Monday, September 21, 2009

Ben Hur the Broadway play...the souvenir book

This souvenir book of the play Ben Hur was made in the dawn of the 20th century. It was a most popular play when it was first performed at the Broadway Theater in 1899. One most also remember that it also was way uptown on 41st Street. Most theaters were in the lower area of Manhattan in those days. Getting all the way up to 41st Street was quite a hike. It was an age before subways and for the most part automobiles. There were a few motorized hacks or cabs, but they were very expensive, and unreliable. Here are a few pictures of items from this show from this book. A true bit of early Broadway history.
This play would be revived several times over the years. It started at the Broadway Theater, which was located at 41st Street and Broadway. It was near an area called Longacre Square, later to be known as Times Square. This play would be seen in later years in some theaters which still exist today, such as the New Amsterdam theater on 42nd Street.

There were about 20 photos of the play in this book. One thing also to notice....No man ever appeared on stage in those days with bare legs. They always had stockings on. You will see here in the "Galley Scene" Even slaves had to be wearing stockings! A piece of history from early Broadway.