Handy Andy: Neil Bryant Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Event Type:
Variety / Vaudeville

Record Information


Last Updated:
31 August 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

22 Apr 1869, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Clipper, 10 April 1869, 6.

Neil Bryant takes a benefit at the Academy of Music, on April 22d, when Dan Bryant will appear in an Irish character, supported by a dramatic company.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 12 April 1869, 12.
Announcement: New York Herald, 21 April 1869, 5.

“The complimentary benefit to Mr. Neil Bryant comes off to-morrow evening at the Academy of Music, and already gives promise of being a monster affair, both dramatically and pecuniarily. There is every indication that the house will be thronged from parquet to gallery with the many friends of the popular Neil, and as talent ad libitum has volunteered for the occasion it is more than probable that a pleasant evening’s entertainment will be enjoyed by all those who are so fortunate as to gain admission into the building. ‘Handy Andy’ will be the principal attraction, with the inimitable Dan Byrant in the principal rôle, sustained by a number of the leading artists from Mr. Wallack’s company. [Lists cast members.] This is the first benefit that Mr. Neil Bryant has ever taken in this city, and his friends will rally en masse.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 22 April 1869, 7.

Full cast list.

Announcement: New-York Times, 22 April 1869, 5.

“The grand complimentary testimonial to Mr. Neil Bryant takes place to-night at this establishment. The merits and popularity of the gentleman insure for it a perfect success, and we are glad to know that this result has already been attained. The sale of tickets has been unusually large. The programme is varied, commencing with Mr. Dan Bryant in ‘Handy-Andy.’ In this piece the support of members of various City companies has been secured. Elsewhere on the programme we find the names of Mr. Levy, the celebrated cornet player; Mr. Harry Sanderson, the pianist; Mr. Tony Pastor, Mr. Jos. Emmett, Mr. F. Moran, Mr. N. W. Gould, and of the entire corps of Bryant’s [sic] Minstrels. It would be hard to find a more attractive bill at any place of amusement.”

Review: New-York Times, 23 April 1869, 4.

“The testimonial benefit to Mr. Neil Bryant, last night, was in every way a remarkable success. Long before the performances commenced the house was literally crowded from pit to dome. The variety given tickled the audience, and the applause was incessant. Mr. Dan Bryant once more gave his humorous and touching impersonation of Handy Andy­—a piece of genuine acting which is worthy of all commendation.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 24 April 1869, 22.

Printed after the event took place. Difficult to read; seems only to list cast.

Review: New York Clipper, 01 May 1869, 30.

“Neil Bryant’s Benefit at the Academy of Music on April 22d was a perfect ovation. The building was not only densely crowded from the upper gallery to the parquet, but nearly eight hundred people were turned away, unable to obtain even standing room. The receipts will reacha bout $3,400, and as the expenses did not exceed $500, quite a snug sum was realized. Dan Bryant appeared as Handy Andy, and we doubt if he ever played so well before. His song of ‘Ould Paddy McCarthy’ and dance of ‘The Rocky Road’ were enthusiastically encored and he was called before the curtain several times. The piece was capitally played. All of Bryants’ Minstrels appeared in a regular first part, they having closed their hall for that evening. Nearly every act was encored and the affair passed off with eclat.”