From its first performance on Sept. 12, 1866, at Niblo's Theatre in New York, The Black Crook became one of the first successful musicals in the United States. The script from a Faustian melodrama, songs by assorted composers, and the services of a stranded Parisian ballet troupe were combined with elaborate sets and costumes to create a spectacle that spawned 15 subsequent Broadway revivals and numerous touring productions. The Black Crook's scandalously dressed dancers, who were the first to perform the Can-Can on an American stage, delighted and shocked audiences. After attending a performance of The Black Crook in New York, Mark Twain, in a March 3, 1868 column in Alta, California, wrote that the musical "debauched many a pure mind." The Black Crook Collection contains books, sheet music, playbills, programs, clippings, drawings, and photographs related to the musical.
A full inventory of the collection can be found in the finding aid.
Browse all items in the collection.
Or browse the collection by series:
Series I. Books
Series II. Sheet Music and Leaves
Series III. Playbills, Programs, and Clippings
Series IV. Drawings and Prints
Series V. Photographs and Portraits