Programme at Aberle’s Theatre for the Week Commencing Oct. 17 1881. 13 3/8 in. x 4 1/8 in. Printed by Cameron & Co., New York.
Aberle’s Theatre stood on East 8th Street, between Broadway and Fourth Avenue, Astor Place, in New York City, and was opened on September 8, 1879 in a building remodeled from St. Anne’s Roman Catholic church. Jacob Aberle, whose name appears at the top of this playbill was the proprietor and manager until 1884 when the theatre reopened as The John Thompson. Known variously as Aberle’s Theatre, The Grand Central, The John Thompson, The Monte Cristo, Comedy Theatre, Kennedy’s Comedy Theatre. In December 1890 it became a vaudeville theatre, being renamed the Germania Theatre in December 1890. This theatre closed in 1902 and was torn down in 1904 to build the Wanamaker Building.
The dramatic feature of this variety program was “The Idiot of the Mountains,” featuring Claude Marcel as the idiot. The most famous performer on this program was the aerialist Harry Leslie, who made headlines world-wide when he walked a tightrope across the Whirlpool Rapids at Niagara Falls in 1865. In this performance at Aberle’s Theatre, he walked from the rear of the stage up to the gallery, over the heads of those in the audience. The other performers were Aberle’s stock-in-trade minstrels. Condition good with slight chipping across the top.