Adonis (musical)

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A Perversion of Common Sense
Adonis, burlesque programme, Palmer's Theatre (1894).gif
Programme from limited engagement 1894 reunion at Palmer's Theatre
MusicJohn Eller
Edward Rice
BookWilliam Gill
Productions1884 Original Broadway

Adonis is an 1884 burlesque musical produced by Edward E. Rice who also composed the music along with John Eller. The book was written by William Gill.

After playing at Hooley's Opera House in Chicago in the summer of 1884, it debuted at the Bijou Theatre in New York on September 4, 1884.[1] It there had a run of 603 consecutive performances, making it the longest-running show on Broadway during that period, and the longest Broadway run of all time until 1893. After the show successfully ran for 500 shows, a cocktail was created in its honor. It was co-written and directed by Henry E. Dixey who also starred as the titular Adonis.[2] The Adonis cocktail was named in honor of the musical's 500th showing.[3]

Adonis tells the story of a gorgeous male statue that comes to life and finds human ways so unpleasant that he chooses to turn back into stone – after spoofing several famous personalities.[4]

The company traveled to London after the play closed in New York.[5][6]

Character list and descriptions[edit]

  • Adonis, an accomplished young gentleman of undeniably good family, insomuch as he can trace his ancestry back through the Genozoic, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic period, until he finds it resting on the Archaean time. His family name, by the way, is Marble.
  • Marquis de Baccarat, a highly polished villain. It is well enough to describe his character, as no one would think it to look at him.
  • Bunion Turke, father of Rosetta, an unblushing appropriator of the stock in trade of a well-known and worthy old histrionic miller.
  • Talamea, a sculptor who, like most of her sex,[dubious ] is in love with her own creation.
  • Artea, a Goddess, Patroness of the fine arts.
  • Duchess of Area, aesthetic to the verge of eccentricity, rich to the verge of Millionairism, sentimental to the verge of gush.
  • Lady Nattie, daughter of the Duchess. She and her sisters Hattie, Mattie, and Pattie are professional beauties.
  • Lady Hattie, daughter of the Duchess. She and her sisters Nattie, Mattie, and Pattie are professional beauties.
  • Lady Mattie, daughter of the Duchess. She and her sisters Nattie, Hattie, and Pattie are professional beauties.
  • Lady Pattie, daughter of the Duchess. She and her sisters Nattie, Hattie, and Mattie are professional beauties.
  • Rosetta, a simple village maiden, the happy possessor of a clear conscience and a strong will.
  • Gyles, Nyles, Myles, & Byles, ordinary everyday rustics.
  • Gills, Bills, Sills, & Tills, homely rustics (who will perform a circus).
  • The Plumed Knights.

Original Broadway cast[edit]


  1. ^ (5 September 1884). Amusements. Bijou Opera House (opening night review, The New York Times
  2. ^ a b Brown, T. Allston. A History of the New York Stage, Vol. 3, pp. 282-83 (1903)
  3. ^ "Adonis - Imbibe Magazine". Imbibe Magazine. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  4. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. The Oxford Companion to the American Musical, p. 6 (2008)
  5. ^ (13 May 1886). Adonis on the Waves. Dixey starting for England amid the cheers of hosts of friends, The New York Times
  6. ^ (1 July 1886). The Reception of "Adonis" In England, Tid-Bits
  7. ^ Ganzl, Kurt. William B. Gill: From the Goldfields to Broadway, p. 144 (2002)

External links[edit]