Proprietor / Lessee:
Manager / Director:
Price: $.75; $1 reserved seats; .30 family circle
Variety / Vaudeville
14 July 2016
Cast list. “BIANCO; or THE ENCHANTED SWORD, Invented and composed by the Ravels, expressly for this establishment. . . . Dances Arranged by Mons, Mathieu. Intermission of fifteen minutes between the Ballet and the Pantomime. The New Grand Ballet arranged by Mons. Van Hamme, entitled the Nymphs and the Butterfly.”
“The Ravels.—These performers are representing themselves at the theatre next to Metropolitan Hotel. They are, as they have always been, very popular with our citizens. In their present performances they elicit the usual amount of applause. But there seems to be a gross lack of attention to the interests of their patrons, and many of them among their oldest, in the arrangements of the house. The side avenues of the house are crammed with auditors, and when one pays a dollar and a half for a seat, presuming he has an easy way of egress, he is mistaken when the time of leaving arrives. Every avenue is crowded.
Last night there was a full house. Young America, a very attractive, if not the most attractive member of the Ravel troupe, did not appear. The humbug of giving him that nom de plume was appreciated by the audience. The rest of the Ravel troupe—and there was only one of them, Antoine, on the boards—barely sustained their old reputation in what is termed ‘the grand fairy pantomime of Bianco, or the Enchanted Sword.’ It is always a pleasure to see our old friends the Ravels, but they should be better presented than they were last evening. Nothing was done, if we except some amusing scenes in the kitchen act, in which Antoine is the hero, to give the pantomime a living show for favorite future representation. We never saw anything with which the Ravels were connected fall so flat upon an audience. The ballet, with Signora Pepita at its head, is better viewed from the family circle than the orchestra chairs. Van Hamme is remarkable. He executes three evolutions in the air, a triple pirouette, and exacted the only real applause the audience appeared willing to give.
The farce that precedes the Ravel performances had better be relieved of its vulgarity if the Ravels desire to sustain their previous reputation before the American public. No troupe sustaining the position they have had heretofore will maintain the public favor surrounded by their present helps. Last night a blush was brought to many a face by a loose remark made by the principal comedienne.”
“This pantomime is comprised in 12 scenes, and it tells again the old, but never toilsome, story of ‘Don Giovanni’—of course, with a difference. The humor of the piece center s in the comic valet Bianco, who follows and partakes [sic] the adventures of his gay, gallant and [illeg.] master. The current of action runs through much intrigue, in which grave and gay elements are [illeg.] blended. Finally, the enchanted statue puts an end to the sinful hero of the pantomime, while a ghost, a direful aspect, harries the unlucky valet. It may be imagined that these effects are extremely ludicrous. The scenic spectacle, with which the piece closes, is one of rare and dazzling brilliancy, and is aptly described as a ‘grand tableau of happiness and Glory.’ We do not find ‘Bianco’ to be new, but it certainly is one of the best pantomimes that have ever been done in New York: nor could any piece well be done with more thorough attention to lustrous stage effect.”
“Strangers in the city flock to Niblo’s at a very early hour in the evening to make sure of a seat, and it is quite a sight to witness the rush for the ticket office when the portals are opened.”
“While the Girls who crowd Niblo’s Garden are carrying everything behind them, that establishment is carrying everything before it, seats being at a premium at an early hour in the evening. The past week the fairy spectacular pantomime of ‘Bianco, or the Enchanted Sword,’ was produced, and it cuts it way into public favor from the jump. The surroundings are new, the tricks full of dash, the fun of a jocund character, the music weird-like and eccentric, the dances hypercoon, and nothing said or done that could offend the taste of the English capitalists or the Tunis visitors. Manager Wheatley, who has a good thing of it, will become a millionaire if he lives long enough. Its [sic] worth the cost of admission to take a view of the people at Niblo’s. Delicate creatures force their way through the crowd like hired men at an election fight; little bits of things wriggle themselves among the masses like newly-caught eels, and the first thing you know they are in the front ranks of society calling upon their left behind gallants to ‘come quick.’ Ah! The girls of the present day are faster than the men, and are bound to work their way through the world, despite all opposition.”