Varieties Theatre

Event Information

Varieties Theatre

Record Information


Last Updated:
6 May 2012

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

22 May 1865, Evening
23 May 1865, Evening
24 May 1865, Matinee
24 May 1865, Evening
25 May 1865, Evening
26 May 1865, Evening
27 May 1865, Matinee
27 May 1865, Evening

Program Details

Sig. Kerino, “the Italian dwarf,” is made up of Thompson and Kerns hidden behind a curtain, imitating a “dwarf.” See R: NYC 06/03/65, p. 62.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka New York by gaslight
aka Madrileña


Advertisement: New York Herald, 22 May 1865.

     “Signor Stefanio Kerino, twenty-four inches high, who plays fourteen different instruments.”

Review: New York Clipper, 03 June 1865, 62.

     Includes a description of Mlle. Duverney’s act and Thompson and Kern’s minstrel performance.  “Surely, if ‘variety is the spice of life,’ then the frequenters of the Varieties, in the Bowery, have no cause to complain, for a more diversified programme than is set forth there is seldom seen in any other establishment.  For three hours and a half the audience are treated to everything that is possible to please the eye, and Managers Poole & Donnelly are constantly on the qui vive to bring forth something fresh.  The most noticeable features engaged here last week were Mlle. Duverney, tight rope ascensionist; Frank Bankhurst, cloggist; Mons. Moreici Navoni, the one-legged dancer; Sig. Kerino, the dwarf; Thompson and Kerns, black comedians; and Jouvetta, danseuse.  Navoni is the only legitimate one-legged dancer that has yet appeared in this city.  He has a cork leg, and dances on his right leg with a clog shoe.  He keeps excellent time, executes several difficult steps, and does the heel and toe business exceedingly well for a dancer with one leg. . . . A high box is set upon the stage, and behind it stand Thompson and Kerns; but one head is only seen, and that is Kerns’.  Thompson’s hands and arms are pushed forward so as to represent the arms of the supposed dwarf, and the arms of Kerns are laid on the table so as to represent the legs of the dwarf.  Mr. Donnelly then comes forward and goes through the performance with the aforesaid dwarf.  Thompson takes a penny whistle in his hands, and placing it to Kerns’ mouth plays a tune on it.  Another instrument is given him, and while Kerns plays the tune with his mouth, Thompson does the fingering, the same with the violin. . . . Emma Schell is one of the best danseuses there.  She did the La Madrilina very cleverly.  Senorita Jouvetta is one of the best Spanish danseuses in the business.  In some of her dances she excels many we know of.  The drama of ‘New York by Gaslight’ concluded the evening’s performance.  Several scenes have been painted for the piece, and altogether it is pretty well done.  The Varieties is a fine theatre, and with a constant succession of stars ought to pay.”