appear. These performances will be given on the 9th and 10th of October, and will end the reign of the ballet on our stage in a most brilliant manner.”

Announcement: New York Post, 28 September 1868.
Announcement: New-York Times, 28 September 1868, 7.

“This week will not go by without working a transformation in the entertainment at Niblo’s Garden. Opera bouffe is to be retired after Thursday next, and for the following evenings the ballet will be restored to prominence here. ‘Undine’—a spectacle in which Messrs. Jarrett & Palmer’s Parisian dancers have been exhibiting their charms to the iron-melters, the pork-packers and the tunnel-borers of the Far West, will be produced for a few evenings, previous to Mr. Forrest’s appearance.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 08 October 1868.
Announcement: New-York Times, 09 October 1868, 6.

“This evening Messrs. Jarrett & Palmer are to give the first of their three farewell ballet performances. The second is to take place to-morrow afternoon, and the last to-morrow night. In these representations the Viennesse [sic] Troupe, which has not yet appeared here, and Mlles. Bonfanti, Solke, De Rosa, Betty Rigl, Sig. De Costa and Von [sic] Hamme and La Petite Schlager are to continue in the favorite dances of the ‘White Fawn’ and ‘Black Crook;’ the Demon Dance, the Lily Dance, and the Fish ballet. The Imperial Grand March, by one hundred children, is also to be given. Miss Alice Harrison, Miss Belle Laud and Mr. George Atkins are to take part in the play through which these terpsichorean pastimes are distributed. ‘Undine’ is the name of the piece.”

Review: New York Herald, 10 October 1868.

“Farewell to ballet, primitive costume, Grecian bends without the panniers, pirouettes, calcium lights, groupings of gauze-clad nymphs, acrobatic feats in the service of Terpsichore, subjects for pious lectures, ‘Black Crook,’ ‘White Fawn,’ et le omne genus. The first of the three farewell performances of Jarrett & Palmer’s ballet troupe took place last night before an immense house.  The name of the spectacle, or the thin thread of drama which served to connect the various ballets was ‘Undine,’ the handiwork of Mr. A. Mathison. The house, in numbers and enthusiasm, recalled the palmiest days of the ‘Black Crook,’ and if this spectacle had been brought out last winter instead of the ‘White Fawn,’ it would have been received with more favor.  Each of the old favorites, Bonfanti, Sohlke, De Rosa, La Petite Schlaeger, and Betty Rigl, had an immense reception, and were literally deluged with bouquets and baskets of flowers. A good deal of the old ‘Black Crook’ music was introduced in a very effective manner. The dances were given by the sixteen premieres and fifty of the corps de ballet. As the conductor’s baton gave the signal forth came from the coulisses dancers tall, dancers small, dancers thin, and dancers otherwise, dancers in tartan and dancers in something less. If possible, dancers of the telegraph pole order and dancers with limbs almost as abbreviated as their dresses, and as they moved in accord with the music the maitre de ballet smiled grimly behind one of the wings, and as some unlucky damsel forgot her pas he frowned and sacré-ed in proportion. Miss Alice Harrison, graduate from the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ university did in first rate style the singing and cancan, and Mr. Atkins was the funny man. Miss Lillian Eldridge played and sang the hero so that Undine (Miss Ludlow) fell in love with her as a knight in tights. The demons, water nymphs, sprites, and other uncanny beings appeared to be sadly in need of additional toilets. The Imperial Guard made a great deal of dust and noise, and went through their drill commendably.  Further on the whole affair deponent sayeth not.”

Review: New York Herald, 11 October 1868, 7.

“The third and last of the farewell performances of the combined ‘Black Crook’ and ‘White Fawn’ ballets was given last evening at Niblo’s Garden before a large and enthusiastic audience. Everything in or out of the programme was most vociferously applauded, from the silliest piece of by-play of the actors to the more graceful and more deserving pirouetting of premieres danseuses. The queens of the ballet as they made their entrance upon the stage, one at a time, were hailed with acclamations of unfeigned delight by hundreds of their bearded and exquisite admirers, who fairly inundated their respective charmers in fleshings and gauze with floral tributes, while the objects of their adoration bowed and smiled, and stood on tiptoe and curtsied until their faces almost touched the floor, and smiled again and again, until the applause and enthusiasm, which they had evoked had in a measure subsided, after which they went through leur petits pas with a grace and ease which was satisfactory to all concerned. The various dances were given by sixteen premieres and fifty of the corps de ballet, and were strung for the edification of the public upon a miserable version of the drama of the ‘Naiad Queen’ entitled ‘Undine,’ which was undone to all intents and purposes, in a manner which it is hoped we may never behold again. Some of the sprightly nymphs of the ‘light fantastic’ were tall, some short, some thin and some fair, fat and we fear fickle. But personal proportions or good looks made no difference whatever with the ‘old guard,’ who were as usual on duty, and who shouted and clapped at everything arrayed in abbreviated costumes which presented itself before the footlights; and ungainly and comely alike have now the proud satisfaction of having received an ovation. All the old favorites put their best foot forward last night, among whom where Bonfanti, Sohlke, Betty Rigl, Schlaeger, Cerebelli, Letti, Oberti and Therasia. With the distintegration of the ballet at Niblo’s follows the scattering of sylphs to the four quarters of the globe. Some go to Europe, California and the ‘Hub,’ while others hie them to the antipodes, where they hope to charm the hearts of coolies, miners and the ‘ticket of leave’ men of Van Dieman’s Land.”