William Niblo


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(1789–1878) Irish-American theatre manager. Born in Ireland, Niblo emigrated to New York as a youth, and apprenticed at and later took over a coffee house. In 1823 he turned a circus site into a restaurant and concert garden. In 1829 he opened a new three-storey structure with shrubbery-lined corridors and named the complex Niblo's Garden and Theatre. At first he offered summertime concerts and fireworks, but from the late 1830s he was also offering stage productions with eminent stars, such as Charles Kean's Hamlet, Edwin Forrest's Macbeth, Charlotte Cushman in Guy Mannering, and J. H. Hackett as Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor. From 1842 to 1860 he regularly presented the Ravel family, a celebrated French troupe of five acrobats and dancers. The theatre burned in 1846, but Niblo put up a new building, which he opened in 1849 and ran until his retirement in 1861.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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