March 29, 1849 (Thursday)

Still rainy, but with some prospect of clearing.  The sun set clear.  It is also warmer.

Went to the Arch Theatre this evening to see Mrs. Farren and Mr. Marshall.  They are both excellent.  Their acting is natural, truthful + affecting.

Nathan first visited the Arch Street Theatre on January 26. On this day, however, Nathan would have seen two plays, The Venetian, or A Bravo’s Oath and Time Tries All!

Arch Street Theatre

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 29, 1849, page.

Mrs. Farren was Mary Ann (Russell) Farren (ca. 1818–1894), a very popular Philadelphia-born actress.  Her father, Richard Russell, was a theater manager. Consequently young Miss Russell was exposed to the stage at a very early age.  She made her debut at the Chatham Garden and Theatre in New York in 1824 as the Page in The Purse.  By 1849 she was very popular and widely acclaimed. The Venetian and many other plays were written specifically for her and rarely, if ever, performed with anyone else in the leading role. Miss Russell married George Percy Farren, an actor and theater manager, who is perhaps better known for his role in inciting anti-abolitionist riots in New York in 1834.  Mrs. Farren appeared in several other plays during her two-week run at the Arch Street Theatre, including Mary Tudor, Remorse, Evadne, and Macbeth (as Lady Macbeth).

Mary Ann (Russell) Farren

Mrs. Farren’s leading man for much of the run was Wiseman (also spelled Wizeman) Marshall (b. ca. 1817). Mr. Marshall had a good career as an actor and then achieved financial success in Boston as a theater manager and an elocution teacher.

Sources:

Brown, Thomas Allston. A History of the New York Stage from the First Performance in 1732 to 1801. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1902.

Carson, William Glasgow Bruce.  Managers in Distress: The St. Louis Stage, 1840–1844. St Louis: Ayer Publishing, 1949.

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