New York, NY Theatre Panic, Feb 1873
Panic in a Theatre.
Last evening, while the play of "Leo and Lotus" was in progress at Niblo's Garden, a panic occurred among the audience which, fortunately, did not cause any accident. It appears that during the interval between the second and third acts, a piece of scenery fell on the stage, causing the gas behind to reflect in the curtain, as if fire was in progress, and at the same time some rough in the gallery shouted "fire". The audience rose to their feet, and an immediate rush to the side doors ensued, during which several ladies fainted. The stage-manager appeared before the curtain, and assured the audience that there was no fire, and he explained the noise on the stage. Some then returned to their seats, and the performance was continued, but a number, mostly ladies, whose nerves had received a severe shock, immediately left.
The New York Times, New York, NY 23 Feb 1873