Exploring the History of Theater - in One Amazing City

Blog Posts: Commentary and Images for Every Episode

As I promised in Episode #24, "The Everlasting Minstrel Show", here is the complete item from the June 13th, 1863 New York Clipper about the "Ira Aldridge Troupe". It was part of a longer article entitled "The Theatrical Record", and had the subhead…

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Philadelphia artist Frank Taylor's rendering of Dumont's Minstrel's (also known as the Eleventh Street Opera House).By the time Taylor made this drawing in the 1920s, the theater had been demolished, and the current version of Dumont's former troupe…

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A copy of the bust of Charlotte Cushman by Emma Stebbins, which was a longtime feature of the collection of the Cushman Club in Philadelphia. It was given to the club in 1957 by Stuart Louchheim, then the president of the Academy of Music. It now re…

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Well, yes he did! Faithful followers of the podcast will remember that we speculated on this topic in Episode #2, but there is proof! In the famous diary of the London resident and Royal Navy administrator Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), we find the foll…

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Above: The cover of Christian DuComb's book Haunted City.  Below: Christian Ducomb has himself been a Mummer. He performed as a slice of pizza with the Vaudevillians Comic Club in the 2010 Mummers Parade. (Photo from an 2017 article i…

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Print of the Academy of Music, 1857. In a very early article about the Academy of Music from the late 1850s, a writer remarked that there was a general effort in Philadelphia to call it "The Broad Street Opera House." This would have followed t…

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Dec. 3, 2021

The Riot Act

A British cartoon showing the O.P. riots in London in 1809. The point of view of the artist is decidedly opposed to the protests, as the cartoon shows working class roughnecks assaulting and robbing well-dressed toffs in the pit of the Grand Nationa…

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An illustration by white artist Charles Bird King of a War Dance, performed by a delegation of Native American Tribes to Washington DC.The illustration is the frontispiece of Volume One of McKenney's History of the Indian Tribes of North America.&nb…

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Above: An 1863 engraved advertising card for the Arch Street Theatre, with an illustration of the theater's new facade. Collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia   Below, an 1868 photograph of the Arch Street Theatre, taken from t…

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Here are some photos from the FIRST EVER Adventures in Theater History Walking Tour.I led a walking tour along the streets of Philadelphia on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021. We began at the corner of South and Front Streets in Old City Philadelphia, a…

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