Butler’s Combination Troupe

Event Information

Butler's American Theatre [444 Bdway--before 3/66]

Manager / Director:
Robert W. [manager] Butler

David Braham

Ballet Director / Choreographer:
Antonio Grossi

Event Type:
Variety / Vaudeville

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 November 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

16 May 1864, Evening
17 May 1864, Evening
18 May 1864, Evening
19 May 1864, Evening
20 May 1864, Evening
21 May 1864, Evening
21 May 1864, 2:30 PM

Program Details

NYC lists Albert Braham as Musical Dir. for May 2, 9 and 16. Beginning May 23, David Braham is listed. Albert Braham was a vocalist at the Melodeon and various free and easies, and, in fact, he’s listed as performing at the Melodeon this same week. This was probably a mistake in the NYC AD that carried over for a couple of weeks, as often happened at the paper.

Paul Brilliant, who had been ballet master at American Theatre for a long time, died on Sunday, May 15, 1864. See NYC 05/21/64, p.46.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Nickodemus; Nicodemus; or, The unlucky fisherman; Nicodeme; Nicodemus; or, baked alive
Participants:  Lizzy Whelpley (role: Katarina);  Annetta La Pointe (role: Lissette);  W. A. (Billy) Burke (role: Father Barbout);  James S. Maffit (role: Nicodemus);  James F. Wambold (role: Crusty, a baker);  Johnny Allen [minstrel/variety] (role: Lavigne);  Lizzie [actor] Schultze (role: Henri)
Text Author: White
Participants:  James F. Wambold (role: Mons. Fripon, a French barber);  Lizzy Whelpley (role: Fanny Nibs);  Charley White (role: Antony Snow, a mischievous nigger);  Julia Melville (role: Mrs. Morton)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 15 May 1864.
“New and Gorgeous Ballets, Original Farces, Sparkling Burlesques, Minstrelsy and Characteristic Plantation Scenes.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 16 May 1864.
Cast lists.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 21 May 1864, 46.
Nicomdemus and Prof. Young listed.  “[P]antomime, dancing, singing, eccentricities, and other light and pleasing performances.”
Article: New York Clipper, 21 May 1864, 46.
“Paul Brilliant, ballet master, died in this city on Sunday morning, 15th inst., after an illness of several months duration.  The deceased came to this country about fifteen years ago with the Ravel family, and since that time he has occupied the position of ballet master with various companies and theatres in different parts of the country.  About three years ago, he was engaged by Manager Butler, of the American, 444 Broadway, with whom he remained until his death, Mr. Butler very kindly keeping him on full salary to the day of his decease, although for many weeks he had been incapacitated from attending to the duties of his position in directing the ballet. All honor to Mr. Butler for such warmhearted and generous conduct. Before coming to this country  Mons. Brilliant, who was a native of Paris, was ballet master at the Grand Opera in that city, and is said to have been one of the best directors in the world.  He was not only a great dancer, but a clever musician as well, composing most of the music used by him for his ballet.  At the time of his death, caused by general debility, he was about 40 years of age.  His funeral is appointed to take place this (Tuesday) morning, May 17th, from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In private life, the deceased greatly respected and admired for his kind manners and gentlemanly deportment. His place with Mr. Butler will be filled by Mons. Grosse.”
Advertisement: New York Clipper, 21 May 1864, 48.
The ballet master is listed as Paul Brilliant, but he died over the weekend.  See City Summary.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 21 May 1864, 10.
More of cast for Nicodemus.