September 19, 2013
NoMad History Fun: A Debut Goes Up in Smoke
Lily Langtry, “The Jersey Lily” arrived in New York on her first visit from England to a tumultuous welcome. A band played “God Save the Queen” and her friend and compatriot, Oscar Wilde, direct from his tour of the American West, greeted her dressed in a cowboy hat.
She arrived to make her United States debut at Abbey’s Park Theatre, 21st and Broadway, on the night of October 30, 1882. Unfortunately, the theatre caught fire and burned down on what was to be opening night. Langtry was staying in a suite formerly used by Sarah Bernhardt in the Albemarle Hotel on Broadway and 24th here in Nomad. She was able to watch the blaze through opera glasses from her hotel window.