Grau French Opera Bouffe: Genèvieve de Brabant

Event Information

French Theatre

Proprietor / Lessee:
Jacob Grau

Manager / Director:
Jacob Grau

Price: $.30, Family Circle

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
24 March 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Feb 1869, 7:45 PM
16 Feb 1869, 7:45 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Genevieve de Brabant; Geneviève of Brabant; Genevieve of Brabant; Genevieve d'Brabant
Composer(s): Offenbach
Text Author: Jaime, Etienne (Victor)


Announcement: New-York Times, 15 February 1869, 5.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 15 February 1869, 7.
Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 15 February 1869.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 16 February 1869.
Review: New York Herald, 16 February 1869, 7.

“Genevieve’ takes ‘em all down.’  ‘Never was there such a hit or such a treat as ‘Genevieve.”  ‘After a recess of a few weeks or a few days it seems better than ever, and instead of two or three fine airs all the music becomes delicious.’  We are giving now some of the scattering shots of the audience.  ‘See, how it draws.  Houses full and enthusiastic as if they had never heard or could bear to hear of ‘Traviata,’ or even the Grand Duchess.”  ‘Yes, sir, this thing is such a delightful jumble of absurdities and incongruities, and splendid costumes, and picteresque [sic] tableaux, and ridiculous situations, and irresistible nonsense, and pretty women, in full dress a la Garden of Eden, and such sweet serenades, and such droll duets, quartet and quintets, and such ringing rattling choruses, and such life, fun, audacity and activity, under a full head of steam from first to last that it could be safely run under contract by the year.  It is amusing, refreshing and inspiring.  Nobody cares about the plot; it is the fun, the poetry of motion, the flashing variety of queer characters, the two-forty music on a plank road, the pretty women and such things that make Genevieve the queen in opera bouffe of the crown diamonds.  The late terrible [Civil] war has had something to do with all this.  It seems to have revolutionized everything, just as everything was revolutionized and burlesqued in France by her terrific first revolution.  Shakespeare may be revived; but it must be on fine dresses and appointments, or Shakespeare will drag.  In fact, since the war, under the new impulse given to steam, gas, all the gases, thunder and lightning and the northern lights of Alaska, the public mind throughout the civilized world can no longer enjoy those old, heavy amusements of the stage-coach epoch.  The world goes too fast for those slow coaches, and so it is that Offenbach comes in to fill up one of the new requirements of the stage, and hence, without caring to know the plot or the language, the people come to enjoy this French Geneviève’ and it draws like a horse race or a camp meeting.  As we write the house seems to be coming down about our ears over that never-tiring and still-repeated song of Gabel and his fellow-soldier, and in between explosions of laughter and rounds of applause the fun goes on.  Grace comprehends the spirit of the age.”

Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 17 February 1869.

“The revival of Geneviève de Brabant was celebrated at the Fourteenth Street Theater like the Italians would celebrate the resurrection of Mario or the return of Patti.

“Monday and Tuesday they positively denied that there were any tickets to sell at the box office. The artists were applauded and encored to excess. It would be an excellent idea to alternate this revival with performances of Fleur de Thé.”

Review: New-York Times, 19 February 1869, 5.

“In reviving ‘Genevieve de Brabant,’ at the French Theatre, this week, Mr. Grau has made a very decided hit, the public showing their appreciation of his enterprise by filling the house every night.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 20 February 1869, 366, 2nd col., bottom.
Review: New York Clipper, 27 February 1869, 374, 3rd col., top.

“’Genevieve de Brabant’ was revived two evenings the past week at the French Theatre by Manager Grau, as an experiment, when, much to his surprise, he found a reaction had taken place, and the piece attracted such crowded houses that it was repeated several nights, and is announced to be continued for the present.”