Streets of New York

Event Information

Olympic Theatre

Manager / Director:
Leonard Grover

Event Type:
Play With Music

Record Information


Last Updated:
30 November 2015

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

18 Feb 1867, Evening
19 Feb 1867, Evening
20 Feb 1867, Evening
21 Feb 1867, Evening
22 Feb 1867, Evening
23 Feb 1867, Evening
23 Feb 1867, 1:00 PM

Program Details

Johnny Collins sings with banjo accompaniment.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Poor of New York; Pauvres de Paris, Les
Text Author: Boucicault
Participants:  John Boyd;   Sand [actor];  Johnny [Ethiopian comedian] Collins (role: Bob);  Miss A. Harris [Olympic actor];  Stuart Robson (role: Puffy);  John K. Mortimer (role: Tom Badger);  Harry Jordan (role: Dan);  W. E. Sheridan [actor] (role: Adam Fairweather);  Aug. W. [actor] Fenno
aka Jimmy Boil; Jimmie Boul


Advertisement: New York Herald, 18 February 1867.
Announcement: New-York Times, 18 February 1867, 4.
Review: New York Herald, 19 February 1867, 7.

“The inauguration of a short dramatic season, which took place at this theatre last evening, was in every respect a most encouraging success.  The theatre was crowded in every part by a fashionable and critical audience… Mr. Stuart Robson rendered Puffy with considerable ability, his song Jimmy Boul, which he introduces in the first act being a very comical affair, gaining from the audience a round of hearty applause… Johnny Collins evinced a good deal of knowledge of the manners and customs of our city Arabs. He introduces into his part of Bob, the bootblack, a song with a banjo accompaniment, which has for its subject that much abuse article of female adornment called a ‘waterfall.’ ”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 19 February 1867, 7.
Review: New-York Times, 19 February 1867, 5.

“Olympic Theatre. …In addition to this comical combination brother Puffy sang a neat little ditty about a man Boil, who dabbled in oil, and on the whole Puffy was a great hit…The incidental dances are excellent, full of popular points, and the songs, fights and solos of various nature and degree with which the play abounds, made the evening thoroughly enjoyable.”

Review: New York Sun, 20 February 1867, 4.

“Mr. Grover could not have done a better thing than revive at this time, when the Olympic’s fortunes are on a verge, the Streets of New York.  The German Opera having saddened and distracted all tastes and leveled all hopes, was finally shelved on Saturday night.  The voices of Faderland were hushed and the voices of Gotham were re-awakened.  The theatre has been filled with jubilant throngs from the streets eager to see how they looked upon the stage, which in this special instance if it doesn’t hold the mirror up to nature, at the least holds it up to life, and reflects passing scenes and everyday people in a full-grown sort of fashion.  The play is the same which was produced five or six years ago at Wallack’s old theater, by Mr. Boucicault.  It was the first sensation play of the period.  It was an innovation on the staid respectability of Wallack’s and the legitimate habits of Broadway.  It was an attempt to introduce Bowery melo-drama in a company that had always treated it with derision.  Boucicault knew his people, and found that the two elements combined speedily.  Broadway has taken kindly to Bowery melo-drama ever since.  In those days the play was called The Poor of New York, but nothing save the title is altered in it to this day.  The same popular characters survive.  Badger, the returned Californian, is the roving angel and protector of innocence and avenger of the betrayed as before.  The fireman, the hot-chestnut man, the bootblack are all on the boards of the Olympic, as good as ever.   The play is produced with the old scenery, but that was good enough at first, to last.  The introduction of the new Herald building is a bid for a puff—however—that is out of taste and unnecessary.  Mr. Grover must know by this time that the good will always be praised without an invitation, and neither bribes nor curses will make the stubborn horse nor the bad piece go.”

Review: New-York Times, 22 February 1867, 4.

Brief; no mention of music.

Announcement: New York Clipper, 23 February 1867, 366, middle.
Review: New York Herald, 23 February 1867.

Brief; no mention of music.

Review: New York Clipper, 02 March 1867, 374, 2d col., top.

…“John Collins appeared as the bootblack. He introduced considerable minstrel business, telling several pretty good conundrums, and doing a good trick bone solo, which was deservedly applauded each evening. Stuart and Collins did a clever clog dance, and Charles Dobson was especially engaged to do a banjo solo, making his debut on the 19th, and was called out three times…”