Mose the Fireboy: Other Mose plays

As we have seen, the moment Frank Chanfrau’s Mose character became popular, he started spinning the character off into additional plays. Here is as complete a list as I have been able to create of the  Mose plays, and I have tried to include the date and location the play opened, a description of the plot, and the name of the author, when possible.

GLANCE AT NEW YORK (Olympic Theatre, February 15, 1848)

Mose is introduced as a supporting character in a short comic play with music about a rural New Yorker who tours the Bowery and is repeatedly subjected to the con games of local criminals. Script by Benjamin A. Baker.

NEW YORK AS IT IS (Chatham Theatre, April 17, 1848)

Substantially the same play as “Glance at New York,” but with Mose taking even greater prominence. A tour of lower Manhattan, including a steamboat race, dancing for eels, a tenement fire, a rural countryman taken in by swindlers, a rivalry between fire companies. Script by Benjamin A. Baker.

MYSTERIES AND MISERIES OF NEW YORK (Chatham Theatre, now called Chanfrau’s National Theatre, September 4, 1848)

A confidence man goes on a your of the Five Points slums, with Mose and Syksey as his occassional protectors and comic relief. Based on a novel by Ned Buntline, adapted by Harry Grattan.

MOSE IN CALIFORNIA (Chanfrau’s National Theatre, January 14, 1849)

The B’hoys travel via a ship called The Humbug to California and see wrestling bears, war-like Natives, and gold. Written by Benjamin A. Baker.

MOSE IN CHINA (Chanfrau’s National Theatre, June 24, 1849)

Script by Benjamin A. Baker.

MOSE IN A MUSS, OR A JOKE OF THE MANAGER’S (Chanfrau’s National Theatre, July 14, 1849)

Produced by William Chapman for his own benefit.

MOSE (Chanfrau’s National Theatre, October 21, 1849)

No available description.


No available description.





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Max Sparber

Max Sparber is a playwright, journalist, and history detective in Omaha, Nebraska.