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a OCT2^ 1972 

\^ ^ 

x3>** t 

Before the Curtain. 

It was my fortune to begin writing of the 
Chicago theaters about the time that Harry 
J. Powers was first engaged in a minor capacity 
at Hooley's. Thus when it happened, after a 
long course of years, that Mr. Powers, having 
become master where he once served, invited 
me to prepare an unpretentious souvenir of this 
historic house, it seemed an obligation of old 
friendship and, therefore, a pleasant duty to 
comply with the request. 

The result is offered without apology, since 
where there is no pretense there can be no 
occasion for excuses. Wishing to preserve 
from oblivion fugitive memories of this famous 
theater, and signalize not merely its change of 
ownership, but also a complete reconstruction, a souvenir of 
this casual and informal nature was thought to be appropriate. 
Perhaps some flying threads and thrums have been rescued 
and woven together in such a manner that they will be avail- 
able, one of these days, for some one more apt and patient than 
I am in the work of writing history. No doubt errors have 
crept in, which is not strange, since there is no complete reposi- 
tory of facts relating to any of the Chicago theaters upon which 
one may draw. The chief dependence is and must be upon 
memory, reinforced by such memoranda as have escaped the 
envious tooth of time. Nothing is affirmed or promised, there- 
fore, except a few facts and sentiments garnered to honor 
a theater which has earned an entirely unique reputation. There 

i i 

is no attempt to be literary, profound, or exhaustive. I 
simply dwell casually upon the record of dear old Uncle Dick 
Hooley and his achievements in this house, because they are 
worthy of attention, and for the reason that they form an 
important chapter in the theatrical history of Chicago. Now that 
a second chapter in this record has been commenced by Mr. 
Hooley *s successor-in-trust, Harry J. Powers, it seems appro- 
priate to bring the old and the new together in these pages, and 
thus with a sentiment of tender regret for the past that has 
drifted away from us, and of hope for the future, which prom- 
ises so much, I wish the manager and the patrons of Powers' 
Theater all happiness and good fortune. 

L. B. G. 


One Chicago Theater. 

"The world's a theater, the earth a 

Which God and Nature do with actors 

Haywood's " Apology for Actors." 

A city of two million peo- 
ple, flinging her banners to the 
breeze that all the world may 
be filled with envy and admira- 
tion, yet Chicago became an 
incorporated fact, with 4,179 
souls, only sixty-one years ago. 
Nature's solemn, silent thea- 
ter, peopled by midnight owls 
and predatory wolves ranged 
away from the sounding waves 
of Lake Michigan, in a broad 
verdant meadows and limitless 

prairies, with their pickets and outposts of scattering trees. 
This was the theater which God and Nature had not then 
filled with actors, but time passed swiftly in these pioneer 
days, and half a century ago the first Chicago theater became 
a reality. 

Only fifty years, yet the effort and achievement of that 
period, brief in comparison with the gray centuries of the past, 
have stirred the wonder of all mankind. The good fairy of 
progress, searching for new worlds to conquer, raised her 
potent wand and a new city sprang into existence ; a city 



sweep of dismal swamps. 

destined to be consumed by fire and rebuilt more splendid 
than before ; a city which was to control the markets of the 
world, establish the most liberal system of parks and*boulevards 
in the universe, create a World's Exposition of undying glory, 
and undertake such marvels in engineering as are involved in 
the water supply, drainage and transportation problems, which 
have been so well solved. 

It would be strange if the stage had not kept pace with these 
matchless impulses of Western civilization. Touching more 

lives in a recreative 
way than any other 
institution, its early 
growth was identified 
with the struggles of 
the city, and it has 
borne an honorable 
part in all these tre- 
mendous efforts by 
relieving the mental 
pressure, smoothing 
down the rough edges 
of care, and tutoring 
this people the world 
forgetting and by the 
world forgot to pre- 
pare, by mental relax- 
ation, for the duties of 

This is the primary 
mission of the theater, 
and this duty it has 
performed, if not with 
unwavering fidelity to 
high standards, at least with such 
sincere regard for artistic models as 
the existing state of public taste 

would permit. If a stream cannot rise above its fountain- 
head, neither can any enterprise, depending upon public favor, 
maintain a standard far superior to the taste of its patrons, with- 
out courting bankruptcy. 

But we may throw philosophy, along with physic, to the 
dogs. It is of a theater with no apologies to offer that this 
brief abstract and chronicle has to do. Although caviare to the 
general, a thing quite apart from the common gossip of the 
world, the record of a representative theater is a cherished 
memory to those who have lived within the circle of its influ- 
ence. Out of that baptism of fire in 1871, at which all the 
world wondered, came Hooley's, now Powers' Theater, and 
thereby hangs a tale which may be briefly unfolded to refresh 
the memory of the present generation, and perchance inform 
those who come after, of a theatrical record approached in kind 
by no other American theater, and in general by Daly's Theater 
alone of all the other play-houses in the United States. 

Into this inheritance of accrued honor and glory comes 
Powers' Theater, the successor in trust of all the splendid asso- 
ciations connected with this historic house which has changed 
its name, but not its nature, and continues with all the rights, 
hereditaments and attractions that have so long made the Ran- 
dolph Street Theater the Mecca of polite and discriminating 
play-goers. With fair Juliet we may exclaim: 

" What's in a name ? That which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet." 

And so with kindly words of farewell for the old name that 
hung bravely over these doors throughout so many years of sun- 
shine and storm, a title which under the changed conditions of 
ownership could not be retained, we glance over the busy history 
of those twenty-six years as a prelude to such words as may be 
said of the new regime and a reconstructed and modernized 
theater. It is not the name we must remember, but the attrac- 
tion that fixes the status of a playhouse, and when the attrac- 
tions continue unchanged, and the same firm and experienced 

hand that has actively guided the affairs of the house for so 
long still controls its destinies, the regret occasioned by the 
enforced disappearance of the familiar title vanishes in the 
generous and well-founded belief that all Hooley's Theater has 
been Powers' Theater will continue to be. 

The First Hooley Theater. 

The blistering flames of the great fire of 1871 left many 
wrecks behind. To Richard M. Hooley this catastrophe was 
the enforced beginning of a new career. In a few hours the 
earnings of a life-time were swept away, and the alert, suc- 
cessful manager who had ever conquered his world was obliged 

again to face the struggle which 
he had just given over in the 
hope of retirement and ease. A 
successful manager in Brooklyn 
and throughout the country 
where his minstrels were well 
known, Mr. Hooley determined 
in 1870 to locate in Chicago. 
Possessing ample credit and cap- 
ital, he secured possession of 
Bryan Hall, at 89 Clark street, 
where the Grand Opera House 
is now located, and constructed 
a handsome theater, to which 
he gave the name of Hooley's 
Opera House. Next to Cros- 
by's Opera House and Mc- 
Vicker's, it was by far the 
handsomest theater in the city 
at that time, and the news- 
papers of the day, still preserved 
in dark vaults, bear silent but 
eloquent testimony to its beauty 

and elegance. It was on Monday evening, January 2, 1871, 
that this new temple of dramatic art was thrown open to 
the public with an entertainment provided by Hooley's famous 
Minstrels, who were spurred to their most humorous and 
melodious endeavors by the fact that Manning's Minstrels 
were also disporting themselves before a great audience at the 
Dearborn Theater, only two blocks away. At Crosby's 
Opera House "The Twelve Temptations" held out their 
glittering lure, and at McVicker's J. K. Emmet played " Our 
German Cousin" on the night that Hooley's Opera House 
was dedicated, while in the forbidding gloom of old Farwell 
Hall the silvery eloquence of Wendell Phillips inspired another 
great congregation. 


Of Mr. Hooley's first appearance on this occasion, as a 
local manager, one kindly disposed critic exhausted the entire 
list of adjectives in describing the beauty of the house, the 
excellence of the entertainment, the wisdom of the manager, 
and the enthusiasm of the audience. 

Thus auspiciously inaugurated, Hooley's Opera House con- 
tinued joyously to the tunes of minstrelsy and burlesque, with 
an occasional dramatic interlude, until the summer vacation, 
when Frank E. Aiken became associated with the management, 
Hooley's first dramatic stock company was organized, with 
twenty-five people, many of whom were well-known actors of 
that day. It included, in addition to Mr. Aiken, Messrs. J. 
H. Fitzpatrick, Frank Lawler, M. C. Daly, J. C. Padgett, 
J. C. Morrison, S. L. Knapp, Jarvis Vincent, George Arthur 
and David Osborne, while among the ladies were Augusta 
Dargon, Fanny Burt, Lizzie Herbert, Annie Campion, Isabel 
Remick, Mrs. Daly, Lizzie Osborne and Annie Rogers. " The 
Hunchback" was selected for the first performance, which 
marked the evening of August 28, 1871. 

It is not necessary or possible in this casual record of Mr. 
Hooley's beginnings in Chicago to follow the fortunes at this 
house during the four weeks prior to its destruction by the great 
fire. The stock company filled in most of the time acceptably 
with such plays as "The Two Buzzards," "The Serious 
Family," " Camille," and the "Long Strike," with one 
interruption by the Oates opera company, and then the day of 
doom arrived. On Sunday night, October 8, Mrs. Lander 
commenced an engagement, playing " Elizabeth, Queen of 
England," but the next day Hooley's Opera House was in 
ashes, reduced from its former estate by the furious blast of 
flame that swept that earlier Chicago out of existence. 

Out of the Flames. 

It is only to discern and appreciate the historical associa- 
tions and the splendid inheritance of many glittering and 
brilliant years upon which Mr. Powers is to erect a new super- 
structure of success, that we glance hastily and with no thought 
of minor details at the influences leading up to the establishment 
of the now famous house which he controls. Its pedigree 
which no one doubts, and all the professional world, as well as 
that closely knit world of society is quick to recognize, is bound 
up and determined in and by those happenings in the past, as 
it is assured for the future by the careful and experienced hand 
now at the helm. Woven into the warp 
and woof of Chicago history is the record 
of this theater, and as the weaving goes 
steadily forward forming a continuous 
fabric, we could not if we would separate 
the present from the past or unduly 
dismember those historical associations so 
firmly knit together. The story of a 
theater is not the record of one man. It 
cannot be given arbitrary metes and 
bounds, but must be accepted as a whole, 
and thus before we may gla_nce at Power's 
Theater of to-day, with all of its remark- 
able possibilities, it is necessary, and may 
prove interesting to casuist and philoso- 
pher alike, to dwell briefly in the past 
and gather up those flying and scattered 
reminiscences that have thus far escaped 


the historian. The dead past may bury its dead, but the 
record remains. Thus we glance back at the beginnings of 
Hooley's Theater not merely to glorify the past but to pre- 
serve the traditions and discover in what 
manner the foundations of the house were 

When the flames destroyed Hooley's 
Opera House, that spectacular event, a re- 
flection of which was seen around the world, 
made radical change in many plans, among 
the number those that had just been per- 
fected by Mr. Hooley. Having gained a 
fortune by his various enterprises in the field 
of amusement, he determined to retire and 
take up his residence in the East. With 
this purpose in view he had disposed of 
his interest in Hooley's Opera House, and 
when the historic fire broke out was waiting 
at the Briggs House with his personal 
effects and impedimenta ready for a trip 
to the seaboard. Much of his fortune was 
invested in Chicago, and when the smoke 
of that awful conflagration cleared away 
he discovered, in common with thousands 
of other unfortunates, that his assets had 
melted in the blow-pipe of that terrible heat, 
and thus it became necessary to begin the 
conflict over again. There was no further 
thought of a life of ease, but with that energy and determina- 
tion always characterizing his career Mr. Hooley at once set 
about finding a suitable location for a new theater. By some 
favoring chance he hit upon the Randolph street site, which 
was thus established as the permanent locale of a theater des- 
tined to become famous. Work was commenced without 
undue delay, and despite exorbitant prices incident to a 
time when the whole city was rebuilding and the delays 


peculiar to such an excited and unusual condition, within little 
more than a year the new theater was ready for occupancy. 
If was on the evening of October 21, 1872, that the lights 
were turned on for the first time within the very walls that 
remain to this day, walls which for more than a quarter of 
a century have resounded to the voices of nearly all the great 
artists of the period and have contained, times innumerable, the 
wealth, fashion and intellect of Chicago. 

The Abbot Kiralfy troupe provided the entertainment on 
that opening night with a diverting, but not too artistic panto- 
mime, entitled "The Three Hunchbacks," and a crowded 
audience showered congratulations so thick upon Manager 
Hooley that the opening incidents were justly regarded as 
omens of success. The theater was dedicated on this occasion 
under the old familiar name of Hooley's Opera House, which 
had done duty before the fire at the Clark street location, and 
it was not until several years later that the qualifying and per- 
haps, misleading phrase was dropped and Hooley's Theater was 
fixed upon as the title destined to stand with but a slight inter- 
ruption for almost twenty-five years. Prior to that change Mr. 
Hooley adopted "The Parlor Home of Comedy " as a sub- 
title, this being his fancy on introducing his great stock com- 
pany which first appeared Monday evening, August 31, 1874. 
Previous to that date the house had been devoted to minstrelsy 
and to such miscellaneous attractions as could be secured ; but 
results were not satisfactory, and Mr. Hooley, crippled by the 
fire, found his financial condition growing desperate. It was 
then that the project of a dramatic stock company appealed to 
him, and since the company he formed was the strongest stock 
organization Chicago has ever boasted, this event should be 
embalmed in memory by more than the tribute of a passing 
word. It is impossible within the brief limits assigned this 
casual and discursive sketch which is intended to indicate in 
general rather than set forth in detail the history of Hooley's 
Theater to describe all that this company did or tried to do. A 
most worthy undertaking managed with exceptional liberality, 


its maintenance was one of the most artistic and creditable 
incidents in the career of Richard M. Hooley. Composed of 
thirty actors, the company included a number of artists who 
stood high in the ranks at that time and have since become 
famous. James O'Neill, who had made himself known as 
a member of McVicker's Stock Company, was leading man. 
William H. Crane, then a recent graduate from opera bouffe, 
as represented by the Alice Gates Company, was engaged as 
low comedian, and his connection with Hooley 's was the 
foundation stone of legitimate experience upon which his bril- 
liant success of the future was established. Nate Salsbury, who 
subsequently gained fame and fortune in connection with Sals- 
bury 's Troubadours, and then as the directing influence of 
Buffalo Bill's Wild West, was the eccentric or character come- 
dian of this company and Miss Louise Hawthorne, who had made 
a name with Lawrence Barrett, was the leadiag lady. Other 

notables were Clara Fischer 
Maeder, famed for her "old 
woman ' ' characterizations ; 
Mrs. Fred Williams, a sou- 
brette and comedienne of im- 
mense popularity ; Henry S. 
Murdock, light comedian ; 
George Ryer, a sterling actor 
of old men characters ; Miss 
Nellie Bellew, and a score 
of others who gave a good 
account of themselves at the 
time, although most of them 
long since disappeared from 
the stage. 

The opening play selected 
for this new company was 
Dion Boucicault's " Led 
Astray," and this was fol- 
lowed by other revivals, 

some of them Shakespearean, all put on in a highly creditable 
manner. Growing out of an experimental stock company which 
had played at this house on the preceding year, and includ- 
ing such admirable artists as J. W. Blaisdell, Russell Soggs, 
John Dillon, George Giddens, Kate Meek and Mrs. Maeder, 
the company of 1874 was believed to be a permanent develop- 
ment in artistic growth, certain to parallel in Chicago the 
brilliant reputation of Wallack's company in New York. But 
this anticipation was not realized. There were many clever 
performances, but the enterprise did not grow, and Mr. Hooley 
discovered that his affairs were taking on a most gloomy hue. 

It is not necessary to dwell upon the events that followed 
in 1875, when from October of that year until January, 1877, 
Mr. Hooley was obliged to relinquish his theater to Simon 
Quinlin, who in turn rented it to Thomas Maguire of Cali- 
fornia. J. H. Haverly became associated with Maguire dur- 
ing this period, and it was then that the theater was known 
as Haverly' s Theater, the old familiar name of Hooley disap- 
pearing from the door. 

It is best not to detail the bitter litigation that ensued or to 
describe the steps whereby Mr. Hooley was enabled to regain 
control of the theater, but it may be recalled as an incident of 
the times that while shut out, as he believed, unjustly from the 
house he had built, Mr. Hooley leased for a while the New 
Chicago Theater (now known as the Olympic) which was then 
controlled by J. H. McVicker. That manager had fitted up 
this theater at great expense on the former site of Kingsbury 
Hall for the purpose of competing with Hooley 's Parlor Home 
of Comedy, but there did not seem to be adequate patron- 
age for such an undertaking, and thus it happened that when 
Mr. Hooley 's enterprise also went astray and his theater was 
possessed by another, The New Chicago stood ready for his 
occupancy, although truth compels the admission that he did not 
prosper in this new and temporary location. In order to com- 
plete and round out this story of disaster it may be mentioned 
that Mr. Haverly testified in court to losing more than $7,000 

during the fifteen months that his name hung suspended over 
Hooley's Randolph street theater. 

But the whirligig of time brings compensations now and 
then to those who are patient enough to wait, and the fall of 
1877 once rnore found Mr. Hooley in possession of the theater 
which was destined to bear his name for so long a period. For- 

tune had trifled with him in a most vexatious manner for a 
time, but won, perhaps by his persistence, she now commenced 
to smile. It is a pleasing coincidence that Harry J. Powers, 
who now succeeds to the honors, responsibilities and emolu- 
ments of this famous theater, became connected with this house, 
though in an extremely modest capacity, during this eventful 
year which marked the beginning of a new era of prosperity 
for Mr. Hooley's management. It is naturally an agreeable 

recollection for him that, having served continuously ever since, 
he has been connected with the theater during its entire period 
of success, and therefore falls heir legitimately and by virtue of 
long and faithful service to a management every detail of which 
he has fully mastered in the school of experience. His own 
modesty rebels even at this slight recognition of an untiring 
fidelity to the interests of his employer, but no sketch of 
Hooley's Theater, however brief, would be even measurably 
complete that failed to recognize his long and influential asso- 
ciation with the theater of which he has now become the sole 
manager. During the early years of his connection with 
Hooley's Theater he occupied in turn all of the subordinate 
positions incident to theatrical management, contributing to 
each such energy and devotion that he made rapid progress, 
earning every promotion, until at last, more than a decade ago, 
he was installed as Mr. Hooley's chief adviser and assistant. 
This honorable position he held to the unwavering satisfaction of 
his chief up to the time of Mr. Hooley's death, and thereafter 
managed the theater in the interest of the estate with such skill 
and ability that the profits of the house reached a figure even 
greater than had ever been realized during the life of its founder. 
It is not strange therefore that when a new lease of the building 
was to be negotiated the owners preferred him to all other 
applicants, nor is it an occasion for wonder that when estopped 
from the use of Mr. Hooley's name by burdensome and impos- 
sible conditions to which no prudent business man could accede, 
he listened to the advice of friends and associates and rechristened 
the house "Powers' Theater." This selection of a name, 
though reluctantly made in consequence of the belief that some 
would think it dictated by egotism, or that it might seem to 
indicate but slight respect for the memory of his old employer 
and friend, was justified by the necessity which compelled the 
selection of a new name, and also by a legitimate business 
consideration. It was reasonable to identify an important 
enterprise, give it stability, and confirm it in the confidence of 
the public, by affixing to it the responsible name of a man 

who had been associated with its up-building for a double 
decade. In no other business does personal confidence stand 
for more than in theatrical management. It is hard-earned, but 
when once secured is an element of success, the value of which 
cannot be overestimated. Wallack, Palmer, Daly, McVicker, 
Hooley, the Frohmans, and others, have illustrated this self- 
evident fact; and, governed by this same philosophy, the advisers 
of Mr. Powers fell into no error when they insisted that the 
confidence inspired by Mr. Powers' name should be crystallized 
and made effective by placing it upon the theatrical structure 
which he had done so much to build up and sustain. 


Some Great Events. 

IT is impossible within the narrow limits assigned to this 
monograph to dwell at length in the past or recall many 
of those brilliant and interesting occurrences that belong 
to the extraordinary record of this theater. Since 1877, 
the year of the new beginning, nearly all of the great artists of 
the present generation have appeared on this stage, adding each 
his page to a history which is not equalled in consecutive impor- 
tance by that of many other American theaters. Opera, com- 
edy, tragedy, burlesque, farce comedy, indeed all the classifica- 
tions of stage art so deftly enumerated by the ancient Polonius, 
have followed each other in ceaseless procession behind these 
glowing footlights. Nilsson in the hey-day of youth and 
beauty, Clara Louise Kellogg, the brilliant cantatrice of the early 
'70*5, Gary, the greatest of American contraltos, Pappenheim, 
and a host of other operatic stars displayed their vocal glories 
in this theater, there being no opera-house available for many 
years after the destruction of Crosby's. And then how many 
other familiar names are inscribed upon that lengthening roll of 
fame. Aimee, Janauschek, Alice Oates, the elder Sothern and 
Mme. Modjeska were numbered among the leading attractions 
of 1878, and Fanny Davenport made her first Chicago appear- 
ance as a star during that same notable year, which was also 
marked by a run of nine weeks for A. M. Palmer's famous Union 
Square Company, an incident that quite puts to blush the cur- 
rent belief that Chicago has but recently graduated into the dis- 
tinction of long runs. Indeed the early record of Hooley's 
Theater discloses not a few evidences that a popular success 
was quite as welcome to prolong its stay as it is in these metro- 



politan days. Augustin Daly, with a repertory, the Kiraliys, 
with "Michael Strogoff," McKee Rankin, with the "Dan- 
ites," and Wyndham in a repertory are each credited with 
four weeks in the early '8o's, and on a succeeding visit 
Mr. Daly was obliged to remain five weeks. It was on July 
6, 1884, that Henry E. Dixey commenced at this theater, 
that engagement of six weeks in "Adonis" which was the 
corner-stone of a phenomenal success that yielded a great 
fortune and set the fashion for a new style of entertainment. 
Aside from those already stated the longest runs in the history 
of the house may be briefly 
summarized : 

May .30, 1885, Rice's 
"Evangeline," I 2 weeks. A^v 

July 4, 1891, "The County \ x r\\1 
Fair," 9 weeks. 

October, 1891, E. S. Wil- 
lard, 4 weeks. 

June, 1893, E. S. Willard, 
9 weeks. 

October, 1893, Coquelin 
and Hading, 4 weeks. 

December, 1893, the Ken- 
dais, 4 weeks. 

May, 1894, "Charley's 
Aunt," 15 weeks. 

July 6, 1895, "Trilby," 8 

December 9, 1895, "Pris- 
oner of Zenda," 5 weeks. 

May 23, 1896, "Gay Par- 
isiennes," 13 weeks. 

October 2, 1897, "Secret 
Service," 6 weeks. 

Engagements ranging from 
two to four weeks have been 

'? ^1,: ^-/A '"t-J^"'- r 

+f9?T*\ 'II r 

very numerous, but not many, as may be observed, exceed that 
limit. It is interesting, however, to recall the fact, certified 
by the official figures, that Mr. Willard holds the honorable 
record of playing more weeks during one twelvemonth than any 
other star who ever appeared in this theater. Between December, 
1892, and September, 1893, he played during a total of sixteen 
weeks, with exceptionally remunerative results, a record which 
he may reasonably contemplate with pride. In contrast with this 
splendid success was the surprising failure made by Coquelin 
and Hading, who earned the unenviable distinction of creating 
almost the worst record for four weeks in the history of the 
theater by scoring a net loss in the midst of the World's Fair 
year when the city was full of foreigners. Mme. Duse also 
played for three weeks at a loss, and thus seven weeks of the 
World's Fair period were lost to Hooley's Theater, although 
the great business stimulated by Willard, Goodwin, Daly and 
others, enabled the management to score one of the most pros- 
perous years in the history of the theater. 

It would be interesting, were it possible without invading 
professional secrets, to indicate, with the aid of figures, some of 
the most profitable engagements ever played at Hooley's ; but 
at least there can be no harm in recalling the success always 
achieved by such attractions as J. K. Emmett, Joseph Murphy, 
Robson and Crane, "Bunch of Keys," "Parlor Match," 
Goodwin and the Daly Company, the profit to the theater 
ranging many times above $3,500 for a single week in some 
of these and other engagements. The first and second engage- 
ments of the Kendals, 1889 and 1891, were among the largest 
in point of receipts ever played at this theater, and Augustin 
Daly in 1892 and the Kendals in 1891 broke the record for 
the largest single week receipts in the history of this house. 
But it remained for William Gillette with "Secret Service" to 
surpass every other average for a six weeks' term this theater can 
exhibit, although some others press him close. To Mr. Good- 
win, who has played here for so many years, belongs the credit 
of earning more profit for Hooley's than any one star, although 

there is a contrasting fact in the statement that the profit for 
one week of his playing ten years ago reached only $4.74, a 
record surpassed in the days of his early starhood by E. H. 
Sothern, who saved the theater from loss on the week by the 
narrow margin of 79 cents. But since that time Mr. Good- 
win and Mr. Sothern have been enormously successful at this 
house, while Mr. Willard, the Daly Company, the Kendals, 
the Lyceum and Empire Companies have been among the 
standard attractions giving to Hooley's, with the aid of such 
artists as Mme. Modjeska, Olga Nethersole, John Drew, Wil- 
liam H. Crane, Sol Smith Russell, Julia Arthur and others, 
the high distinction which it has more particularly enjoyed 
within recent years. This year the name of Joseph Jefferson, 
that noblest Roman of all those in the comedy field, must be 
added to this roll of 

Nor shall we for- 
get while speaking of 
the more recent his- 
tory of this famous 
house of dramatic art 
that Charles Wynd- 
ham and Wilson Bar- 
rett have graced its 
boards that Rosina 
Vokes, whose infinite 
charm none could re- 
sist, well nigh said 
her last farewell to 
the theater on this 
stage, that Mansfield, 
who has gained the 
highest round on the 
ladder of dramatic 
fame, has electrified 
these audiences, that 

Mary Anderson, who all too soon wearied of her task, is also a 
memory of this famed house which is just now full of honors, 
and facing even brighter glories in the future. 

Scarcely any, indeed, who have been known to the pres- 
ent generation as stars or artists above the common herd 
have been strangers to this house, which more than any other 
single theater has commanded the services of all sorts and con- 
ditions of good actors. 


Powers' New Theater. 

Hooley's Theater that was, Powers' Theater that is, has 
been the scene of a glorious transformation during a happy 
summertime when all the world was a-maying. No sooner 
did the curtain fall for the last time behind the old proscenium, 
shutting out from view Mr. Daly's " Circus Girl," than rude 


workmen armed with pick and shovel invaded the sacred domain 
where society had so often exhibited its frills and furbelows. 
The lobby was cleared away to the bare walls. The foyer 
and all its belongings fell an early prey to the spirit of change, 
which also uprooted the boxes, threw out the opera chairs that 
had done service so long, and did not stay its hand until all the 
old furnishings and fitments were relegated to the dust heap or 
delivered over to the junk man. For the decree had gone 
forth, signed, sealed and delivered by authority of the new 
manager, that the theater should become not one of the most 
popular, for that was already assured, but a house complete in 
all of those features wherein the comfort or convenience of 
the public might be involved. The original conformation of 
the house, hedged in by metes and bounds that could not be 
changed, was alone to remain encompassed by the familiar 
walls, and designated to the passer-by through the narrow but 
expressive fa9ade that had stood sentinel on Randolph street for 
quarter of a century. But the plain furnishments, the incon- 
venience in seating and exit, the inartistic boxes were all evils 
to be remedied. The dictates of modern taste and conveni- 
ence were to oppose arrangements created when the city was 
young, and in place of narrow and dangerous passageways, 
always instantly congested when the audience was dismissed, 
there were to be new channels for exit through which the 
currents of humanity, finding their source in various portions of 
the house, might flow out in safety. 

Controlling as he does a very large percentage of the best 
attractions and most popular stars coming to Chicago, and 
therefore enjoying the patronage and favor of the most exacting 
people in this city and parts adjacent, Mr. Powers was moved 
by the belief that the best equipment was none too good for 
the historic theater which he controlled or for the people who 
honored him with their confidence. Having answered the 
purposes of a less exacting period, it seemed fitting that the 
time-scarred belongings of the old theater should give place to 
new furnishings, and such a re-arrangement as would insure the 


"{Stj Jti S5 vuut^.- 

greatest percentage of comfort, conven- 
ience and security. This was the purpose 
kept steadily in view when the new plans 
were perfected. Utile cum duke was 
the motto adopted at the outset and until 
the final touch was given the useful and 
the beautiful commanded the unwavering 
attention of all to whom the work was 
committed. The proposition was estab- 
lished before the old familiar equipment 
was torn away that the improvements 
were to be radical and not a cheap veneer, 
a mere replica of the whited sepulcher 
covering rottenness and decay. Calci- 
mine found no favor in the managerial 
mind, and although the estimates for a 
practical reconstruction of the interior 
mounted up into the thousands, compre- 
hending as they did every item that 
would add to the comfort and safety 
of an audience, there was no faltering. 
Having put his hand to the plow, the 
manager did not turn back, but boldly 
gave the contractors carte blanche to 
transform Powers' Theater into a model 
auditorium from which nothing belonging 
to a first-class theater should be omitted. 
How well these instructions were carried out will be dis- 
covered by a hurried, and not too technical, description of the 
work that has been done. 

It would be a short and easy task to describe that which 
falls under 'the eye of an audience the decorations, upholstery 
and all and single those color schemes and details of orna- 
mentation and furnishing which speak for themselves with 
more eloquence than any form of words can command. A few 
appreciative lines deftly pointed at the salient features in the 



ornamental work, or taking note of the symphony of artistic 
effect composed by good taste and fine workmanship would be 
sufficient. But in the making of a model theater a thousand 
elements combine with which the average theater attendant is 
quite unfamiliar. The lobby, foyer, orchestra and the sweep of 
the proscenium constitute the illustrations in an open book 
which he can scan at will, but the region behind the footlights 
is a terra incognita. He knows little or nothing of its mys- 
teries, even though it may have been his good fortune now and 
then to catch a glimpse of its gloomy recesses and fascinating 
secrets. Taking advantage of the fact that their patrons will 
only see that which is swept and garnished for them in the 
auditorium, many managers have so neglected not only appli- 
ances for comfort, but for absolute safety, that a grave respon- 
sibility rests upon their careless and inconsiderate shoulders. 
Content with a veneer of showy decorations, with rich carpet- 
ings and a glittering blaze of light, they permit theatrical arti- 
fice to dominate every thought, and pay no heed to safety, 
convenience or comfort in the working departments of their 
theaters. Beneath the stage, in the dressing-rooms and high 
up among the flies, there are invitations innumerable to disas- 
ter. Flimsy construction makes the ever-present danger of fire 
constantly more urgent; bad ventilation assures ill health and 
fatal diseases; defective lighting appliances are ever ready to 
create a panic; and the mischief thus set on foot is consum- 
mated through the criminal failure to provide exits through 
which an escape to safety may be made. 

Happily, Mr. Powers did not wish to incur the responsi- 
bility of managing a theater under such conditions. Having 
in the past, during his career as business manager of the house, 
made the best of conditions which it was beyond his province 
to amend, his first determination on securing possession of the 
theater was to make it, if possible, the safest playhouse in 
America. Advantageously located, with alleys on the west 
and north and an open court on the east, the structure offered 
opportunities for the installation of safety appliances and emer- 


gency exits^which had never been improved, andj among the 
archaic belongings of the building were flimsy arrangements 
that constantly threatened disaster. The first order to the 
architect holding a commission to reconstruct the building was 
to improve these long-neglected opportunities and remove the 
tinder and rubbish that was a reminiscence of a less exacting 
theatrical period. Befo r e decoration or upholstery was consid- 
ered, the question of additional exits 
was discussed and the problem settled 
by cutting three or four extra doors 
on each floor, leading to safety via 
iron balcbnies and outside stairways 
also of iron, by means of which an 
easy descent could be made to the 
ground. In addition to this radical 
and most comprehensive scheme, 
each floor orchestra, balcony and, 
gallery could, in case of necessity 
empty itself through its own exclus- 
ive external exits in two minutes, and 
that without making any use at all of 
the interior stairways. 

But here again Mr. Powers dem- 
onstrated his anxiety to secure a 
perfect adaptation of means to an 
important end. Under the old con- 
ditions the principal stairway from the 
balcony occupied a corner of the main floor, and the current of 
humanity flowing down from above, and mingling with that 
other current attempting to escape from the orchestra caused a 
congestion at the main exit into the lobby. This difficulty was 
remedied by removing the offending stairway and providing two 
independent internal outlets by means of which the people in 
the balcony might find their way to the outer lobby without 
mingling with those on the principal floor. In like manner the 
gallery people may now pass undisturbed to Randolph street by 


means of a wide stairway devoted exclusively to their use and 
leading direct to that thoroughfare. 

Think not, however, that the precautions ended here. The 
stage and its fittings, the dressing-rooms under the auditorium 
and the electric lighting are the most constant source of danger, 
a danger which Mr. Powers has reduced to the minimum by 
precautions almost unexampled in extent and value. The 
stage, rebuilt and provided with fireproofing and asbestos curtain, 
offers scarcely any temptation to disaster. The dressing-rooms, 
thoroughly constructed of malachite and cement, are models 
not only of safety but also of convenience, and with their com- 
plete furnishings must be a joy to actors who are so often 
herded in apartments entirely unfit for human habitation. Thus 
not only the patrons of Powers' Theater but those who belong 
to the working and artistic force are provided for in the most 
lavish and praiseworthy manner, and while patrons sit in the 
elegant auditorium enjoying the fine performances catered for 
their pleasure, they may feel genuine satisfaction in the con- 
sciousjiess that the other departments of the house would all 
stand the most careful inspection. 

With the electric lighting system, the effect of which is to 
add not only beauty to the house but a degree of safety seldom 
realized in any public building, the city authorities are so well 
satisfied that they have given Mr. Powers an endorsement of 
which he may well be proud. While the chief of the fire 
department commends all the arrangements devised with so 
much care for the safety of patrons, the inspector of buildings 
not only duplicates those commendations, but is specially 
impressed by the thorough manner in which the electric instal- 
lation has been made. Crossed wires and all the evils follow- 
ing in their train will be unknown in this theater, where the 
wires through which run the subtle electric fluid are carried in 
iron pipes or conduits, thus curtailing all fear of danger. Of 
the switch boards and all those intricate devices necessary to 
control the current and enable the stage manager to secure the 
most artistic effects it is unnecessary to speak in detail. Such 

scientific arrangements are bewildering, and would convey 
even less conviction than the positive assurance that the 
lighting plant which Mr. Powers has secured for his new 
theater, without regard for expense, is so perfect and complete 
that it might well be accepted as a model to be imitated by all 
who control similar establishments. In this, as in all other 
particulars, Mr. Powers has held that the best is none too 
good for his patrons. 


The Decorations. 

TURNING from a consideration of the radical changes 
made in this historic theater with a view to safety the 
attention is naturally attracted by the beauty of the 
entrance and the artistic features of the auditorium. 
One perceives on approaching the theater that it has been mod- 
ernized and beautified. The facade, glittering with lights, has 
been brightened in soft green tones and a handsome iron 
canopy or porte cochere extends across the sidewalk as if 
to offer a hospitable welcome, and within the lobby with 
its onyx wainscoting and restful decorations there is every- 
where an exhibition of great elegance and good taste. The 
architect and decorator have modernized everything. Not a 
note of the old and archaic arrangements remains, but a taste- 
ful, graceful scheme of color has been applied to the simple 
architectural lines in such a manner that the perspective becomes 
a thing of beauty. The box office with its almost classic out- 
lines, the broad sweep of the stairway, the inviting cosy 
nook with its dado of portraits, are details worthy of special 
consideration, ministering as they do to a general sense of 
artistic satisfaction. One is dimly and agreeably conscious 
that the artist has blended the walls and ceiling in harmonious 
tones of green and buff, but he does not care to analyze the 
satisfaction that comes from such a pleasing combination of 
lights and colors with the dainty rococo traceries that speak of 
a well remembered period of French art. It is in its general 
effect that the lobby of Powers' Theater is to be considered and 
the verdict of restful unpretentious elegance must justly be 
recorded in behalf of this attractive approach to the auditorium 

which has been and will be, the scene of so many dramatic and 
fashionable happenings. 

Once within the inner doors the color scheme which the 
artist has devised makes an immediate impression upon the 
eye. If any discover indecision in the lobby or a lack of 
decorative purpose in its soft neutral tints no such impression is 
made by the first glimpse of the auditorium. Here the entire 
symphony is played to the keynote of Pompeian red, and a 
warm and delightful glow of color strikes the eye as a special 
relief after the coldly funereal tones that are so often found in the 
theaters of to-day. The garish circus-like trappings once so 
commonly seen in the playhouse and even now not infrequently 
observed, have in the main been replaced by such dull tints that 
all satisfying sense of color is missing and audiences might as 
well sit in the gleam of the catacombs. 

Realizing the importance of bright and beautiful surround- 
ings as a means to personal comfort and an aid to the proper 
illusions of the playhouse, the decorator has, in this instance, 
boldly advanced the proposition that warmth and beauty should 
be made to go hand in hand. The keynote of this belief is 
promptly struck in the rich Pompeian red with which the wall 
surfaces are covered. The rococo panels filled in with paintings 
in tapestry effects are impressed, for artistic contrast, upon this 
background of deep, splendid, historic 
red in a graceful but most effective man- 
ner, and the ornamentation blossoms out 
upon the broad panels devoted to the 
stage boxes in a fashion that would have 
delighted the soul of the most exacting 
artist at the court of Louis XIV. The 
proscenium, indeed, and the impanelled 
boxes forming the more remote portion 
of the frame about the stage opening, 
must be conceded to be the most satis- 
factory example of modified French dec- 
oration that have recently fallen under the 


eye. The temptation to overdo and over-elaborate this sug- 
gestive art-form has been resisted, and the result is an entirely 
artistic and restful treatment upon which the eye falls with 
pleasure. The ornamentation, instead of being scattered in 
reckless profusion throughout the auditorium, is massed, not 
profusely, but with sufficient strength about the proscenium, 
which, in its colorings of old ivory, red and antique gold, 
with panelings in tapestry effects, cannot fail to make an 
impression upon any appreciative soul. The enwreathed 
pilasters of the stage opening, picked out upon the flat surfaces 
with dull gold, provide an elegant but not aggressive frame for the 
stage picture while the broad and richly ornamented sounding- 
board and the handsome expanse of the proscenium, with the 
boxes so artistically imposed, provide a composition entirely 
satisfactory to the artistic sense. 

The drop curtain, which completes this handsome picture, 
is quite worthy the place of honor which it occupies, within 
the beautiful frame which architect and decorator have provided. 
It is a work of art in tapestry style, and does great credit to the 
scenic artist, Mr. St. John Lewis. Writing of this curtain 
a Chicago lady of distinguished literary and artistic abilities, 
describes the subject and the treatment in the following appre- 
ciative language: 

The drop curtain at Powers' Theater depicts the beginning of one of the 
most romantic love stories in history. Louis XIV., Louis le Grand, Le Roi 
Soliel, at 23 ruler of one of the greatest kingdoms of Europe, " with the 
makings of four kings in his character," as Mazarin said, falls in love with a 
beautiful girl of 17, Louise de La Valliere, the most obscure of the ladies in 
waiting to madame, wife of monsieur, brother of the king. To create an 
opportunity of telling her of his love and showing it to their world, he 
arranges a drive through the forest of Fontainebleau for the court, then at the 
Chateau of Fontainebleau. At noon they set off, Louis XIV. and monsieur 
and their gentlemen on horses and the queen and madame and their ladies in 
carriages. It is a warm, showery day in the fall, and as the gay company 
passes through the beautiful forest, the queen expresses a wish to walk. They 
stop at one of the numerous paths crossing the road and dismount. Nothing 
could have suited the royal lover better. He places himself at once by the 
side of La Valliere, who trembles with fright and happiness, and they wander 

off, followed at first by all the court. Finally, however, perceiving the evi- 
dent wish of the king to be alone, the ladies and gentlemen go their various 
ways, each of them, at the gay court of Louis XIV., having his or her small 
preference to indulge. 

* * * * * 

Louis and Louise walk on, her arm in his, his hand on hers, until they 
reach a great oak just as the first drops of a heavy shower begin to fall. The 
king places La Valliere against the tree and stands before her, hat in hand. 
The rain increases and Louis draws nearer and 
stands beside her, and as the rain finally comes 
through the leaves he holds his hat over her 
head to protect her. 

This is the moment the artist has chosen 
for his curtain. In the center of the fore- 
ground is the grand old oak. Leaning against the 
trunk is La Valliere in a yellow muslin gown, 
and on her left, his right arm against the tree, 
is the king his right hand holding the large 
hat over her head, absorbed in and seeing but 
her. In the background are the ladies and 
gentlemen, carriages and horses. Near by a 
servant awaits the orders of the king. All the 
court, returning to the carriages for protection 
from the shower, now nearly over, are filled 
with wonder and curiosity at the sight of the 
king and La Valliere. 


It is a pretty story and the artist has told it 
prettily. History says the king remained talk- 
ing with the lady until all the court were 
assembled, amazed and chattering, around the 
carriages, waiting for his majesty to give the 
signal to depart. But this the king was in 
no hurry to do. Finally, however, he offered 
her his arm and, hat in hand, conducted her, 
blushing and overwhelmed, through the gay 
throng to her carriage, gravely returning the 
respectful salutations of the court. He then mounted his horse; the queen and 
madame, followed by their ladies, seated themselves in their carriages, and all 
returned to Fontainebleau. 

Still another detail remains upon which admiration may 
dwell while considering the improvements in this house which 
one distinguished critic declares is now the most convenient 

and elegant theater in the United States. The elements or 
convenience and safety have already been considered, the dec- 
orations have called for much appreciative word spinning, but 
the luxurious opera chairs, with their crimson plush coverings 
to harmonize with the color scheme of the decorations, are 
worthy of more than a word. More roomy than usual, and 
with wider intervals than common between the rows of seats, 
they constitute an important feature when the comfort of the 
audience is concerned, while the rearranged aisles admit of 
easy approach. 


Friendly Reminiscences. 

Nearly all the exceptional actors and im- 
portant stars of the past twenty-five years 
have appeared at some time in Hooley's 
now Powers' Theater. The roster would 
show scarcely one of the number missing and 
as a natural consequence many are the pleas- 
ing recollections inspired by any mention, 
among theatrical folk, of this house. When 
the notice went out, borne on the breezes 
and wafted in newspaper columns, that the 
famous house had passed in the direct line of 
succession into the hands of Hooley's able 
lieutenant, Harry J. Powers, a flood of let- 
ters and congratulations rolled in from every 
direction. Many of them spoke in most 
feeling terms of the past, others uttered 
prophecies and dreamed dreams, and not 
a few enclosed reminiscences and bits of anecdote. 

While much of this mass of correspondence is too personal 
and confidential in its nature to warrant publication among these 
cursory notes, some brief stories and congratulations may prop- 
erly serve to represent the feeling so generously expressed for 
this theater under its past and present names. Stars and man- 
agers alike vied with each other in expressing felicitations and 
it would be strange if this were not to be recorded of both 
classes. The actor has always found this theater a most enjoy- 
able stopping place, with a stage and an auditorium so com- 
pletely en rapport that the hard labor of acting became a 



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pleasure. As for the manager he had only to recall the 
comfortable profit so often carried away from Hooley's box 
office and the memory at once became rosy. 

And these our managers are important good fellows after all. 
Reflect for a moment upon the effort to serve and please the 
public which Augustin Daly has put forth for so many years, 
always, in Chicago, at this one theater. Mistakes there may 
have been in judgment, from time to time, but the patrons of 
this historic house owe him an immense debt for catering so 
much that was good and so little that may be regarded with 

Another honorable and distinguished manager who has left 
a broad mark across the history of this house is A. M. Palmer, 
who now so ably directs the business of Richard Mansfield. 
In the Union Square days and later with the Madison Square 
and A. M. Palmer companies, he introduced to Hooley's stage 
and to the Chicago public many admirable plays and excellent 

Charles Frohman, the master among contemporaneous man- 
agers in the variety and scope of his work, has been, within 
recent years, most conspicuously identified with this theater. 
All of his most important plays given by the Empire Company 
and other organizations have been first seen in. Chicago at 
Hooley's, and it is due, in large measure, to this source of supply 
that the theater has been able to maintain such an exceptional 
position. In conjunction with Al Hayman, who is a giant 
among theatrical operators, Mr. Frohman has been enabled to 
practically dominate the field, and whatever else may be thought 
of this powerful combination it has certainly placed dramatic 
affairs upon a substantial business basis. 

Daniel Frohman is another famous and able manager who 
has contributed immensely to the success of this theater. With 
the Lyceum Company at his command and also as director of 
Sothern, the Ken dais and Nethersole he has given many fine 
performances on Hooley's stage and his name invariably con- 
veys an impression of artistic merit. 


c^^^A /> 

There are many other managers and actor-managers who 
deserve recognition for their work in connection with this 
house, men whose names will be easily recalled. But for 
the present it will suffice to reproduce in type and autograph 
some of the sayings of actors and friends who have pleasing 
memories of the theater which Mr. Powers now manages. 
Each, without further introduction, may speak briefly in his own 


" Chicago: What a host of memories that word revives. 
In the spring of 1854 I first saw Chicago. I was then for the 
first time away from my far Eastern home, a novice in my 
adopted profession. I remember the old Chicago better than 
the new. The Sherman House, a dmall three-story brick 
building. The City Hall opposite in the middle of the square, 
which was laid out as a park. It may have boasted a fountain, 
I don't remember about that, but it was quaint and pretty, and 
an improvement upon the present threatening structure. 

" And' then the rich, glorious and profuse mud of those 
primitive days! To see a team stalled to the wheel hubs was 
a common occurrence. And those wonderful plank sidewalks, 
illustrating to the weary wayfarer the ups and downs of life. 
They were not merely picturesque and dangerous, but often 
deadly to the gentlemen "getting home from the "club" in the 
early morning. 

" Of theaters there was but one Rice's on Dearborn street. 
I saw Hamlet played there by Couldock, John Rice, the man- 
ager, playing Polonius. In after years I lived next door to 
John Rice; he was then mayor of the city, and a good one, 
too. He retained the office for several years, and was a mem- 
ber of Congress when death overtook him. He was a man of 
sterling integrity and a pioneer in Western theatricals. I 
remember Colonel Wood (afterward manager of the Chicago 
Museum) in those days. He had hired an unoccupied store 


on Lake street and was exhibiting a double-headed rooster 
(stuffed), a collection of snakes, etc. The colonel stood 
at the door with the ' property money ' between his fingers in 
true showman style, while a hand organ behind the screen 
assisted him in beguiling the curious into the 'greatest show on 
earth.' The ' Colonel,' afterward as manager of the Chicago 
Museum, became an important factor in Chicago amusements, 
and made a well deserved fortune. My visit to Chicago at 
that time was made with an Uncle Tom . t 

Company. 1 played the part of Deacon 
Perry, which was 'written in' for me 
by George Aiken when the play was first 
produced in Troy, N.Y. Green Ger- 
mon, the original Uncle Tom, was with 
us in Chicago. His performance of the 
part and singing of the songs I'm sure has 
never been equaled. He was the father 
of Effie Germon, for a long time a 
member of Wallack's Company, New 
York. A splendid actor, a fine singer, 
and a good man. He died in Chicago 
of consumption, and on a cold bleak day 
in March we buried him way over on 
the North Side, not far from the lake, 
John Rice and all his company attend- 
ing the funeral. 

"While in Chicago we played in 
Tremont Hall, on Lake street, next to the Tremont House. 
It was afterward taken into the hotel, and now forms a part 
of the large dining-room. I saw it all and can never forget 
it. I returned to Chicago in 1 866, and for two years was a 
member of the Museum Company. A good company, good 
plays, and good business, together with good friends, made the 
engagement a pleasant one. During the second year I played 
eighty different parts, one half of which were new to me. 

"When my old friend Richard Hooley opened his theater 


with a stock company he offered me an engagement, but I had 
a contract elsewhere and could not accept. Year after year I 
returned to Chicago with the Union Square Company, and 
later with the Lyceum Theater Company, and I've always 
looked forward to those engagements at Hooley's with delight. 
I've played many good parts on Hooley's stage, and can never 
forget the appreciative and sympathetic audiences. It was on 
the front steps of Hooley's Theater that I first met the lady 
who is now my very much better half. Why shouldn't I love 


"One night, I believe it was on my first visit to Hooley's 
Theater, anyway I was playing Juliet I remember, I had a 
curious little experience which at the time caused me more 
annoyance than fun. I had come off the stage after the potion 
scene in 'Romeo and Juliet.' An immense audience had 
responded readily to my efforts, and I was rewarded by the 
raising and lowering of the curtain time after time. Flushed 
with my triumph, filled with enthusiasm and determined to try 
and deserve even warmer applause in the last act of poor 
Juliet's tragic story, I hurried to my dressing-room to prepare 
for the tomb scene. 

"As I approached the room I heard a babel of excited 
voices, and as I pushed open the door a shout of warning 
went up in three different languages. Imagine my surprise 
at seeing my French maid, usually a very calm, fearless indi- 
vidual, standing on a chair with her skirts drawn tightly round 
her legs; on a trunk my other maid, a German, with her skirts 
drawn well up above her knees; on the ground, on all fours, 
three sturdy stage hands prodding with sticks under the dressing 
table and curtains; behind the door, armed with an enormous 
iron bar, poised well aloft, stood the colored janitor of the 
theater. Everybody was talking at once and the women's 
faces looked perfectly deathlike. 


"It was excitedly explained to me that a mouse had jumped 
from behind my costumes which were hanging on the wall, 
had disappeared under the table, and the maids had called in 
this army of stage hands to oust the intruder. 

"I had no time to spare, the audience was waiting and I was 
not dressed, but neither threats nor cajoling would induce those 
two women to budge from their respective impregnable posi- 
tions. They loudly protested against my summary ejection of 
the men, and one of them was even on the point of crying. 
To make a long story short, I had to dress myself for the last 
act while my maids looked on with chattering teeth. One of 
them certainly expressed the highest admiration for my bravery 
and valor, but never an inch moved she. When I went on 
for the last act, I left them on their perches, looking like a pair 
of gigantic birds. 

"I could not help wondering what the audience would 
have thought if they had known of the funny scene in my 
room, and the difficulties under which I attired myself. On 
my final return to my room, both the women had fled incon- 
tinently, and nothing could persuade them to return. How 
they induced themselves to step on the ground at all I cannot 
imagine, but I am free to say that I never knew a mouse to 
cause such an amount of terror and inconvenience as did the 
little brown stranger at Hooley's Theater." 


"Heartiest congratulations on your becoming lessee of one of 
the most charming theaters I have ever played in, either here 
or in Great Britain. Its construction has always seemed to 
me perfect. Acting is a pleasure when the actor knows that 
the lowest inflection of his voice is heard, and the slightest 
change of expression seen, all over the house. Hooley's Thea- 
ter and the Empire, New York, are two of the best theaters 
in the United States. Apropos of your theater, here is an 
anecdote : 


*. <^--^oa--i_ 

" After returning from a tour in the United States with the 
Kendal Company, which had included a visit to Hooley's 
Theater, Chicago, we played an engagement in Liverpool, 
England. Coming out of the Court Theater one night, a man 
stepped up to me and said in broad Scotch : 

"'Maester Dodeson, aw'm staarving ; wuel ye no help me?' 

"'Who are you? Have I seen you before ?' said I. 

"'Och, ay! in the Unechted States. Aw was property 
mon at Hooligan's Theeter, Chicawgo, when ye wer' ther' 
wi' the Kaindals.' 

'"Oh, indeed,' I said. 'Can you tell me what state 
Chicago is in ? ' 

"'Ay, sir, Cahliforrnia.' 

'"And in what part of the city is Hooligan's?' 

'"On the lak' front, sur.' 

"After that I helped him." 


"When with Mr. Frederick Hallen, the firm being known 
as Hallen & Hart, we desired to invade Chicago, we of course 
chose to negotiate with the most select theater in that city. 

" Hooley's Theater, up to that time, 
had been playing the highest dramatic 
stars. When we approached R. M. 
Hooley, 'Uncle Dick,' as he was then 
called, with a view of playing 'Later 
On ' at Hooley's Theater, he was in- 
dignant at the thought of desecrating 
Hooley's Theater with ordinary farce 
comedy. After our manager, Mr. Harry 
Hine, and Harry Powers had argued for 
more than a week, he was finally per- 
suaded to play us during the week before 
Christmas. I will never forget our open- 
ing night. 'Uncle Dick' sat in a box 

to witness our initial performance. If I remember rightly he 
was accompanied by Mrs. Powers. 

"Chilly was the atmosphere in 'Uncle Dick's' vicinity 
when the curtain rose, and I don't believe Hallen and myself, 
when on the stage, saw any one else in the theater. 

" As the performance wore on, the audience became quite 
friendly and seemed to enjoy it greatly, and as Mrs. Powers 
began to show signs of her appreciation by frequent laughter 
and applause, just so gradually did the temperature around 
'Uncle Dick's' chair begin to rise. It wasn't long before we 
had him enjoying the performance as heartily as any one in the 

" We were not sure what his verdict would be, but were 
more concerned in having his approval than in anything else just 
at that time. 

" I don't remember a happier moment in my life when he 
addressed us after the performance with the following words : 
'Boys, it isn't high art, but it is pure, clean, wholesome fun, 
and does us good once in a while, so come around again.' 

"We delivered that 'wholesome fun' in Chicago several 
times after that, but never forgot our appearance at Hooley's 
and the interest we felt in the engagement." 


"I thank you for the opportunity to express my affectionate 
remembrance of Hooley's Theater, and to record my pride in 
having been a member of the Original stock company which 
made ' The Parlor Home of Comedy ' famous in the theatrical 
annals of this country. 

" Many may contribute to, but no man can write the 'His- 
tory of Hooley's Theater;' for he who would seek to do so 
must question the hearts of multitudes of Chicago's citizens, and 
know how pervading was its influence in the establishment of 
all that was good and ennobling. 


" There lives no one of those who belonged to the old stock 
company who could not fill all the pages of your ' Mono- 
graph ' with personal 'Recollections' of our happy com- 
munity; and I doubt if any of that company who have 
achieved success later in life would not ascribe a large measure 
of that success to the opportunities of their wide experience in 
Hooley's Theater. 

" How the pulses quicken as memories crowd upon my 
mind: memories of comradeship, trials, labor rewarded, and 
pleasant hours multiplied in the ' Good old days ' that will 
ever keep me bondman to them all. 

"I cannot write of Hooley's Theater. I can only 'recol- 
lect ' that through its portals sifted the first ray of sunshine 
that drifted across my professional journeying, and that its 
patrons were always kind to me. What more could I write ? 
What more could I say ? 

"I note you, Mr. Powers, as 'The Sole Lessee and Man- 
ager.' I congratulate you. 

"That you are heir to such responsibility is proof of your 
fitness to perpetuate the policy and traditions of a house that 
was not built 'Upon the sands/ but which shall endure, a 
landmark, and a guide to those who shall come after you. 

" You have grown with the house; I hope you will never 
outgrow it." 


"Business enterprise allied with artistic tact have advanced 
the parlor home of comedy to proud preeminence among the 
theaters of the world. People ordinarily are unaccustomed to 
note the establishment of artistic precedents in the West ; but 
the Powers' Theater (late Hooley's) occupies a unique position 
among the temples devoted to the drama. One may make 
bold to remark that none of the so-called creative stages of the 
East, or the favored subvented theaters of Europe can claim 
such a line of attractions. This house has long maintained a 






loyal clientele of the best character attracted to its support by 
the superior quality of the entertainments it uniformly presents." 


"I recall with pleasure my first 
appearance at Hooley's Theater 
with fylr. Willie Edouin in 
' Dreams, or Fun in a Photograph 
Gallery', in 1882. I was intro- 
duced to Mr. Hooley, after the 
performance, by Mr. Edouin. In 
the course of conversation it was 
suggested that we should go to the 
cafe for some liquid refreshments. 
Mr. Hooley gave the order in the 
following manner : 

<"A sherry, one seltzer and 
a liniment cocktail for Mr. Powers, 
as, after seeing his performance, I 
think he needs it.' As this occurred nearly seventeen years 
ago I am at a loss to give the proper finish to this narrative, 
as I cannot remember for the life of me who drank that 


" I remember Hooley's Theater, its glories, past, present and 
departed, with a feeling akin to affection. It was in the 
blind alley which terminates at the stage door of Hooley's 
that I first conceived the idiocy of taking to the boards. Pen- 
niless and ambitious I stole many a pleasant half hour straining 
to catch a modicum of what those who had paid the price were 
listening to and enjoying. The night was never too dark nor 
the road too long but that the writer would toddle along to 
his coign of hypothecated vantage in the alley. Twenty-five 


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years ago my then already elongated ears caught the familiar, 
*Be seated, gentlemen,' two taps of the bones and tambourine, 
and I knew Hooley's Minstrels had commenced. Though a 
quarter of a century ago, I still recall on the same programme, 
Nat C. Goodwin, since attained the pinnacle of thespian great- 
ness; Scanlin & Cronin, Mackin & Wilson, Schoolcraft & 
Goes, and George S. Knight, and others famed in story and 
song of the stage. My ambition then was to break into the 
business. I say this advisedly. Years after I played at 
Hooley's with the late George S. Knight in 'Over the Garden 
Wall.' Now years after that event it is with pleasurable rever- 
ence that I recall my first introduction to what has since become 
all that is ennobling, grand, good and pure in a theater." 


"If I tried to catalogue all the pleasant memories I have 
of Hooley's Theater, it would be to make a longer letter than 
the book would hold; it would include memories of unvarying 
kindness and courtesy, of stays in the theater made pleasant by 
the efficiency and good discipline back of the curtain and good 
trade at the box office. I am very proud of the records made 
by 'A Bunch of Keys,' 'A Parlor Match,' and 'A Brass 
Monkey' within your walls. May the house ever continue its 
career of success." 


"I shall be proud to be included among the professionals 
who are identified with the greenroom of Hooley's Theater. 
I have, perhaps, as good a reason to be always pleasantly 
reminded of this charming old playhouse as any of the many 
players who have trod its stage. I feel that it is the home of 
my theatrical career, for there I inaugurated the legitimate 
element of two of the principal branches of my stage life, viz., 
comedian and star, having played with Smith & Mestayer's 


'Tourists in a Pullman Palace Car' in June, 1882, originating 
one of my two favorite eccentric characters, and later enjoying 
as a star with my late brother player, the talented William 
Hoey, the first real success of ' A Parlor Match ' in a legitimate 


"You do well to give the theater your name. In theatrical 
management, as in war, it's 'the man behind the gun' that 
carries the day. You have demonstrated this by your accurate 
aims. In a letter which I wrote you, after the words, 'your 
unfailing courtesy,' I wanted to write, 'a distinguishing 
feature of your management,' but that I did not wish to seem 
to reflect upon other managers, but it is a fact nevertheless. I 
firmly believe that courtesy and politeness, in front of the house, 
is the most potent factor in keeping customers. All of which 
is respectfully submitted. Again I wish you and your theater 
a career of unexampled prosperity." 


"I have a very positive reason for keeping a warm place in 
my heart for Hooley's Theater. At a certain stage of my 
career (I won't say how many years ago) I launched out as a 
star in a piece called 'Little Puck.' I think we employed 
about all the available rewriters of plays in the country, one 
by one, and presented nearly a dozen different versions of the 
comedy. The result was that after about two months of this 
soul-searing work, my partner retired in disgust, and I assumed 
the responsibilities of proprietorship. I gave the piece a thor- 
ough snaking up, introduced as much new material as I could 
think up, added some musical numbers, and % cut out a good 
deal of cumbersome spectacularism, and went into Chicago to 
play Holy Week at Hooley's. To my very great surprise the 


piece made a tremendous hit and played to enormous business. 
This was the first paying week 'Little Puck' had known, and 
when I tell you that it never knew a loser for seven years, you 
will perceive what an era of prosperity was inaugurated for 
me at Hooley 's, and why I have a tender regard for that 
famous playhouse. I am quite sure that it will continue for 
many years to be a delight to all who play there." 


"1 look upon Hooley' s Theater 
with much gratitude and reverence, 
and in the same spirit of affection, 
deep from my heart, which I had for 
Mr. Hooley. 

"Over twenty years ago I met 
Mr. Hooley in San Francisco. I 
was a very young man struggling for 
a little recognition, and I had written 
my first play. He was kind enough 
to invite me to read it to him. He 
gave me no production, but he did 
give me encouragement. 'Let me 
see your third or fourth play,' he said 
as we parted. I kept him to his word: 
that play was 'Hearts of Oak.' It was produced in Chicago 
at Hooley 's Theater. It was my first important production. 
Strange to say, my last drama, written for Mrs. Leslie Carter, 
'The Heart of Maryland,' was originally to have been pre- 
sented by Mr. Hooley at his theater. I had made a contract 
with him, but, owing to his death and a combination of other 
circumstances, the agreement was cancelled. 

"That the new Powers Theater may keep up the glorious 
traditions of the old house, is my wish." 



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"As good luck would have it." 

Merry Wives of JVindior. 

"I am sure that I am not wanting in veneration for the 
immortal Bard, but I have never felt under so strong a personal 
obligation to him as at this moment, for the forceful manner in 
which he has enabled me to express my profound sense of 
honor and appreciation in being permitted to assist at the 
rededication of Chicago's historic Theater." 


One of the most popular early attractions at Hooley's was 
Evans & Hoey's "A Parlor Match." Evans & Hoey played 
here regularly twice a year, two weeks in the fall and two in 
the spring, to large audiences. The initial engagement was so 
successful that, at Its close, Mr. Hooley contracted with Evans 
& Hoey to appear twice a season for five years. 

Evans & Hoey began their most important engagement in 
Chicago the same week that Frank Daniels was first featured in 
"A Rag Baby" by Hoyt & Thomas at an opposition theater, 
the Grand Opera House. An amusing story about the meeting 
of the three comedians on the very day of their opening is 
related by a mutual friend. They realized, it appears, that they 
were rivals in business, playing as they were in rival pieces by 
the same playwright and at opposition houses, so each of the 
jolly trio Evans, Hoey and Daniels when they met on the 
street did their best to express true friendship and extreme good 
nature toward one another. They had luncheon together, and 
not satisfied with this, visited in company all the noted resorts 
of the city, puffing the largest cigars they could buy one another 
and drinking all the brands of wine, dry and sweet, they could 
order. The dinner hour found them playing billiards for $25 
a cue in the Tremont House, and each of them was feeling so 
good from the effects of the day's refreshments that they could 


with but difficulty distinguish the ivory balls from the chandelier 
globes, and it was apparent that neither cared very much 
whether they played with the cues or their walking sticks. 
Still they kept on, each doing his utmost to express the sin- 
cerest good feeling for the other. It grew dangerously near 
seven o'clock, the dressing-room hour, but they showed no signs, 
of separating. The crowd of on-lookers hinted to them that it 
was full time that they went to work ; each only brushed away 
the informant and returned to the play. Mr. Evans smiled at 
Mr. Daniels; Mr. Daniels smiled at Mr. Evans, and they both 
showered smiles on "Old Hoss," who kept up a continued 
mumbling about there being no such thing on earth as rivals. 
At 7:30 o'clock both Hooley's Theater and the Grand Opera 
House stage managers began to worry ; their stars had not 
commenced to show signs of twinkling, and messengers were 
despatched to every place likely to be visited by the three gentle- 
men. Mr. Hoyt was informed, and he, too, started out in 
search of his comedian, without whom "A Rag Baby" could 
not be anything but tame on the opening night. And all this 
time "I. McCorker," "Old Hoss" and "Old Sport" 
were McCorkering, Hossing and Sporting to their heart's 
content over the topsy-turvy billiard table. 

At 7:45 the three good-natured gentlemen stumbled out to 
the street, and then began the usual long-strung-out good-by 
and hand-shaking promise-to-meet-you-again ceremony indulged 
in by men who have been on excellent terms all day. To any 
one directly interested in their opening success that night the 
amount of time they took to bid one another good day and 
separate would have seemed long enough for them to have bid 
farewell forever. Daniels would shake Evans by the hand 
and drag out a long speech about friendship; then he'd fairly 
hug "Old Hoss" and spin a good-by yarn to him, and 
then he'd switch back to Evans and they'd have it all over 

There are only two characters in the world who really 
know how to perform a good old prolonged aurevoir: the good- 

natured man in high spirits and the old lady street-car pas- 

Well, they did separate Daniels meandered down Dear- 
born street and Evans and Hoey hurried through Randolph 
street. The "Parlor Match" comedians began to realize as 
soon as they left Daniels that it must be rather near 8 o'clock, 
and they exchanged a half-knowing look and each started on a 
trot theater-ward. Daniels wandered into a basement cafe, 
where, perched high up on a counter stool, the now infuriated 
Mr. Hoyt discovered him at ten 
minutes to eight, slowly imbibing a 
cup of hot tea and pouring great 
quantities of red pepper on a plate of 
little clams. Hoyt denounced him in 
all sorts of expressions, and waving his 
arms in anger and anxiety, yelled that 
he was ruined, utterly ruined. He 
called "Old Sport" half a hundred 
ungentle epithets and denounced his 
condition as scandalous. 

" Who ? I ?" said the little come- 
dian, half indignant at a rather strong 
point in the denouncement, "I 
well, you ought to see Evans and 
Hoey!" and he was then fairly 
dragged from the high stool and, tea- 
cup in hand, carried to his dressing 

room. He was late, but his make-up and performance was 
remarkable, and he made the hit of his life. Hoyt, now in 
excellent spirits over the success of his star, hurried over to 
Hooley's, fully anticipating a directly opposite state of affairs, 
but he was mistaken, for he found both Evans & Hoey on the 
stage in all the glory of their best scene, and as unperturbed 
and merry as if they had been in their dressing-rooms an hour 
ahead of make-up- time. They, too, on this occasion started 
the foundation of their great future. They were an instantane- 


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ous hit with the big audience, and immediately won the five 
years' contract from Mr. Hooley, who sat in a box and 
enjoyed the performance perhaps as well as any individual of 
the crowded house. 


' ' The New Powers' Theater ! It is symbolical of the time 
of new things taking the places of old, of a city grow- 
ing out of a great town, of a century of material activity giving 
way to a century fraught with possibilities of new intellectual 
and artistic life. 

"To many of us, who find the most gratifying entertainment 
in the theater, its past is of no greater moment than the joys of 
yesterday. We might look upon the massive ruins of the 
Coliseum at Rome; and, if a thought was suggested of its 
departed glory and of the silent multitudes who with flushed 
cheeks once looked down from its serried benches upon contest 
and pageant, the heart would be warmed with no intimate, 
satisfying pleasure. 'Tis even so of Hooley 's a delightful 
memory, but crowded into the dark recesses of the mind by the 
pressing pleasures of the present. 

" I am reminded of an old love tale, though little of it survives 
except what concerns the avowal between two young people, 
who played together in childhood, were often together in youth, 
and at length discovered suddenly that their friendship had 
imperceptibly undergone a complete change.. 

"'They are building over yonder,' he said, 'a cathedral 
on the site of the old church. The church still stands ; and 
the grand and massive framework of the cathedral is being 
raised over it. Until the cathedral is near completion the 
church will be used. Then it will be torn down.' 

"The New Powers' Theater has risen over venerable 
Hooley 's. The regard for the old that survives in the memory 
is giving way to a feeling of admiration that is warmer and 





"Likely nobody who has been ushered into Powers' beautiful 
theater (one of the most beautiful in the world it may be claimed) 
could have felt its sumptuous loveliness more keenly than I, for 
at Hooley's dawned the first theatrical performance ever 
allowed to feed my youthful senses. 

" Through a vista of puppets, to every one of which I owe a 
cornucopia of gratitude, it all came back to me as I entered the 
new Powers' chapel of color, and hid in the wistful recollection 
was a kindly Kriss Kringle smile creeping through the beard 
and out of the eyes of Richard Hooley. For once upon a 
time, home from a still, gray convent, his little daughter 
Rosina and I came flying with Christmas snows and enthusi- 
asms; then the wonderful happened. 

"We romped to the theater as soon as we found footing upon 
worldly soil, because Rosina with sparkling forget-me-not eyes 
and many exciting shakes of her silken hair had pictured a 
marvelous war play holding forth at her father's bandbox of 
comfort and amusement, surprised the while that any girl could 
truthfully acknowledge never having attended a theater, as I, in 
profound humiliation, had been spurred on to confess. I made 

bold to recall two approximate entertainments into the vortex 
of which I had been thrust at a tender and impressionable age, 
but Rosina's sweet lips curled with compassionate scorn at the 
revelations. One frenzied hour I had spent shrieking with fear 
(when the family pocket handkerchiefs were not crammed into 
my soprano laboratory) at an exhibition in Marion Hall, Bur- 
lington, Iowa, where the wild Australian girl, Aztec boy and 
Siamese twins divided attention with a certain comical vocalist 
whose humorous hostilities rent my budding soul with misery. 
I remember having been in complete disgrace and hysterics 
handed out over the heads of people, to the care of an indignant 
nurse who resented the interruption of the comedian's musical 
lifting out of obscurity the ditty: 

Oh, ladies and gentlemen, how do you do ? 
You see I come here with one boot and one shoe, 
O ! O ! How can it be so ? 
Just pity the fortunes of Billy Barlow ! 

" The gentle and beloved Rosina lamented but ignored this 
experience, nor did she regard as worthy of consideration the 
assurance that I had at one time beheld the loveliest and saddest 
performance of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' at a Council Bluffs 
theater, built over a robust and profitable livery stable. It was 
a blow for me to learn that the winged little Eva of Council 
Bluffs was a diverting back number in Chicago, for the vision 
of Eva and her silver-star wand wiggling against pink and blue 
tarletan clouds stricken with tin foil, had been the twilight 
dream of my childhood's occasional moments of intense reflec- 
tion. I plead for Eva against the war play with some vigor, for 
that especial delivery of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was certainly 
'the 'saddest play I ever saw for fifty cents.' In fact, even 
as I think of it now it makes me feel very badly. I doubt 
whether I could ever again hear 'Lily Dale' without wilting 
into moods ; for while my Council Bluffs Eva ascended 
mysteriously from the livery stable through the stage floor up 
toward a celestial, juju paste firmament, the entire company in 



subdued tremolo accompanied by the melodeon rendered that 
harrowing ballad with words subjected to poetic transfiguration 
so that they came out appropriately: 

Oh Eva, dear Eva, sweet Eva St. Clair, 

Now the wild flowers blossom o'er your heavenly shore 

'Neath the trees of the flow'ry air ! 

" I have cause to remember the words vividly for they were 
demanded with sobs over again and again, and General Gren- 
ville Dodge, who had taken me to see the show, was rudely 
awakened out of a sound sleep by my pitching my small head 
upon his breast and weeping as if my heart would break, much 
to that distinguished soldier's helpless consternation. With 
my mind still in this primitive state of undisturbed blankness 
regarding the drama, Rosina, all aglow, led me into Hooley's 
Theater, where I drank in the splendors of a real, magnificent, 
thrilling play, after which my Missouri-slope Eva took a tumble 
in her tarletans which, with deepest gratitude, I shall regret as 
long as I live. 

" Owing to this breaking of a butterfly and many hours of 
tender companionship and revelry I looked upon blessed old 
Hooley's, outwardly in its same familiar mask of scowls 
against the storms of a life-time, but within made as resplendent 
as the Versailles Temple D' Amour, and from out the shadows 
arose fragile, lovely Rosina Hooley, with folded wings, and the 
hearty, cheering visage of her sire, who seemed to smile through 
tears and wish it all good speed ! 

" It matters more these rich and spoiled days of plenty how 
the golden cages for stage witcheries are built, of what stuff 
plays are made and whether the actors be as grave as Lear in 
his fettered search or rollicking as Souvestre's Drak, the elves' 
buffoon who would start the fairies scudding across fields by 
starlight just for the sport of turning cart wheels heels over 
head in their pollen-dusty rose-bloom tracks on the flower 
petals. Lear and Drak and less fantastic discoursers to the 
emotions, have always found ardent listeners at Hooley's, for it 


has been long the fashion to hunt enjoyment there. Comedy 
perhaps is closer linked with the triumphs of this little queen 
of theaters, grown old and new again since my baptism in red 
fire, though every sort of beguilement from the frowns of dull 
occupation is entered in its lists, and every phase of art is 
greeted faithfully. To actors the handsome theater is home, 
with laurel hanging upon the gates and wreaths ready to be 
thrown to the victors. Truth to tell no class of people enter- 
ing this costly place of silk and fine linen shall be more 
securely rewarded than artists unless, perhaps, burglars. 

" Good cheer, good plays and good actors follow the fortunes 
of Powers' Theater. There are two melodious Samoan 
words "lesolosolou-malanga," which being transplanted in a 
rag-time atmosphere mean "one long uninterrupted picnic/' 
an outlook I most devoutly wish may be enjoyed by the heirs 
to Hooley's popularity and all the army of its fidele retainers." 


"It has always been a great pleasure to me to play in 
Hooley's Theater. My first engagement there was with 
A. M. Palmer's Stock Company, in 'The Broken Seal.' 
During the next engagement, I had the pleasure of playing 
T. B. Aldrich's 'Mercedes,' very successfully. My last 
engagement in Hooley's was made doubly delightful to me 
because of the courteous attention received at your hands and 
that of your extremely well regulated staff. 

"With every good wish for your complete success, I hope 
that I shall always have the good fortune to play at Powers' 
during my visits to Chicago." 


"The name of Hooley's Theater evokes wonderfully pleasant 
memories. It was my good fortune to take part in most of the 
splendid engagements of that inimitable comedienne, Rosina 


Vokes. Shall we ever forget her 'Circus Rider,' her 'Lord in 
Livery,' her 'Maid Marion' all produced, for the first time, 
at Hooley's Theater? Never have we enjoyed more exquisite 
drollery, never heartier laughter, never purer comedy, and 
never, I fear, 'shall we look upon her like again.' 

"Incidentally, I may mention I first appeared here in 
'A Game of Cards,' and in this theater the 'Old Musician' 
came to life. His birth was generously welcomed by one of 
'Hooley's' finest audiences. 

"With all good wishes for your success and for a continu- 
ance of that uninterrupted prosperity your excellent management 
has always commanded." 


"I sincerely trust that Hooley's Theater reconstructed will 
prove as prosperous for as many years to come, as it has been 
for the many that have passed. A great many of my most 
pleasant remembrances are associated with Hooley's Theater." 


" My memories of Hooley's Theater are many and pleasant, 
extending as they do from the time of the great fire. 

"When Mr. Daly took his magnificent company to play 
their first engagement away from the home theater, he selected 
Hooley's as the foremost theater in the West. 

"Many returns with Daly's, Mansfield's, and, last but by 
no means least, John Drew's Company, have kept Hooley's 
Theater in my memory green. 

"I feel sure, that, under your management, the splendid 
traditions of Hooley's will be kept up." 


"My recollections of Hooley's Theater are always pleasant, 
for it was there I made my first appearance before a Chicago 


^ ^ 



V - ' 


audience, with the late Rosina Vokes, to whom I owe so much, 
as it was Miss Vokes who gave me my first engagement, and 
whom I remember with the greatest affection and gratitude. 

" I am so pleased you are to assume the management of 
Hooley's Theater, and that it is to be called Powers' Theater. 
With best wishes for success.'* 


"Hooley's Theater, Chicago, associated, as it is, with the 
genial and courteous Mr. Harry Powers, recalls some of the 
most agreeable reminiscences of my dramatic career. Only 
recently I passed two entire summers therein, during the runs 
of 'Charlie's Aunt' and 'The Gay Parisians,' under the 
princely management of Mr. Charles Frohman. 

" Since 1878! have appeared there with all that was of the 
best in art. It was during that year I made my first Chicago 
appearance. Fresh from a stock experience that covered some 
years at Wallack's Theater, New York, I opened at Hooley's 
as 'Mercutio' to Mme. Modjeska's 'Juliet.' ' 


"It is with much delight that I find myself possessed of the 
privilege of adding a leaf to the crown of your success as man- 
ager of the historic house of Hooley. 

" Its stage has many fond associations for me as I look back to 
early engagements with the Daly Company and later ones with 

"The longest theatrical 'jump' I ever made was from 
Hooley's Theater to Toole's Theater, London, with the Daly 
Company on the occasion of its first English visit. 

"It was at Hooley's that I gave my first Chicago perform- 
ance of 'Shylock.' 

"With 'more power to your guiding arm' and a hearty 




"I knew Uncle 'Dick' Hooley very well who did not ? 
and ever and always his chief characteristic was gentleness. 

" There was a sweetness of disposition with the man that 
made him attractive to everybody. It is doubtful if he knew 
how much he endeared himself to people, or why. There was 
never the slightest effort to force the note, or the least evidence 
of self-consciousness. Nature had made him on a generous, 
gentle plan." 


"I've just learned with very great pleasure that you have 
come into the sole control of Hooley 's, and that your name is 
to designate the renewed and reconstructed theater. Let me 
add my genuine congratulations to those of your other friends 
who must, with me, rejoice in the honorable and admirable 
success that has come as the reward of your earnest and manly 
devotion to the interests you have represented. I have felt the 
greatest interest in you ever since the night ' Uncle Dick ' put 
his hand on my shoulder years ago and told me that he had 
promoted you to a place in the ticket office. For more than 
eighteen years I was a dramatic critic in Chicago, and in the 
course of that time duty many times required me to write 
adversely of different attractions at your house, so that there 
may have been times when I was out of favor with the man- 
agement, temporarily ; but I cannot recall a single time of see- 
ing you any less courteous, any less smiling, than on the occa- 
sions when it was my happiness to write in warm endorsement 
of the Hooley attraction. I have seen you moving up, so to 
speak, step by step without losing anything whatever of the 
manly modesty that always had commended you to the esteem 
of your patrons and the press men ; and I am sure that you 
will wear your new dignity with the same unaffected manliness. 
Nothing so thoroughly tests a man as prosperity, and that you 

will bear the latest test as satisfactorily as you have borne 
earlier ones is the assurance that makes me so well pleased that 
Harry Powers has come to be manager of his own theater. " 


"Accept my sincere congratulations and best wishes for the 
success of the most delightful and best managed theater in Chi- 
cago. The house has always had a tender place in my regard, 
and I hope in the future to renew the delightful associations of 
the past." 


"We have the very happiest remembrances of our visits to 
Chicago and Hooley's Theater, and the unvarying courtesy 
and kindness we at all times met with from your good self and 
the late Mr. Hooley. 

"I cannot, at the moment, recall any particular incident 
relating to our Chicago visits, beyond the fact that it was at 
Hooley's Theater we played our second American engagement. 

"I wish you continued success and prosperity in your new 

The Dramatic Critic. 

THE dramatic critic sustains a 
very close relation to the 
modern theater, not as a 
dependent or stipendiary, 
but in his capacity as connecting link 
between the public and the play- 
house. His point of view is not 
always agreeable to the manager, 
whose business he may injure by 
adverse criticisms, and his opinions 
are not invariably accepted and en- 
dorsed by the public. 

But the anxiety of the manager to 
make an appeal through the critical 
columns of important newspapers and 
the evidence on every hand that 
readers consult even though they do 
not always commend those columns, 

may be considered as proof positive that the critic performs 
a duty which is of decided consequence. 

In the case of such a representative playhouse as Powers' 
Theater, with its constant presentation of all the leading plays 
and players of the day, the official relations of the critic as an 
intermediary between the theater and the public are especially 
intimate and important. His primary duty on the journalistic 
side of his profession is to chronicle with special care those 
theatrical events that are of significance on account of novelty 
or by reason of the distinction of the artists who dominate new, 



interesting or famous plays. That which is conspicuously in 
the public eye must be his first care, since it is the function of 
the newspaper to supply intelligence that will be of interest and 
value to its readers. 

When an actor reaches a recognized stellar condition, either 
through arduous climbing or by rapid strides, he is so set apart 
from his fellows as to become a subject of special consequence 
to the public. His efforts are suf- 
fused with the hue of distinction, and 
while individuals may sometimes re- 
bel at the injustice of such distinction 
and decry the choice of subjects which 
the newspaper is compelled to make, 
there is no doubt that the mass of 
readers prefer a shining mark for their 
literary attention. 

Thus the critic, while he may feel 
and express, as he often does, a sym- 
pathetic interest for those who have 
not struggled very far up the ladder, 
is compelled by the nature of his trust 
to devote himself chiefly to such 
dramatic subjects and objects as will 
appeal to his readers. In due time 
others who dwell for the time being 
in obscurity will come into the focus, 

take the center of the stage and command his attention, but the 
duty of the passing day is to criticise and comment upon those 
who through unusual talent, exceptional industry or special 
opportunity have gained such distinction that their work war- 
rants study and dissection. 

The chief exponents of the dramatic art are examples and 
object lessons for their fellows. Do they pretend to follow the 
recognized traditions of the stage, it becomes a matter of inter- 
est to determine whether they are accurate in their concep- 
tions and successful in creating the desired illusions. 


Do they aim at originality and stray away from those prim- 
rose paths that their elders have trod, it must, forsooth, be 
ascertained how well the duty of holding the mirror up to 
nature is performed under the new conditions they assume. 

Do they hold to tragedy, delight in comedy, wander into 
the fields of stern realism, possess their souls in patience when 
the flood of thesis plays sets in or flame out in romance, imagi- 
nation and poetry; then, also, it becomes 
a duty to weigh, analyze, dissect and ulti- 
mately declare, as well as he may, the 
artistic value of the undertaking. 

It is through such discussions, when 
conscientious, intelligent, judicial and based 
upon careful study, that a proper standard 
of appreciation is set up, and consequently 
the skilled and experienced writer, subject 
to all human fallibility though he may, and 
must be, does not fail entirely to assist the 
reader and promote intellectual activity. 

Since this is the function of the dramatic 
critic, aside from that other duty of providing 
as much general information as occasion 
may demand, it follows that he is and must 
be, brought into special and intimate rela- 
tions with those theaters where great actors 
and fine plays are most frequently seen. 
That Powers' Theater falls into this category may be conceded 
without argument, and while other playhouses in Chicago 
share this honorable distinction, perhaps no other has so con- 
tinuously demanded the services of the dramatic critic as the 
house which R. M. Hooley founded, and Mr. Powers is now 

It was this fact, no doubt, tinged with the retrospect of 
long friendship and fraternal relations, that prompted Mr. 
Powers to the desire that the dramatic critics of Chicago should 
occupy at least a brief chapter in this abstract and chronicle 



which is issued in some measure as a holiday greeting to the 
patrons of his famous theater. 

The critic, or at all events, the dramatic critic of Chicago, 
is not a spectacular individual. He does not pose in the 
public eye or seek by any theatric art to attract personal atten- 
tion. He hires no lime lights to be thrown upon him as he 
goes about his nightly task, engages no brass band to attend his 
entrances and exits, seeks to gain no re- 
flected honor from his acquaintance with 
the great people who walk the stage, and 
avoids all notoriety. He is content stu- 
diously, honestly and in all good faith, to 
perform a duty which enlists his sym- 
pathy to the utmost, attempting at all 
times to gain the respect and confidence 
of his readers, and promote, in some 
measure, the interests of a great artistic 

Constantly advertising others, it is his 
last thought to advertise himself. Criti- 
cising and commending others, he is well 
aware that he is often criticised, but per- 
haps seldom commended himself. Yet a 
good conscience is a panacea for all such 
slings and arrows, and the hope of avoid- 
ing the errors of yesterday through the 

wider experience and greater intelligence of to-day, is the 
encouraging emblem set in the sky, by means of which he 
expects to get nearer to truth and justice to-morrow. 

This seems to have been the invariable attitude of the 
Chicago critic, not always plainly demonstrated, perhaps, for 
the best of men and women sometimes fail to make their mean- 
ing clear; but while his intelligence may sometimes be called 
into question and his judgment disputed, his honesty has never 
been impugned. This is the vital point in which members of 
the craft in Chicago take special pride. There have been 



scandals elsewhere, most of them without proper foundation, 
but none at all in this city. Since the somewhat remote 
period to which our memory may run, no Chicago critic has 
ever been charged with venality or corruption. His pen has 
always been his own, and while friendly considerations or 
natural prejudices in favor of high art sometimes influence his 
opinions and determine the nature of his criticisms, no corrupt 
motive has ever been fixed upon him. 

Be his work effectual or ineffective, 
as in the rush of newspaper work it must 
be at times, the dramatic critic of Chicago 
is and always has been proudly conscious 
of an honest purpose. 

That each member of the craft does 
not always agree with his fellows, is not, 
as laymen sometimes think, an evidence 
either of ignorance or of improper 
motives. One critic will consider a play 
from his own point of observation, while 
another regards it from quite a different 
exposure. Qualities appeal to and fasci- 
nate some that do not impress others. 
One may prefer dramatic roast beef, an- 
other toothsome entrees, and a third the 
sweets that come with the dessert. It 
is all a matter of varying preferences, 

and as literary critics often differ in their estimates of a new 
but universally recognized book, so dramatic critics may reach 
different conclusions in regard to the details of a play without 
justly subjecting themselves to the assertion, occasionally pro- 
pounded, that critics never agree among themselves and are 
consequently broken reeds, not to be depended upon. 

Perhaps if the argument were carried forward to a legiti- 
mate conclusion it might appear that no two persons of nearly 
identical intelligence ever see precisely the same beauties or 
defects in any landscape or in those glowing works of art that 




hang in the galleries of the world. When the tragic storm 
cloud sweeps across the horizon, punctured by lightning flashes 
and bearing the north wind in ks fleecy bosom, one awed 
beholder will see pictures in this great demonstration of nature 
that others miss, while another, from his own point of view, 
discovers other pictures, other tragic poems, and a different 
inspiration; yet all with one accord unite in recognizing the 
splendor of the scene. 

Although a young city, less given to 
the pursuit of art and literature than it 
will be one of these days, Chicago can 
exhibit for the past and in the present, 
quite a list of dramatic critics, all of 
whom have found special food for reflec- 
tion and comment in Hooley's and 
Powers' Theater. Keeping within com- 
paratively recent times, Mr. Jarvis, 
David Henderson, James Chisholm, 
W. K. Sullivan, W. D. Eaton, Robert 
Peattie and R. D. Bogart will be re- 
membered for their valiant services. 
Others who took up the work and car- 
ried it on with intelligence and ability, 
were C. M. Faye, George M. McCon- 
nel, Frank Lamed, E. J. McPhelim, 
E. A. Barren, Mr. DeFoe and George 

Ade, not to mention several well-schooled gentlemen who have 
served brief ad interim terms. Of these, many continue their 
pen work, though in other departments of journalism and liter- 
ature. Mr. Faye holds a firm and able hand upon the lever as 
editor in chief of the Daily News; Barren, expatriated but still 
faithful to his mother country and to the host of friends who 
remain on these shores, is writing plays and gaining fame in 
England; McConnel, Peattie, Larned, Chisholm, DeFoe and 
Ade are giving their best thoughts and abilities to editorial and 
other newspaper writings, while the others who once sharp- 



ened a ready pencil for the play have either passed over to the 
majority or are engaged in business. 

One bright light in this galaxy was snuffed out all too soon, 
as those who remember the brilliant talents of that poetic soul 
will sadly agree. Edward J. McPhelim flamed out fitfully but 
with no uncertain fire, and as poet and critic, illumined the 
pages of a great newspaper for a time with such bits of word 
painting as might have come from one of 
the masterful essayists and critics of old, 
and then fell by the wayside, before 
realizing the certain eminence in store for 

Old friend and comrade, hail and 
farewell ! The rude blasts of earth were 
too harsh, the problem of life too diffi- 
cult for your gentle soul, but there is a 
tablet in our heart of hearts sweetly en- 
twined with the rosemary of perpetual 

And what of to-day ! How shall 
this humble souvenir, a passing tribute to 
a great and historic theater, speak- of 
those who now act their part as dramatic 
reviewers for the Chicago press ? 

It is a saying and a belief that no ade- 
quate perspective nor fair conclusion in re- 
gard to any man's capacity or labors can be obtained until he 
has passed away. His just honors, together with the insurance 
money must be enjoyed and monopolized by others after he 
has entered that undiscovered country where the wicked cease 
from troubling. But happily it is not a necessity of the 
moment, nor any part of the present purpose, to describe at 
length, justly praise or criticise the critics who are now serving 
the Chicago newspapers with all of their ability. 

One of the number, however, who is proud of his associates 
and delights in their friendship, may, not only as an impulse of 



his own affection, but also impelled by the kindly desire of 
Mr. Powers, devote a few lines to a friendly introduction. 
Having spoken for themselves so well and projected their own 
individuality into columns that have addressed an innumerable 
congregation every morning, it is unnecessary to speak in detail 
of their literary style and manner of thought. 

Of the eight critics representing the important daily papers 
of Chicago, one is a lady, Miss Amy 
Leslie, feuilletonist and critic of the Daily 
News, and her professional associates, all 
of the sterner sex, have singled her out 
for special regard not only in consequence 
of those brilliant talents she displays, but 
for the additional reason that by the 
unaffected arts of friendship and good 
fellowship she has won their sincere 
affection. Commanding all the resources 
of the English language and possessing 
the natural bouyancy and high spirits of 
an enthusiast, Miss Leslie is a most 
delightful and always interesting extrem- 
ist. Half measures of praise or blame 
are not for her, and thus her trenchant 
pen carries great delight to those who 
win her favor, and corresponding terror 
to others less fortunate. But in all literary 
moods she is brilliant and interesting, and to the readers 
of the Daily News whose name is legion, the column bearing 
her familiar and famous signature is a source of unfailing profit 
and pleasure. Equally at home in the discussion of dramatic, 
musical and literary topics, she adorns whatever her bright 
fancy plays upon and with an infinite variety of word painting 
allures and fascinates the reader. 

Taken at random and with no thought of precedence, the 
other members of the corps dramatic pass in mental review, each 
man bearing the stamp of his own individuality. Charles E. 



Nixon, the Inter Ocean writer, served a long term as musical 
editor of that journal, and when Elwyn A. Barren went away 
was made dramatic critic as well. Genial, whole souled and 
indefatigable in his labors, Mr. Nixon justly sustains a reputa- 
tion as everybody's friend. Cordial and conscientious to a 
degree, he writes with extreme care and labors, above all, to do 
justice and properly represent 
the subject of his comments. 
No other member of the craft 
is more kindly regarded by his 
fellows, or more respected by 
the theatrical guild. His dispo- 
sition is so pacific that no con- 
tentious grit ever flows from his 
pen, but he reflects justly and 
admirably the best dramatic in- 
terests of the day. 

Hepburn Johns, the dra- 
matic and musical critic of the 
Chronicle, possesses all the 
manly qualities of the English- 
man, for he was born across 
seas, fused with the more re- 
sponsive manner of the good 
American citizen which he now 
is. An ardent lover and student 
of the drama, he has enjoyed a 
wide experience in theatrical 
affairs, and is so animated by a 
sense of justice that his criticisms bear the impress]of authority and 
genial good sense. With a light touch and an agreeable play of 
humorous fancy, he plunges into many happy dissections of 
plays and players, never indulging, however, in a censorious 
tone or seeking to inflict unnecessary wounds. A man of many 
friendships in the dramatic profession he nevertheless permits 
no personal consideration to bias his views, but firmly adheres 


to the theory that the critic who serves his readers most faith- 
fully is the best friend of actor and manager. 

D. M. Halbert, one of the young and growing critics of the 
West, has gained and sustained respectful consideration for the 
column over which he presides in the Evening Post. Having 

enjoyed a liberal education, and 
possessing a thoughtful and 
scholarly disposition, all of his 
work is studious and refined. 
His evident determination in 
every case is to get at the bot- 
tom facts and present them, to- 
gether with his conclusions, in 
a dignified, coherent and logical 
manner. For all that is gross 
and inartistic in plays, or among 
the players, he entertains the ut- 
most abhorrence, and possessing 
high ideals and excellent taste 
his judgment is developing along 
the best lines of dramatic thought, 
while his personal charms are 
recognized by all who know 
him well. 

H. J. Whigham, the Trib- 
une critic, is a Scotchman by 
birth, and possesses the charac- 
teristic firmness, determination 
and good sense of a race that has 
made a distinct mark for itself 
in all parts of the world. He also exhibits genial personal 
qualities not always associated with those who come from 
old Scotland, and during his comparatively brief service as 
dramatic critic has gained many friends. The qualities that 
enable him to excel in golf and win national honors, are being 
reflected in his newspaper work, which is always vigorous and 

driving. An educated, well schooled and well read man, he is 
a recognized addition to the critical corps in Chicago, and 
enjoys the high esteem of his fellows. 

James O'Donnell Bennett is critic for the Evening Journal, 
and his familiar signature is an endorsement that always bears 
assurance of an interesting bit of 
writing good in any bank where 
sentiment counts. Young, but 
to the manner born, his sincer- 
ity and genuine feeling are so 
distinctly felt in every article, 
that his work is followed with 
unceasing interest and admira- 
tion. A picturesque individual 
style marks all of his writing, 
together with an irresistible en- 
thusiasm which will be steadied 
one of these days by judicial 
temper. Mr. Bennett's sincere 
and lovable disposition has en- 
deared him to all his associ- 
ates, who agree with the public 
that he is worth reading. 

Howbert Billman is the pains- 
taking and efficient critic of the 
Daily Record, and enjoys the 
distinction, jointly with Mr. 
Whigham and Mr. Bennett, of 
an exciting war experience dur- 
ing the heat of our difficulties 

with Spain. As correspondent he performed valiant service, 
and then returned to resume the post of dramatic critic, which 
he had inherited from George Ade, the genial story-teller, 
who abandoned the drama for another form of fiction. Mr. 
Billman, with an experience gained through service with the 
Journal and the Tribune, is an able chronicler of dramatic 


events. Industrious, reliable, and with a quick appreciation 
of the salient points in any dramatic composition, he deserves 
and enjoys the confidence of readers and the personal esteem 
of many friends. 

Only one remains to complete the list, and of him it may 
only be said that he is proud to figure in such good company. 

The dramatic critic is, not unlike other men, subject to 
infirmities of health and temper. Care preys upon him at 
times, and annoyances ruffle his temper or disturb that equipoise 
necessary to a judicial spirit. And then his work must be 
done under a most intolerable pressure of haste. The presses 
yawn for his work scarcely more than an hour after the theater 
closes, and the work to which the magazine writer devotes per- 
haps several days the critic must perform as best he may in a 
period almost too brief for the mechanical labor of writing, 
leaving no margin for careful thought. 'Hurried in the prepara- 
tion, errors will creep in and unhappy omissions occur, and then 
the composition, with all its imperfections, must run the gauntlet 
of worn and weary compositors and proofreaders, who 'cannot 
always guess the meaning buried in unsightly hieroglyphics. 
Small wonder then that the next morning hour, with newspaper 
in hand, is often a season of greater torture for the critic than for 
the player he has excoriated. Small wonder indeed that the 
sins of omission and commission are not graver and more 
deadly! Wherefore, dear reader, visit some Christian charity 
upon the critic when his views do not meet with your approval, 
and above all believe him quite honest however mistaken he 
may be. 

The Theaters of Chicago. 

"A Brief Chronicle and Abstract." 

RICE'S FIRST THEATER. The real beginning of theatrical 
history in Chicago was made by J. B. Rice, who erected and 
dedicated, June 28, 1847, the first theater building constructed 
in Chicago. It was erected on the south side of Randolph 
Street, 50 feet east of Dearborn, and was opened by a stock 
company, in "The Four Sisters." The company included 
Mrs. Hunt, afterwards Mrs. John Drew, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. 
Rice and Dan Marble. On May 2, 1848, J. H. McVicker 
made his first appearance, the farce being " My Neighbor's 
Wife." Edwin Forrest and Junius Brutus Booth were among 
the attractions of that year. The theater burned July 30, 
1850, during a performance of "La Somnambula," and it is 
stated that Mr. McVicker was on the stage when the alarm 
was given. 

RICE'S SECOND THEATER. On February 3, 1851, Mr. 
Rice opened his second theater, which was built of brick at a 
cost of $11,000, on Dearborn Street, between Randolph and 
Washington. With a frontage of 80 feet and many improve- 
ments and conveniences, it was regarded as a great step in 
advance and was destined to be the home of the drama in Chi- 
cago for six years, during which period all the important stars 
of that early day visited the city, which at that time boasted a 
population of less than 5,000 souls. The theater was opened 
on the evening already mentioned. The stock company joined 
first in singing the "Star Spangled Banner" and then presented 


a triple bill: "Love in Humble Life," tl Captain of the 
Watch," and "The Dumb Belle." It was transformed into 
a business house in 1861, having outlived its usefulness by 
several years. 

NATIONAL THEATER, south side of Monroe near Wells. 
At first North's Amphitheater opened in 1856 with a stock 
company, including Mr. and Mrs. E. Thorne, L. Mestayer 
and W. F. Johnson. Subsequently J. H. Wallack, Dion 
Boucicault, Agnes Robertson, Maggie Mitchell, and the 
comedian Burton appeared at this house, which fell into decay 
in 1859, an d in 1864 was demolished to make room for a 
business block. 

McVicKER's THEATER. James H. McVicker built his first 
theater upon the spot ever since identified with his name in 

1857, at a cost of $85,000. It was opened November 5, 
I 857, by a stock company in "The Honeymoon " and "The 
Rough Diamond." Edwin Booth first appeared here May 31, 

1858, playing "A New Way to Pay Old Debts," followed 
by "Richelieu," "Brutus" and "Richard III." Sothern 
first appeared herein 1861. J. H. Hackett, 1863. Lotta, 
1864. Charles Kean, 1865. Mrs. Siddons, 1869, and 
other noted actors of the day at intervals. The theater was 
rebuilt in 1871, after having been remodeled in 1864, at a cost 
of $90,000, and reopened August 29 with "Extremes." A 
play called "Elfia" was running when the house was 
destroyed in the great fire of October 9, 1871. The theater 
was rebuilt at a cost of $200,000 and reopened August 15, 
1872, with Douglas Jerrold's "Time Works Wonders." 
This building served until 1885, when it was remodeled at a 
cost of $145,000. It was destroyed by fire August 26, 1890, 
during the run of "Shenandoah," and when rebuilt was 
reopened March 31, 1892, with the Jefferson-Florence Com- 
pany in "The Rivals." The lease of the theater fell to Jacob 
Litt, May I, 1898, for a term of ten years. 

WOOD'S MUSEUM, at first Aiken's, 111-117 Randolph 
Street, Kingsbury Hall site. Opened August 17, 1863, with 
curiosities. November, 1863, the new stage was dedicated 
by the Holman Opera Company in the "Bohemian Girl." 
The "Lady of Lyons" was the first play, given in December. 
When burned in 1871 "Divorce" was running. Was 
bought by C. J. H. Wood, January, 1864. A stock com- 
pany was organized at this house in 1 869, including McKee 
Rankin, M. V. Lingham, J. W. Jennings, A. D. Bradley, J. 
D. Germon, May Howard, Katy Fletcher and Anna Marble. 

CROSBY'S OPERA HOUSE. Finished in 1865 at a cost of 
$600,000, and opened April 2Oth by J. Graus Italian Opera 
Company in "II Trovatore," Clara Louise Kellogg prima 
donna. The location was on the north side of Washington 
Street, between State and Dearborn. Refitted in 1871 at a 
cost of $80,000, and was to have reopened October pth with 
the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, Maria Krebs pianist and 
Bernhard Listemann violinist, but was destroyed by the great 
fire on that date and never rebuilt. 

BRYAN HALL, Clark Street, the site of present Grand Opera 
House, was built in I 860, and devoted to concerts, conven- 
tions and miscellaneous entertainments. 

HOOLEY'S OPERA HOUSE. Bryan Hall was secured by 
R. M. Hooley in 1870, and transformed into a handsome thea- 
ter called Hooley's Opera House. Opened January 2, 1871, 
by Hooley's Minstrels, and devoted to varied entertainments. 
For the week of October 9, 1871, Giacomatti's tragedy 
"Elizabeth," with Mrs. Lander, was announced, but the 
building was swept away by the big fire. 

In August, 1871, prior to the fire, Mr. Hooley associated 
himself with Frank E. Aiken, and engaged a regular dramatic 
stock company for his Clark Street opera house. This organiza- 


tion included Frank E. Aiken, J. H. Fitzpatrick, Frank Lawler, 
M. C. Daly, J. R. Vincent, S. L. Knapp, George A. Archer, 
Harry Gilbert, David Osborn, J. C. Morrison, Augusta Dargon, 
Fanny Burt, Lizzie Herbert, Annie Champion, Mrs. M. C. 
Daly, Belle Remick, Lizzie Osborne, Kate and Anna Tyson. 
Various plays were produced during the brief life of the com- 
pany, the first being "The Two Thorns." 

AIKEN' s THEATER (afterwards the Dearborn Theater, at 1 1 5 
and 117 Dearborn Street), opened January 18, 1869, with a 
stock company in "Cyril's Success." Transformed into the 
Dearborn August, 1 869, it was occupied by Emerson & Man- 
ning's Minstrels, and subsequently by other attractions, includ- 
ing German opera, Charles Wyndham and other notable attrac- 
tions. For the week of October 9, 1871, the Dearborn 
Minstrels had announced a burlesque on "Love and War." 
The house was not rebuilt after the fire. 

FIRST ACADEMY OF Music, I 24 Washington Street, opened 
December I, 1863. Arlington, Kelly & Co.'s Minstrels. 
Afterwards Campbell & Castle's English Opera. 

FIRST OLYMPIC, corner Clark and Monroe, July 13, 1868. 
Arlington's Minstrels. 

THE GLOBE, Desplaines Street. Opened November 21, 
1870, by a stock company in "The Rivals." Subsequently 
John Dillon, Oliver Doud Byron and others played here. It 
was the only theater surviving the fire. 

ACADEMY OF Music, Halsted Street, near Madison. Built 
by W. B. Clapp. Opened January 10, 1872, by the Wyndham 
Comedy Company in "Ours." Lucille Western, Aimee, 
Chanfrau, Edwin Adams, the Vokes Family, Sothern, Mc- 
Cullough, Toole, Jefferson, and many other notables, played 


here during the period of rebuilding the city. Destroyed by 
fire February 4, 1878. Rebuilt and reopened September 15, 
1879, by William Emmett as a dramatic and variety house. 
Again burnt out October 12, 1880. Rebuilt and reopened 
December zoth the same year by Stetson's " Neck and Neck." 
Dan Shelby assumed management in 1882; H. R. Jacobs in 
1888, continuing until 1897; when E. P. Simpson became 

HOOLEY'S THEATER. Built on Randolph Street site and 
opened October 17, 1872, with the Abbott-Kiralfy Company. 
Was the second down-town theater opened after the fire. In 
1876 and '77 it was known as Haverly's, and then restored to 
the firm of Hooley & Quinlan, and subsequently to R. M. 
Hooley, who was exclusive manager up to the time of his death, 
September, 1893. May I, 1898, passed from the control of 
the Hooley estate on a ten-years' lease to Harry J. Powers, 
who was forbidden to use the name of Hooley except for an 
extraordinary and prohibitive bonus, and consequently, under 
the advice of friends, changed the name to Powers' Theater, 
and opened under that name after complete reconstruction 
August 22, 1898, with Clyde Fitch's play "The Moth and 
the Flame," played by Herbert Kelcey and Effie Shannon. 

AIKEN'S THEATER (the Second). Built at the northwest cor- 
ner of Wabash Avenue and Congress Street, and opened Octo- 
ber 7, 1872, the anniversary of the big fire, with the Theo- 
dore Thomas orchestra. It was a failure, and after a time was 
rechristened the Adelphi, and conducted as a variety house by 
Leonard Grover. It burned in the second big fire, July 14, 
1874, and was not rebuilt. 

The stock company organized for Aiken's Theater included 
Frank Lawler, Milton Nobles, F. R. Pierce, George Reed, C. 
R. Graves, W. C. Crosbie, Charles Rogers, H. B. Howland, 
A. M. Clark, J. Cline, Miss Anna Lonergan, Miss Emma 
Maddern, Miss Ada Gilman, Mrs. Clara Maeder, Mrs. 



Charles Hill, Miss Mollie Maeder, Miss Belle Remick and 
others. The season was a total failure, and the company soon 
fell apart. 

THE NEW ADELPHI, afterwards Haverly's. The walls ofj 
the old postoffice building, left standing after the great fire, on 
the corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets, were utilized as the 
shell of a theater called by this name, and opened January 1 1, 
1875, with burlesque, under the direction of Leonard Grover. 
Reconstructed in 1878, it was reopened by J. H. Haverly 
under the name of Haverly's Theater, August 4, 1878, with 
the Colville Folly Company in "The Babes in the Wood," 
and was used for general theatrical purposes until 1880, when 
demolished to make way for the First National Bank building. 

COLUMBIA THEATER, known for four years as Haverly's 
Theater, south side of Monroe Street between Dearborn and 
Clark Streets. Managed by J. H. Haverly and then C. H. 
McConnell. Name changed to Columbia in 1885, during 
Irving engagement, Ellen Terry officiating at the ceremony. 
Reconstructed by J. D. Carson and reopened October I, 1888, 
by the Duff Comic Opera Company in the "Queen's Mate." 
Leased by Al. Hayman and W. J. Davis in 1890, and con- 
ducted by them since that time as a high class combination house. 
Their opening was with the " County Fair," August 24, 1890, 
since which time the Columbia has become one of the most 
noted theaters in the United States. 

GRAND OPERA HOUSE, on the site of Bryan Hall, Hooley's 
Opera House, the Coliseum and Hamlin's Theater. Rebuilt 
in its present form in 1880 by Wm. Borden at a cost of 
$55,000, and leased to J. H. Hamlin. Opened September, 
1880, by Hoey & Hardy with "A Child of the State." 
Continuously managed since that time by the Hamlins, and 
now owned by them. 


THE BIJOU, formerly The Standard, corner of Jackson and 
Halsted Streets. Built by C J. Whitney, of Detroit. Opened 
December 31, 1883, by Fay Templeton in " Girofle Girofla." 
Variously occupied until 1897, when it was renamed "The 
Bijou" and devoted to popular melodramas. 

CHICAGO OPERA HOUSE, corner Washington and Clark 
Streets. Opened August 18, 1885, by John W. Norton & 
Co., David Henderson, manager. The attraction being Tom 
Keene in "Richard III." For a little more than ten years 
under the same management, the house was leased December 
22, 1895, by Kohl & Castle, and devoted first to combinations 
and to continuous vaudeville. It was opened under this man- 
agement by Eddy Foy in "Little Robinson Crusoe." 

THE AUDITORIUM. Built by the Auditorium Association. 
Dedicated Monday evening, December 9, 1889, by a special 
programme, of which Adelina Patti was the bright particular 
star. Clarence Eddy, and the Apollo Club appeared, and 
there were addresses by Mayor Cregier, Hon. John S. Run- 
nells, Ferd W. Peck and Governor Fifer. On the next even- 
ing the Abbey & Grau Company gave "Romeo and Juliet," 
with Patti as Juliet, and Tamagno followed on the next night 
in "William Tell." Mil ward Adams has managed this opera 
house, one of the greatest in the world, from the opening until 
the present time. 

CLARK STREET THEATER, North Clark and Michigan Streets, 
opened October 27, 1889, by H. R. Jacobs, with "Said 
Pasha" by the California Opera Company. 

THE LINCOLN THEATER, formerly Windsor, Clark and 
Division Streets, was opened September 26, 1886, under the 
management of Philip H. Lehnen, with the Redmond-Barry 
Company in "A Cure for the Blues." Burned April, 1889. 


Rebuilt and reopened October, 1889, under the direction of 
M. B. Leavitt. Leased to James S. Hutton, August 26, 
1894, and name changed to Lincoln Theater, the opening 
attraction being Gustave Frohman's " Charity Ball " Company. 
Burned again December, 1898. 

HAVLIN'S THEATER, formerly Baker's, opened November 6, 
1888, with "The Pearl of Pekin." Leased to J. H. Havlin 
May 27, 1889, and the name changed to Havlin's. The 
opening attraction under this management was May 27, 1889, 
with the first American production of Lecocq's comic opera 
"La Jolie Parisienne. ' ' After a number of years during 
which the theater was managed with great ability by James S. 
Hutton, Mr. Havlin relinquished the lease and the theater 
under various names was the scene of many failures. On 
August 15, 1898, the house was reopened by Will H. Barry, 
who changed the name to the New Adelphi. 

THE HAYMARKET, Madison Street near Halsted. The 
doors were thrown open under the management of William J. 
Davis, December 24, 1887, the attraction being Thomas 
Keene in "Richard III." The house prospered greatly under 
this management for nearly ten years. Mr. Davis relinquish- 
ing the control December 5, 1896, when the theater passed 
under the control of Kohl & Castle, who have since devoted 
it to continuous vaudeville of the best class, with Jay Rial as 
the active manager. 

THE ALHAMBRA, State Street and Archer Avenue, H. R. 
Jacobs, manager. Was dedicated September I, 1890, by the 
Emma Juch Grand English Opera Company in "Faust." 
Mr. Jacobs retained the management until April, I 897, when 
W. H. Barry became manager and conducted the theater until 
June, 1898, when James S. Hutton of the Lincoln Theater 
obtained the lease and reopened the theater August, 1898. 



SCHILLER THEATER (now Dearborn). Built by the German 
Opera House Company, and opened under the direction of 
Anson Temple, October 17, 1892, by Charles Frohman's 
Company in " Gloriana." Subsequently managed by Thos. 
W. Prior, Ira J. La Motte, David Henderson, Robert Blei, R. 
C. Gardner, E. L. Webster, Geo. A. Fair and Gustav 
Luders. September 4, 1898, this theater was rechristened 
The Dearborn by the Tri-State Amusement Company, and 
reopened under the business management of J. J. Brady, with 
a stock company in "Too Much Johnson," supplemented by 

GREAT NORTHERN THEATER. Opened November 9, 1896, 
by A. M. Palmer, with Henry Miller in "Heartsease." 
Subsequently managed by the Hopkins-Thayer Hight Com- 
pany and David Henderson, the latter taking possession No- 
vember, 1897, and relinquishing the house June 25, 1898. 
Reopened August 27, 1898, as a vaudeville house by Salisbury 
& Tate. 

HOPKINS' THEATER, formerly the People's, was built by 
Jonathan Clark and opened by Joseph Bayliss, October I, 
1884, with Robert Graham in "Wanted a Partner." After 
some years the house fell into disuse despite the efforts of vari- 
ous managers to revive it. In I 894 it was leased by the Tri- 
State Amusement Company, and opened as Hopkins' Theater 
under the immediate management of Col. J. H. Hopkins, who 
catered drama and vaudeville in a most successful manner. 
September 4, 1898, Hopkins became sole lessee, and reopened 
with "Trilby," given by his regular stock company. 

MYERS' OPERA HOUSE. In the building on Monroe Street, 
long identified with Chapin & Gore, Samuel Myers, formerly 
connected with McVicker, constructed a theater which was 
opened September 23, 1872, and devoted for some years 

chiefly to minstrelsy. Nearly all the prominent minstrels 
played there during the few years that this house was in 

THE OLYMPIC THEATER, formerly the New Chicago, built 
upon the site of old Kingsbury Hall. Reconstructed and re- 
opened under the management of J. H. McVicker, August, 
1875, Thos. A. Hall managing, with a stock company includ- 
ing Louis James, Thomas Whiffen, Harry Lee, W. B. Chip- 
pendale, Helen Tracy and Ada Oilman. The opening play 
was "Apple Blossoms," but the venture was not successful. 
The house was devoted to various uses until it was leased May, 
1885, to Kohl & Middleton, who called it the New Olympic, 
opened with Laura Dainty in "A Mountain Pink," and have 
conducted it ever since as a variety house, with George Castle 
as manager. In 1 896 the house was rebuilt. 

Who Did It. 

THE New Powers' Theater is believed to be a model 
house for theatrical use. The official Inspector of 
Buildings for the city of Chicago has placed his 
stamp of approval upon it. The department of 
electricity certifies the perfection of one important feature, 
critics have pronounced the decorations and the furnishings a 
symphony of tasteful art, and last, but most important of all, 
the public expresses so much satisfaction with the work that 
there can be no doubt of its complete success. That such a 
transformation from the old Hooley's to the New Powers' 
could be effected in the short period of nine weeks is a marvel 
to all who understand how radical the changes were, and it is 
only fair that those who brought about this reconstruction under 
such a speed pressure should be given credit for their effective 
work. First upon the roll of honor must be placed the archi- 
tects, Messrs. Wilson & Marshall, who devised all the archi- 
tectural changes, designed the new boxes and proscenium, and 
superintended all of the work with so much energy and enthu- 
siasm that all difficulties melted away, and the drama of recon- 
struction was brought promptly to a happy climax. The 
decorations and paintings were done by the W. P. Nelson 
Company, whose skilled artist and general designer is respon- 
sible for the mural paintings that have been so much admired. 
And then to these many others credit must be given for their 
admirable work: 

Mr. George Messersmith, General Contractor. 
Mr. W. D. Kent, outside iron stairways, pronounced by 
Chief Swenie the best he ever saw. 


Mr. E. Baggot, sewerage and sanitary plumbing. 

Plumbers' supplies in dressing and toilet rooms, by J. B. 
Clow & Sons. 

Chicago Edison Company, electric switch board, and elec- 
trical wiring in the latest improved iron conduits, pronounced by 
electrical experts as the best and safest insulation ever put into 
a theater. 

Opera chairs by A. H. Andrews & Co. 

Ornamental compo, stucco and relief work by Decorators' 
Supply Company. 

Carpets and draperies by Chicago Carpet Company. 

Terra Blanco fire-proofing in dressing rooms and stage by 
Terra Blanco Company. Mr. F. W. Blockie superintended the 

Iron front and canopy by Chicago Architectural Iron 

Entire theater plastered on wire late by McNulty Bros. 

The asbestos curtain is by F. B. McGreer, Scenic Artist 
of Powers' theater. 

Steam heating, by Mr. Simmons. 

Iron shutters and sheet iron shelves in dressing rooms by 
Mr. Ricketts. 

Marble wainscoting by Frank Henry. 

Marble floors by Keating Sons & Co. 

Chandeliers and electrical fixtures from T. W. Wilmarth 
& Co., Mr. J. N. Dimmery, President. 

Decorative mosaic work in exterior by Hawes & Dodd. 


Sound Endorsements 



JAMES MCANDREWS, Commissioner. 
T. O'SHEA, Deputy Commissioner. 


CHICAGO, August 25, 1898. 
MR. HARRY J. POWERS, Mngr. Powers' New Theater, Chicago, 111. 

DEAR SIR: After careful examination of your new theater, I have no hes- 
itancy in saying that the changes you have made from the old building are 
simply marvelous. The 25 exits (apportioned as follows: Gallery 9, balcony 
10, and lower floor 6, which lead to Randolph Street and the open court on 
the east, and alleys on the west and north of your auditorium proper) are the 
best means I ever saw for dismissing an audience. I was particularly impressed 
with the outside iron stairways, leading from the emergency exits, and your 
system of lighting them. Also the new fire-proofing which you have placed 
in your dressing rooms and under your stage. You have really covered every- 
thing that is conducive to the safety and comfort, and the means of ingress 
and egress of your audiences. 

I shall always hold your emergency exits, the system of electric wiring 
through iron conduits, and the fire-proofed dressing rooms as models for other 
theaters to follow. The new theater is perfect in every way. 

Yours very truly, (Signed) JAMES MCANDREWS, 

Commissioner of Buildings. 


EDWARD B. ELLICOTT, City Electrician. 

CHICAGO, ILL., August 25, 1898. 
MR. HARRY J. POWERS, Mngr. Powers' New Theater, Chicago, 111. 

DEAR SIR : In reply to your inquiry regarding the safety and efficiency of 
the electrical wiring and apparatus in your new theater, I am pleased to state 
that the system is installed in the most modern manner. 

All the concealed wires are placed in insulated iron pipes, rendering it 
impossible to cause a fire. The exposed wires are mounted on porcelain 
insulators throughout, and in no instance do they come in contact with the 
woodwork of the building. The new switchboard is properly installed, and by 
manipulation you can secure any desired scenic effects. 

The entire installation is admirable and absolutely safe from an electrical 
standpoint. I wish to compliment you for the manner in which you have 
carried out the installation regardless of the cost, and I trust that the patrons 
of your theater will appreciate the results of your efforts to secure for them the 
safety found only in theaters similarly equipped. 

Very truly yours, (Signed) EDWARD B. ELLICOTT, 

City Electrician. 



Bookings For Twenty Years. 



It was in 1877 that the connection of Harry J. Powers 
with Hooley's Theater commenced and this record of bookings 
is, therefore, coincident with his entire career in the service of 
the theater now bearing his own name. 

SEASON OF 1877-1878. 

July 4 July 30,1877.... Danicheffs. 

Aug. 4 Aug. 9 "Smike." 

Aug. 11 Aug. 16 " Miss Moulton." 

Aug. 18 Aug. 25 PaulGraudet. 

Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Union Square Company in ' ' Poor Joe ' ' and ' ' For- 
bidden Fruit." 

Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Lawrence Barrett. 

Sept. 12 Sept. 17 Lawrence Barrett. 

Sept. 19 Sept. 22 Worrall Sisters. 

Sept. 24 Oct. 6 Tne Lingards. 

Oct. 13 Oct. 25 Jarrett & Palmer Company in " Sardanapalus." 

Oct. 27 Nov. 5 " Evangeline " Company. 

Nov. 10 Nov. 23 Frayer Opera Company. (Two weeks.) 

Nov. 25-Dec. 5 " Struck ftil." 

Dec. 10 Dec. 22 Hess Opera Company. 

Dec. 24 Jan. 3, 1878. ... Joe Murphy. 

Jan. 5 Jan. 10 Aim6e. 

Jan. 14 Jan. 19 Von Stamwitz. 

Jan. 21 Feb. 31 Robson and Crane. 

Feb. 2 Feb. 14 Kellogg Opera Company. 

Feb. 16 Feb. 28 Janauschek. 

Mar. 2 M*r. 9 Alice Oates. 

Mar. 11 Mar. 16 Fanny Davenport. 

Mar. 18 Mar. 30 E. H. Sothern (Elder). 

April 1 April 6 J. K. Emmett. 

April 8 April 18 J. C. Duff Opera Company. 

April 20-May 2 Modjeska. 

May 4 May 9 Billy Emerson MinstrerCompany. 

May 11 May 16 Tony Hart. 


May 18 June 7 New York Park Theater Company. 

June 8 July 18 New York Union Square Company. 

July 20 July 27 Clara Morris and Union Square Company. 

July 29 Aug. 3 Robinson's Minstrels. 

Aug. 5 Aug. 10 Maj eroni. 

SEASON OF 1878-1879. 

Aug. 11, 1878 The Majeronis in " Camille." 

Aug. 19 Henry Webber in " Nip and Tuck." 

Aug. 26 John T. Raymond in " Risks." 

Sept. 2 John T. Raymond in " The Gilded Age." 

Sept. 9 John McCullough in " Virginius " and repertoire. 

(Two weeks.) 

Sept. 23 Rice's "Evangeline." 

Oct. 7 Lawrence Barrett. 

Oct. 14 Robson and Crane. (Two weeks.) 

Oct. 28 Salsbury's Troubadours. (Two weeks.) 

Nov. 11 The Famous Lingards. 

Nov. 18 Eliza Weathersby and N. C. Goodwin in "Hob- 
bies." (Two weeks.) 

Dec. 2 The celebrated actress, Mrs. D. P. Bowers. 

Dec. 9 Miss Effie Ellsler. 

Dec. 16 Emerson's Minstrels. 

Dec. 23 Fanny Davenport. (Two weeks.) 

Jan. 6, 1879 Miss Emma Abbott and the Hess English Opera 


Jan. 13 Mr. John Dillon. 

Jan. 20 Mr. Joseph Murphy. 

Jan. 27 Boston Opera Company in " Pinafore." 

Feb. 8 The New York Criterion Comedy Company. 

Feb. 10 Janauschek. 

Feb. 17 New York Criterion Company in " Whims." 

Feb. 24 J. K. Emmet in "Fritz." 

Mar. 3 George S. Knight in " Otto." 

Mar. 10 Lotta. (Two weeks.) 

Mar. 24 Modjeska and Company. (Two weeks.) 

April 7 Emma Abbott and the Hess English Opera Com- 

April 14 Robson and Crane. (Two weeks.) 

April 28 Maggie Mitchell. (Two weeks.) 

May 12 Kate Claxton. 

May 19 Pauline Markham Burlesque Company in " Pina- 

May 26 Miss Pauline Pomeroy in "Adirondacks." 

June 2 Gllmore's Original New York Juvenile Pinafore 

Company in " Pinafore." 

June 9 Steele Mackaye's New York Madison Square Com- 
pany in "Won at Last." (Two weeks.) 

June 23 Emerson's Minstrels. (Four weeks.) 

July 28 " Ticket-of-Leave-man," Wallack's Company. 

(Three weeks.) 

Aug. 20 Aimee. (Four nights.) 

Aug. 25 Fifth Avenue Comic Opera Company in " Fati- 


Sept. 8 Salsbury's Troubadours. 

Sept. 15 Rice's " Evangeline." 

Oct. 6 Robson and Crane. 

Oct. 20 J. K. Emmet. (Two weeks.) 


Nov. 3 New York Criterion Company. (Two weeks.) 

Nov. 17 Lawrence Barrett. (Two weeks.) 

Dec. 1 John T. Raymond. (Two weeks.) 

Dec. 14 The Lingard Folly Company. 

Dec. 22 Joseph Murphy. (Two weeks.) 

Jan. 5, 1880 Collier's Union Square Company. (Two weeks.) 

Jan. 19 Adele Belgarde. 

Jan. 26 Weathersby-Goodwin Froliques in " Hobbies." 

Feb. 2 Miss Dickie Lingard in " Les Fourchambault." 

(One night Sunday.) 

Feb. 9 E. H. Sothern. 

Feb. 16 Big Four Minstrels. 

Feb. 22 Dickie Lingard in " La Cigale." 

Feb. 23 New York Criterion Comedy Company. (Sunday 


Mar. 1 Maggie Mitchell. 

Mar. 8 Alice Gates Opera Company. 

Mar. 14 Miss Dickie Lingard. (One night Sunday.) 

Mar. 15 James A. Hearne. 

Mar. 29 Brown's Farce Company. 

April 5 Robson and Crane. 

April 11 Dickie Lingard. (One night.) 

April 12 Robson and Crane. 

April 19 " Our Girls." 

April 26 Kate Claxton. 

May 3 Mr. John Dillon. 

May 10 Lingard's " Oaken Hearts." (One week.) 

May 17 Powers' Paragon Comedy Company. 

May 31 Ed. Arnott in " Victims of Faro." 

June 4 Collier's ' ' Celebrated Case ' ' Company. 

June 14 Narthals English Opera Company. 

June 21 Joseph Murphy. (Two weeks.) 

July 5 Mr. George Holland. 

Aug. 9 New York Criterion Comedy Company. (Two 


Aug. 23 The Harrisons. 

Aug. 30 Haverley's Juvenile Opera Company. 

Sept. 6 Maggie Mitchell. 

Sept. 13 Robson and Crane. (Three weeks.) 

Oct. 4 Lawrence Barrett. (Two weeks. ) 

Oct. 17 M. B. Leavitt's Combination. 

Oct. 25 The Harrisons. 

Nov. 1 Comley-Barton Comedy Company 

Nov. 8 "The Banker's Daughter" Collier's Company. 

Nov. 15 Clark & Marble's Tile Club "Idle Hours." 

Nov. 22 Willie Edouins-Sparks Company. 

Nov. 29 Mrs. Scott-Siddons. 

Dec. 6 John T. Raymond. 

Dec. 13 A. M. Palmer's Union Square Company. 

Dec. 20 Jarrett & Rice's Company in "Fun on the Bristol." 

Jan. 3, 1881 Nat C. Goodwin. 

Jan. 10 Mr. Chas. L. Davis in "Alvin Joslin." 

Jan. 17 Rice's Opera Company. 

Jan. 24 Morton and Homer's Big Four Minstrels. 

Jan. 31 "My Geraldine," Bartley Campbell's Play. 

Feb. 14 Maggie Mitchell. 

Feb. 20 Hearne's "Hearts of Oak." 

Feb. 28 Mr. Neil Burgess. 

Mar. 7 Salsbury's Troubadours. 

Mar. 14 Willie Edouins-Sparks. 


Mar. 20..... Mr. and Mrs. MeKee Rankin. 

Mar. 27 Comley-Barton Company in "Olivette." 

Apr. 11 Robson and Crane (Two weeks.) 

Apr. 24 "MyGeraldine." 

May 2 Bartley Campbell's Play "Fairfax." 

May 9 Nat C. Goodwin. 

May 16 Steele Mackaye's Comedy Company in "Won at 

Last." (Three weeks.) 

May 29 San Francisco Minstrels. 

June 6 Harrigan & Hart. (Two weeks.) 

June 20 Augustin Daly's Company. 

July 18 James O'Neill. (One week.) 

SEASON OF 1881-1882. 

Aug. 1,1881 James O'Neill. (Two weeks.) 

Aug. 29 Henrietta Vaders. 

Sept. 5 Hooley's Comedy Company. 

Sept. 12 J.K.Emmett. 

Sept. 18 Salsbury's Troubadours. 

Sept. 25 Edouins Sparks. 

Oct. 3 Oct. 10 Thomas Keene. 

Oct. 16 "MyGeraldine." 

Oct. 23 " The Banker's Daughter." 

Oct. 30 Joe Murphy. 

Nov. 7 Nov. 14 McKee Rankin in" The Danites" and "49." 

Nov. 21 Maggie Mitchell. 

Nov. 27 " The Galley Slave." 

Dec. 5 John S. Clark. 

Dec. 11 John A. Stephens. 

Dec. 18 Hague's Minstrels. 

Dec. 25 Jan. 1, 1882.. . . " Fun on the Bristol." 

Jan. 8 N.C.Goodwin. 

Jan. 16 Rose Eytinge. 

Jan. 23 Genevieve Ward. 

Jan. 29 "The Farmer's Daughter." 

Feb. 5 "Hearts of Oak." 

Feb. 12 Feb. 19 " Mother-in-Law." 

Feb. 27 Salsbury's Troubadours. 

Mar. 6 Yokes Family. 

Mar. 13 Janauschek. 

Mar. 20 J.K.Emmett. 

Mar. 27 Kate Claxton. 

April 3 Fanny Davenport. 

April 10 Edouins Sparks. 

April 17 "The Galley Slave." 

April 24 " The Jolly Bachelors," Robson and Crane. 

May 1 Barlow, Wilson, Primrose & West's Minstrels. 

May 8 Roland Reed. 

May 15 "TheColonel." 

May 21 May 28 "The Tourists." 

June 4 Tony Pastor. 

June 11 July 2 James O'Neill in "The Celebrated Case," "The 

Brothers" and " American King." 
July 9 Minnie Maddern. 

SEASON OF 1882-1883. 

Aug. 12 Sept. 3 Kiralfy Brothers in " Michael Strogoff " and " The 

Black Crook." 

Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Edouins Sparks. 

Sept. 24 Sept. 30 Marion Elmore. 

Oct. 2 J. K. Emmett. 

Oct. 8 Salsbury 's Troubadours. 

Oct. 15 Oct. 21 Robson and Crane. 

Oct. 29 Nov. 5 " The White Slave." 

Nov. 12 Adams' " Humpty-Dumpty." 

Nov. 19 Mr. and Mrs. McKee Rankin in " 49 " and "Dan- 


Dec. 4 Dec. 11 Charles Wyndham in "14 Days "and "Brighton." 

Dec. 17 Dec. 24 Jos. Murphy in "Kerry Gow" and "Shaun Rhue." 

Dec. 13 Jan. 7, 1883... Nat C. Goodwin and Thorne. 

Jan. 15 Maggie Mitchell 

Jan. 21 Catherine Lewis. 

Jan. 28 "Hearts of Oak." 

Feb. 4 W. Stafford. 

Feb. 11 "The Tourists." 

Feb. 18 "The Planter's Wife." 

Feb. 25 Minnie Maddern. 

Mar. 4 Mar. 11 "Lights o' London." 

Mar. 18 "Ranch 10." 

Mar. 27 W. J. Scanlan. 

Apr. 1 Apr. 8 Robson & Crane. 

Apr. 16 J. K. Emmett. 

Apr. 22 "The White Slave." 

Apr. 20 Hess Acme Opera Company. 

May 6 May 13 Catherine Lewis Opera Company. 

May 20 Edouins Sparks. 

May 27 Rose Eytinge. 

June 4 June 25 Augustin Daly's Company in "7-28." 

July 2 July 23 McKee Rankin Company. 

SEASON OF 1883-1884. 

Aug. 26 M. B. Curtis Company. 

Sept. 2 N.C.Goodwin. 

Sept. 10 "The Planter's Wife." 

Sept. 16 "A Bunch of Keys." 

Sept. 23 Mr. and Mrs. McKee Rankin. 

Sept. 30 "The White Slave." 

Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Robson & Crane. 

Oct. 21 W. J. Scanlan. 

Oct. 28 Nov. 4 E. H. Sothern.? 

Nov. 11 Janauschek. 

Nov. 18 Geo. S. Knight. 

Nov. 25 Barlow & Wilson Minstrels. 

Dec. 3 J. K. Emmett. 

Dec. 9 Miss Prescott and Company. 

Dec. 16 Dec. 23 Augustin Daly's No. 2 Company. 

Dec. 30 Edwin Thorne in the "Black Flag." 

Jan. 6, 1884 "Her Atonement." 

Jan. 13 Joseph Murphy. 

Jan. 21 Feb. 4 Charles Wyndham and Company. 

Feb. 25 J. K. Emmett. 

Mar. 3 Mar. 10 Fanny Davenport. 


Mar. 16 Annie Pixley. 

Mar. 30 Apr. 6 Robson & Crane. 

Apr. 13 "A Bunch of Keys." 

Apr. 20 Rose Ey tinge. 

Apr. 27 W. J. Scanlan. 

May 4 N.C.Goodwin. 

May 12 "Between Two Fires." 

May 18 John T. Raymond. 

May 25 Thatcher, Primrose & West's Minstrels. 

June 2 to Aug. 10 Henry E. Dixey and Rice's Company in "Adonis. 1 

Aug. 18 Aug. 24 The Carleton Opera Company. 

SEASON OF 1884-1885. 

Aug. 21,1884 M.B.Curtis. 

Sept. 7 John T. Raymond. 

Sept. 14 "A Bunch of Keys." 

Sept. 21 "The White Slave." 

Sept. 29 Maggie Mitchell. 

Oct. 5 N.C.Goodwin. 

Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Robson & Crane 

Oct. 27 Fanny Davenport. 

Nov. 2 Theo and Grau's French Opera. 

Nov. 9 Maubury and Overton's Company. 

Nov. 16 Edwin Thome. 

Nov. 23 Barlow & Wilson Minstrels. 

Nov. 30 Aimee. 

Dec. 8 J. K. Emmett. 

Dec. 14 Dec. 21 Jos. Murphy. 

Dec. 28 Harrison & Gourley. 

Jan. 5, 1885 Mme. Janish. 

Jan. 11 "A Parlor Match." 

Jan. 18 M.B.Curtis. 

Jan. 26 Madison Square Company. 

Feb. 1 McKee llankin Company. 

Feb. 8 McCaull Opera Company. 

Feb. IB Grace Hawthorne. 

Feb. 22 Mar. 1 Maubury & Overton's Company. 

Mar. 8 The Dalys in "Vacation. " 

Mar. 15 Redmuiid and Barry Company. 

Mar. 22 "A Bunch of Keys." 

Mar. 29 Dickson's Sketch Club. 

Apr. 5 Apr. 12 Robson and Crane. 

Apr. 26 N. C. Goodwin. 

May 3 Harrison and Gourlay. 

May 10 Joseph Polk. 

May 17 Theo and Grau's Opera Company. 

May 25 Mile. Rhea. 

Jun. 1 to Jun. 29 Augustin Daly's Company. 

July 5 July 12 Haverley's Minstrels. 

SEASON OF 1885-1886. 

Aug. 2 Eustis & Tuthill's Company. 

Aug. 16 Milton Nobles. 

Aug. 23 Evans & Hoey in "A Parlor Match." 

Aug. 30 Harry Lacey's Company in "Satan's Diary." 

Sept. 6 John T. Raymond in "For Congress." 

Sept. 13 M. B. Curtis in "Sam'l of Posen." 

Sept. 20 "A Bunch of Keys." 


Sept. 27 Barlow & Wilson's Minstrels. 

Oct. 4 Oct. 11 N. C. Goodwin in "The Skating Rink." 

Oct. 18 Louis Aldrich in "In His Power." 

Oct. 25 Sidney Rosenfeld's Company in "Mikado." 

Nov. 1 W. H. Power Co. in "Ivy Leaf." 

Nov. 9 EffieEllsler. 

Nov. 15 Nov. 22 Joseph Murphy. 

Nov. 29 Kelley & Mason Company in "The Tigress." 

Dec. 6 The Dalys in "Vacation." 

Dec. 13 Lillian Russell Opera Company. 

Dec. 20 Aimee. 

Dec. 27 Evans & Hoey in "A Parlor Match." 

Jan. 3, 1886 George S. Knight. 

Jan. 10 Milton Nobles. 

Jan. 17 Jan. 24 Carleton Opera Company in "Nanon." 

Jan. 31 Feb. 7 Hanlon's "Fantasma." 

Feb. 15 Feb. 22 Bartlev Campbell's Company in "Clio." 

Feb. 28 Roland Reed. 

Mar. 8 Maggie Mitchell. 

Mar. 15 Rosina Yokes. 

Mar. 21 "A Bunch of Keys." 

Mar. 28 Apr. 4 James O'Neill in "Monte Cristo." 

Apr. 11 John L! Sullivan and Lester & Allen Minstrels. 

Apr. 18 Apr. 25 John T. Raymond. 

May 2 May 9 N. C. Goodwin in "The Skating Rink." 

May 16 J. Little in "In the World." 

May 30 to Aug.15 (12 wks). Rice's ' 'Beautiful Evangeline." 

SEASON OF 1888-1889. 

Aug. 25 Sept. 1, 1888 Frank Daniels. 

Sept. 8 Geo. K. Adams. 

Sept. 16 to Sept. 29 "The Wife." 

Oct. 6 W. J. Scanlan. 

Oct. 13-Oct. 20 N. C. Goodwin. 

Oct. 27 Nov. 3 Rosina Yokes. 

Nov. 10 Nov. 17 Johnson & Slavin. 

Nov. 24 to Dec. 2 Joseph Murphy. 

Dec. 8 RoseCoghlan. 

Dec. 15 "Held by the Enemy." 

Dec. 22 "Later On." 

Dec. 30 Minnie Palmer. 

Jan. 5 to Jan. 12, 1889 .... E. H. Sothern.? 

Jan. 19 Frank Daniels in "Little Puck." 

Jan. 26 "A Hole in the Ground." 

Feb. 2 Feb. 9 "A Brass Monkey." 

Feb. 16 "A Legal Wreck*." 

Feb. 23 "A Parlor Match." 

Mar. 2 Howard's Athenaeum. 

Mar. 9 "Jim the Penman." 

Mar. 16 Mar. 23 "Paul Kauvar." 

Mar. 31 Verona Jarbeau. 

Apr. 6 Apr. 13 Rosina Vokes. 

Apr. 20 Apr. 27 Barry and Fay. 

May 4 N.C.Goodwin. 

May 11 Cora Tanner. 

May 18 May 25, June 2.. Howard Athenaeum Company. 

June 8 June 22 Augustin Daly's Company. 

June 30 July 6 E. H. Sothern. 

July 14 July 27 "Enoch Arden." 


SEASON OF 1889-1890. 

Aug. 24 to Aug. 31,1889... J. K. Emmett. 

Sept. 7 Sept. 21 Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Sept. 28- Oct. 5 A. M. Palmer's Company. 

Oct. 12 Oct. 26 N. C. Goodwin. 

Nov. 2 Evans & Hoey. 

Nov. 9 "Pearl of Pekin." 

Nov. 16 "Held by the Enemy." 

Nov. 23 Joseph Murphy. 

Nov. 30 "A Brass Monkey." 

Dec. 7 Dec. 14 Howard Athenaeum Company. 

Dec. 21 Dec. 28 Frank Daniels in 'Little Puck.' 

Jan. 4,1890 Rosina Yokes. 

Jan. 11 Jan. 18 Mr. and Mrs. Kendall. 

Jan. 25 Feb. 2 "Our Flat." 

Feb. 8 E. H. Sothern. 

Feb. 15 Howard Athenseum Company. 

Feb. 22 Mar. 2 Carleton Opera Company. 

Mar. 9 N.C.Goodwin. 

Mar. 15 Margaret Mather. 

Mar. 22to April 5 "Prince and Pauper." 

Apr. 12 Charles Arnold. 

Apr. 19 W. J. Scanlan. 

Apr. 29 to May 3 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

May 10 May 17 E. H. Sothern. 

May 28 to June 29 James O'Neill. 

SEASON OF 1890-1891. 

Aug. 23 Sept. 6, 1890 Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Sept. 20 Sept. 27 A. M. Palmer's Company. 

Oct. 4 J. K. Emmett. 

Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Rosina Yokes. 

Oct. 25-Nov. 1 N. C. Goodwin. 

Nov. 8 Nov. 15 "Prince and Pauper." 

Nov. 22 W. J. Scanlan. 

Nov. 29 James O'Neill. 

Dec. 6 Dec. 13 Howard Athenseum Company. 

Dec. 20 Dec. 28 Joseph Murphy. 

Jan. 3 Jan. 17,1891.... Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

Jan. 24 Jan. 31 E. H. Sothern. 

Feb. 7 J.K.Emmett. 

Feb. 14 Clara Morris. 

Feb. 21 Mar. 1 Russell's Comedians. 

Mar. 7 Mar. 14 Rosina Yokes. 

Mar. 21 Mar 28 Pauline Hall. 

Apr. 4 Apr. 12 "Ship Ahoy! " 

Apr. 18 May 2 E. S. Willard. 

May 9 May 16 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

May 23 May 30 June 6. "Alabama." 

June 13 June 27 Augustin Daly's Company. 

SEASON OF 1891-1892. 

July to Aug. 29 "The County Fair." 

Sept. 12 Sept. 19 Oct. 3. Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Oct. 10 Oct. 17 Rosina Yokes. 

Oct. 24 Nov. 14 E. S. Willard. 


Nov. 21 Dec. 5 N. C. Goodwin. 

Dec. 12 James O'Neill. 

Dec. 19 Dec. 26 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

Jan. 2, 1892, to Jan. 9. . . E. H. Sothern. 

Jan. 16- Jan. 23 Richard Mansfield. 

Jan. 30 Feb. 6 Pitou Stock Co. 

Feb. 13 E. S. Willard. 

Feb. 20 Feb. 28 Wm. Barry and Company. 

Mar. 5 Mar 12 Rosina Yokes. 

Mar. 19 Mar. 26 Joseph Murphy. 

Apr. 2 Fanny Rice. 

Apr. 9 Apr. 24 "Niobe." 

May 1 Maggie Mitchell. 

May 7 May 14 "Alabama." 

May 28 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

June 4 June 12 Effle Ellsler. 

June 18 July 2 Augustin Daly's Company. 

SEASON OF 1892-1893. 

July 9 July 30, 1892. . . . "The County Fair." 

Aug. 6 Aug. 13 Joseph M urphy . 

Aug. 20 Aug. 28 Donnelly and Girard. 

Sept. 4 Oct. 1 Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Oct. 8 Oct. 16 "Imagination." 

Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Rosina Yokes. 

Nov. 5 Hart's "Friends." 

Nov. 12 Nov. 19 "Across the Potomac." 

Nov. 26 Dec. 3 Joseph Murphy. 

Dec. 10 Dec. 17 "Niobe." 

Dec. 25 Digby Bell in "Jupiter." 

Dec. 31 Jan. 21, 1893.... E. S. Willard. 

Jan. 28 Feb. 11 N. C. Goodwin. 

Feb. 18 Feb. 25 Rosina Yokes. 

Mar. 4 Mar. 11 Ramsey Morris in "Joseph. 

Mar. 19 James O'Neill. 

Mar. 25 Apr. 8 Eleanora Duse. 

Apr. 15 - Modjeska. 

Apr. 22 Apr. 30 "Niobe." 

May 7 May 13 Fanny Davenport. 

May 20 June 3 Augustin Daly's Company. 

June 10 to July 15 E. S. Willard. 

SEASON OF 1893-1894. 

July 12 Aug. 5 E. S. Willard. 

Aug. 12 Aug. 26 N. C. Goodwin. 

Sept. 2 Sept. 23 E. S. Willard. 

Sept. 30 Evans and Hoey. 

Oct. 7 Oct. 28 Coquelin and Hading. 

Nov. 4 Nov. 11 A. M. Palmer's Company. 

Nov. 18 Nov. 26 Rosina Yokes. 

Dec. 2 Dec. 9 Modjeska. 

Dec. 16 Dec. 23 Mauola-Mason Company. 

Dec. 30, Jan. 3, 1894, Jan. 20 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

Jan. 27 N.C.Goodwin. 

Feb. 4 Closed. 

Feb. 10 Feb. 24 Wilson Barrett. 

Mar. 4 "Wilkinson's Widows." 


Mar. 10 Modjeska. 

Mar. 17 Mar. 25 Chauncey Olcott. 

Mar. 31-Apr. 29 E. S. Willard. 

May 6 to Aug. 12 (15 wks) "Charley's Aunt." 

SEASON OF 1894-1895. 

Aug. 1825, 1894, Sept. 1. Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Sept. 23 Oct. 6 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

Oct. 13 Nov. 3 N. C. Goodwin. 

Nov. 10 Nov. 17 Ada Rehan. 

Nov. 24 Daly's Comedians. 

Dec. 1 Dec. 8 Johnstone Bennett "The Amazons." 

Dec. 8 Jan. 613, 1895. E. H. Sothern. 

Jan. 20 Jan. 27 John Drew. 

Feb. 3 Feb. 10 Olga Nethersole. 

Feb. 17 Feb. 24 "The Foundling." 

Mar. 3 Mar. 16 "Princess Bonnie." 

Mar. 23 Apr. 14 "Charley's Aunt." 

Apr. 21 Apr. 27 Marie Burroughs. 

SEASON OF 1895-1896. 

May. 4,1895 N.C.Goodwin. 

May 11 May 18 Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. 

May 25 June 1 "Birth of Venus." 

June 9-June 22 "The Gaiety Girl." 

July 6 to Aug. 24 (9 wks; "Trilby." 

Aug. 31 Sept. 14 Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Sept. 22 "Charley's Aunt." 

Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Ada Rehan. 

Oct. 12 Nov. 2 William Gillette in "Too Much Johnson." 

Nov. 9 Nov. 23 "Little Christopher." 

Dec. 1 Dec. 8 "Hansel and Gretel." 

Dec. 14 Jan 4, 1896 E. H. Sothern. 

Jan. 11 Feb 1 N. C. Goodwin. 

Feb. 15 "His Excellency." 

Feb. 22 Feb. 29 "Trilby." 

Mar. 7 Mar. 15 "The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown." 

Mar. 21 Apr. 5 Olga Nethersole." 

Apr. 12 Apr. 18 John Hare. 

Apr. 26 John Drew. 

SEASON OF 1896-1897. 

May 2 to May 16, 1896. . . John Drew. 

May 23 to Aug. 12 (13 wks> "The Gay Parisians." 

Sept. 13 Sept. 19 Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Sept. 26 to Oct. 4 "Thoroughbred." 

Oct. 10 Oct. 17 Empire Stock Company. 

Oct. 25 Clay Clement. 

Nov. 1 Nov. 7 "Sue." 

Nov. 14 Wilton Lackaye. 

Nov. 21 Nov. 28 Albert Chevalier. 

Dec. 5 Robert Hill iard. 

Dec. 12 "Too Much Johnson." 

Dec. 19 26 Jan. 2, 1897. E. H. Sothern. 

Jan. 2 Jan. 30 N. C. Goodwin. 

Feb. 6 "The Sign of the Cross." 


Feb. 13 Feb. 20 Olga Nethersole. 

Feb. 27 to Mar. 6 "My Friend from India." 

Mar. 13 -Apr. 10 E. S. Willard. 

Apr. 17 Apr. 24 John Hare. 

SEASON OF 1897-1898. 

May 1 May 8, 1897 John Drew. 

May 15 May 23 "Two Little Vagrants." 

May 29 June 5 Ada Rehan. 

June 12 Aug. 14 (10 wks) "Never Again." 

Aug. 21 Sept. 4 Lyceum Theatre Company. 

Sept. 11 Sept. 25 Empire Theatre Company. 

Oct. 2 Nov. 6 (6 wks) . . William Gillette in "Secret Service." 

Nov. 13 Nov. 27 W. H. Crane. 

Dec. 4 Dec. 18 Sol Smith Russell. 

Dec. 25-Jan. 1, 1898 E. H. Sothern. 

Jan. 15 Feb. 12 (5 wks). N. C. Goodwin. 

Feb. 12 Feb. 19 Charles Coghlan. 

Mar. 5 Mar. 12 Julia Arthur. 

Mar. 19 E. S. Willard (closed two weeks account illness) . 

Apr. 9 Apr. 16 John Drew. 

Apr. 23 Apr. 30 E. H. iSothern. 





PN Glover, Lyman Beeeher 

2277 The story of a theater