Klaw and Erlanger's
Mr. Bluebeard gave its last New York performance at the
Knickerbocker Theater on Broadway and 38th the night of May
16, 1903. It had opened on January 19th that year and
played 135 performances.
One hundred seven days
later the massive company opened in Pittsburgh. Promotion
throughout the tour proclaimed it was almost the same cast that
had appeared on Broadway. In actuality slightly less than
half the thirty-five principals had appeared in New York.
The number of people reported to be in the road company varied from 185 to 400.
The 1903 Mr.
Bluebeard road company
ran two weeks Sep 28 to Oct 10, 1903.
Performed at the
Alvin Theater, a 2,200-seat facility at 115 Sixth Avenue
built in 1891. It was operated by the
theater syndicate beginning in 1897. Campstools
were set up to accommodate the theater crowd at Mr.
Bluebeard on its first night at the Alvin.
|Cleveland, Ohio ran two
weeks Oct 12 to October 24, 1903.
Performed at the
Euclid Avenue Opera House on Euclid and East 4th.
small stage fire in Cleveland on October 24, 1903
involving a malfunctioning stage light
became important in the coroner's trial after the Iroquois
fire. The theater had been rebuilt following a
fire there just nine years earlier.
The cast left Cleveland on route to
Indianapolis on Big Four train No. 29 with baggage and
scenery on a second train, No. 11, consisting of seven cars.
|Indianapolis, Indiana ran
five nights Oct 26 to Oct 30, 1903.
Performed at the English Opera House.
There was a new employee at the
A month prior twenty-four
Tommy J. Flanagan had left his job as a
locomotive machinist to become a lighting man on the stage
at the English. When the Mr. Bluebeard company left
town for St. Louis, Tommy and his wife of two years, Lottie,
joined them. Two months later he died at the Iroquois.
Opened in 1880,
English's Opera House was the leading theater in
Indianapolis. Seating 2,500, it offered the largest stage in
the city, the only one that could accomodate Mr. Bluebeard's
huge cast and extensive scenery. A year earlier it had
offered Ben Hur with a chariot race that included eight live
horses running on treadmills.
|St. Louis, Missouri ran
two weeks Nov 1 to Nov 15, 1903
Performed at the Century Theater. In a newspaper
interview a manager at the theater, Sam Harrison, said it
took one hundred carpenters to put the show together.
It might have been a extra challenging job. By most
accounts the stage at the Century was too small for the
crazy large production. The St. Louis Republic
newspaper reporter ended his review with, "You wouldn't
care to see Mr. Bluebeard more than once, but it is worth
seeing that once."
Wabash railway train made up of four sixty-foot cars and one
fifty-footer for stage carpenters, scene shifters, etc.
transported scenery, costumes and property from St. Louis to
Chicago, and two 1200-Series coaches on train No. 14,
brought the cast, arriving in Chicago the afternoon of
Sunday, Nov 15, 1903.
|Chicago, Illinois ran Nov
23, 1903 to Dec 30, 1903
Performed at the Iroquois Theater
Management made the decision to close early due to
lackluster ticket sales, to be replaced with
At an afternoon matinee on Dec 30,
1903 over 600 people lost their lives in the worst theater
fire in America's history.
|Stops planned for 1904: Buffalo,