Bad Dickey

Event Information

Tammany Hall

Price: $.25 family circle (to mark the “reopening” of the family circle); “other prices as usual”

Event Type:
Play With Music

Record Information


Last Updated:
3 May 2020

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

06 Dec 1869, Evening
07 Dec 1869, Evening
08 Dec 1869, Evening
09 Dec 1869, Evening
10 Dec 1869, Evening
11 Dec 1869, Evening
11 Dec 1869, 2:00 PM

Program Details

All songs listed in program were performed in the course of the burlesque. For complete list of the music see the New York Herald advertisement, which provides unofficial titles and song types, and identifies the Offenbach operas from which some of the burlesque music derives. First appearance of burlesque comedian M. William Fiske at Tammany Hall.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Participants:  Moses William Fiske;  Alfred [actor] Stewart (role: Lord Mayor of London);  Lillie [actress] Whiting (role: The Recorder);  S. H. [actor] Verney (role: Lord Stanley);  Fanny Herring (role: Henri, Earl of Richmond);  Louis Joseph Mestayer [actor] (role: Duchess of York);  Alice M. Harrison [vocal-actor] (role: Princess Elizabeth);  Lizzie Kelsey (role: Duke of Buckingham);  Rose [actress] Massey;  Maggie [actress] Desmond (role: Lady Ann);  Bessie [singer] Sudlow (role: Sir John Catesby)
Composer(s): Arnold
aka Shoo fly don't bother me; Shu fly don't bother me; Shew fly don’t bother me
Composer(s): Howard


Advertisement: New York Herald, 05 December 1869, 12.
Announcement: New York Herald, 06 December 1869, 7.

“…The new burlesque will be given with all the accessories of new music, new scenery, and gorgeous costumes…”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 06 December 1869, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 06 December 1869, 2.

“…The scenery is new, and the music will include a song by Offenbach, as yet unheard here. Every effort has been made to present this burlesque in a highly effective manner.”

Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 06 December 1869, 7.
Announcement: New York Sun, 06 December 1869, 1.

Brief. The burlesque “is said to be irresistibly funny.”

Review: New York Sun, 07 December 1869, 1.

No mention of music.

Review: New York Herald, 09 December 1869, 7.

Long review. Notes that the burlesque part of Bad Dickey “is ludicrously funny, and is filled with all sorts of music, from that of the infectious opera bouffe down to the great ‘Shoo Fly’ song and dance, which is now the rage at no less than ten different places of amusement in this city…”

Announcement: New York Post, 10 December 1869, 1.

General complaint in a column of “Musical Gossip”: “‘Shoo fly,’ the popular minstrel song of the day, is the most stupid and idiotic of musical and verbal twaddle; but it has caught the public ear to a marvellous [sic] extent.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 11 December 1869, 286.

“‘Bad Dickey’ is the title of a burlesque on Burnand’s ‘Richard the Third,’ announced for presentation at the Tammany this evening, with the following cast:—[lists cast]. …New scenery is said to have been painted for it by David Strong, the music arranged by Arnold, and the burlesque is replete with the local songs of the day.” Provides ticket prices.

Review: New York Clipper, 18 December 1869, 294.

First portion difficult to read. “‘Bad Dickey,’ produced at the Tammany on Monday evening, Dec. 6th, is the title of an extravaganza…The only redeeming features of the entire production are the magnificent costumes and clever acting of Misses Fiske and Fanny Herring. The music is in a few instances good… There was a crowded audience present, and the attendance was quite good all the week...”