Historic Buffalo Theater and Music Programs
Fifty selected programs from the Grosvenor Room’s performing arts collections, featuring theatre, music, and dance productions. These programs are a representative sample of the entertainment available to Buffalo audiences from 1816 to 1951, and include local talent as well as internationally renowned performers. The featured items are from the following two collections:
Theater Programs, 1816 - current
Programs, playbills, and cast lists from theatrical venues in Buffalo, NY and vicinity. The bulk of the collection is from 1890 to 1950 and includes drama, comedy, vaudeville, minstrel, and musical theater productions held at more than 70 theaters. Traveling productions featured famous performers of every era, such as Edwin Booth, Maude Adams, John Barrymore, Rosalind Russell, Orson Welles, and Katharine Hepburn. Local ensembles and theater companies also document a vibrant entertainment community in Buffalo, including homegrown talent Katharine Cornell, dubbed "The First Lady of the Theatre” during her illustrious career.
Music & Dance Programs, 1847 - current
Programs, playbills, and cast lists of music and dance performances in Buffalo, NY and vicinity. The bulk of the collection is from 1860 to 1930 and includes performances of dance, opera, musical comedy, orchestras, chamber music, choirs, and instrumental ensembles. The majority of the programs are from music performances, and many venues hosted famous musicians and composers including Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Jenny Lind, Geraldine Farrar, Maurice Ravel, Walter Damrosch, Gustave Mahler, Lily Pons, and Serge Rachmaninoff. Buffalo also hosted opera companies, orchestras, and symphonies from New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Early Buffalo orchestras and singing societies, including the Buffalo Orpheus and Chromatic Club, are documented in this collection, as are the music halls, theatres, social clubs, museums, and other venues that hosted national and international performers.
- Historic Buffalo Theater and Music Programs