Varieties – Opening Night

Event Information

Varieties Theatre

Proprietor / Lessee:
Thomas L. Donnelly
John F. [1833-93] Poole
W. V. De Wulbeke

Manager / Director:
W. V. De Wulbeke

Harvey D. Beissenherz

Ballet Director / Choreographer:
Mons. [dancer/director] Auguste

Price: $.20 parquet; .30 first circle; .10 upper tier

Event Type:
Orchestral, Variety / Vaudeville

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 July 2011


Advertisement: New York Herald, 27 August 1864.
The Varieties Theater, formerly the Stadt Theater, 37-39 Bowery, is being redecorated and will be open “soon.”  It will offer diverse spectacles (pantomime, minstrel show, ballet, opera, burlesque, etc.)  Also a request for performers: dancers, pantomimes, “Ethiopian performers,” etc.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 31 August 1864.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 September 1864.
Large ad with full names and descriptions of many performers.  “[T]he intrepid boy gymnast and pantomimist, BEPPO ZANFRETTA . . . Hibernian comedian and vocalist, and world recognized representative of ‘Ireland As It Is,’ Mr. T.L. Donnelly.  The star banjoist of the profession, California’s favorite, Mr. J. WALLACE, his first appearance in the Atlantic states. . . . [A] full and efficient orchestra, under the leadership of Mr. H. BIESSENHERZ.  The celebrate pyrotechnist, Professor CLARKE, will illuminate the Bowery from the front of the VARIETIES each evening, with his many colored calcium light.”
Announcement: New York Clipper, 03 September 1864, 166.
“The Stadt Theatre, over in the Bowery, has been purchased by Mr. T. L. Donnelly, and will be opened shortly, under the management of Wilbeck (sic), Donnelly & John F. Poole, the dramatist.  The establishment has been newly decorated, painted and upholstered, and extensive alterations are being made.  It will be opened as the ‘Varieties,’ and the performances given will be similar to those at 444 on Broadway.”
Review: New York Clipper, 10 September 1864, 174.
“As its name implies, the managers propose to give variety entertainments, and of a class particularly suited to East side patrons of amusements. . . . These gentlemen give evidence of understanding what they want to do, and they are doing it.  They have secured a strong company, comprising pantominists, dancers, singers, actors, actresses, etc. . . . The opening night was Saturday last, 3d inst., when there was a great mass meeting in attendance, outside and in, the outs being unable to get in, and the insides couldn’t get out.  The beginning was a good one, and the ‘Varieties’ looked lively.  The prices of admission are very democratic, being 10, 20 and 80 cents.”