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The first full-fledged Broadway musical...



Item # 675111

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September 12, 1866

NEW YORK TIMES, Sept. 12, 1866 

* "The Black Crook" opening premiere
* Very first musical theatre performance of the first ever modern day musical!
* Niblo's Garden - Broadway - New York City


A terrific and  historic issue relating to the first theatrical musical, "The Black Crook".
As Wikipedia notes: "Its significance is being considered the first piece of musical theater that conforms to the modern notion of a "book musical". The book is by Charles M. Barras, an American playwright. The music is mostly adaptations, but some new songs were composed for the piece. It opened on September 12, 1866 at Niblo's Garden on Broadway, New York City and ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. This production gave America claim to having originated the musical. The Black Crook is considered a prototype of the modern musical in that its popular songs and dances are interspersed throughout a unifying play and performed by the actors."
Its development is curious and partially accidental, for in May of 1866 a fire at the Academy of Music left a French ballet troupe without a place to perform. The company, its scenery, and its elaborate stage effects were hastily added to a production of "The Black Crook" at Niblo's Garden. The resulting bizarre combination of Faustian drama and tutu-and-tights dance routines became a major hit and is widely considered to be the first full-fledged Broadway musical.
The top of page 7 has an advertisement announcing: "The opening of the Regular Season, Wednesday September 12..." which then continues with detailed specifics of "The Black Crook".
Under the heading "Amusements" is a report from Niblo's Garden that: "Mr. Wheatley announces the positive production this evening of the new play of "The Black Crook", in which will appear the beautiful ballet troupe, and incidental to which are scenes of wonderful transformation and grand spectacular demonstration."
Eight pages, minor damp stain to a lower corner, good condition.

Item from Catalog 310 (released for September, 2021)...

Category: Post-Civil War