Which man would you be more excited to see, live on stage? Wild Bill Hickok, the famous gunslinger, who brought law to the most dangerous towns on the frontier? Buffalo Bill Cody, legendary scout and buffalo hunter? Or Texas Jack, the handsome cowboy showing off his skill with the lasso? You might be surprised what brought audiences out to see The Scouts of the Plains when they played the Opera House in Lockport, New York, on March 12th, 1874. A piece in the Lockport Daily News shows us which cast member typical theatergoers were most excited to see.
The Scouts At the Opera House Tonight—Great Attraction "The Scouts of the Plains" will be produced at the Opera House tonight by "Buffalo Bill," "Texas Jack," "Wild Bill," et al and will doubtless be one of the most brilliant and enjoyable entertainments given in Lockport in a long time. The above-named celebrities will be supported by a powerful dramatic company, the peerless danseuse and pantomimic actress, M'lle. Morlacchi, and the popular actor Frank Mordaunt. The Rochester Democrat in noticing the first entertainment given by this company in that city Tuesday evening says:
The sight in and around the opera house last night during the performance given by Morlacchi, Wild Bill, et al was simply astonishing. Probably the auditorium of that building was never stormed by so large a crowd of people before. We have seen it packed full, when it appeared impossible to get another person in it, but last night was certainly ahead of anything ever seen there before. hundreds went away disappointed as they were unable to get inside the door. The seats, boxes, gallery, stools, aisles, stairs, railings, and every inch of standing room were occupied. The doors on the side of the dress circle were opened, and many at once took up their position in the halls, standing on stools and peering over the heads of the audience to try to catch a glimpse of the stage.
The beauty and accomplishments of M'lle. Morlacchi are well known, and the celebrated danseuse, as usual, charmed her audience into the most enthusiastic applause. The noted artiste must be seen to be appreciated, and we advise those of our readers who have not as yet witnessed her remarkably graceful dancing and posturings to go to the opera house tonight and see her.
In the farce which opened the performance, Morlacchi had a coof opportunity of showing her peculiar talents. She speaks the Italian, French, and Spanish languages fluently, and her English has just enough foreign accent to make it pleasant to hear. In this farce, "Thrice Married," she sang one or two French songs in a splendid manner, showing that she possessed a remarkable combination of talent. It is a rare thing to see a danseuse upon whose physical strength there is a constant strain possessed of ever a fair share of vocal talent, but Morlacchi is gifted with a voice which though not of much power shows great cultivation and sweetness. The drama of "The Scouts of the Plains" is of the highest sensational order, and aside from the distinguished men who were present is but little attraction. The sight of three such men as Wild Bill, Buffalo Bill, and Texas Jack is enough to draw out a crowd. These men appear on the stage with great ease and of course bring out the scenes of border life with great power and naturalness. Their acting is very good. The physique of Wild Bill is splendid, and indeed, the same may be said of them all.