Through the years there were eight theaters in Plainfield. The Stillman Music Hall (216 W. Front Street) was built in 1884. Its entertainments included plays, lectures, concerts, operas, minstrel shows and variety stars until it closed in 1901. http://www.plainfieldlibrary.info/OnlineExhibits/LBNF/Theaters.html
The Twain-Cable appearance was announce in Evening News, Plainfield, New Jersey, November 17, 1884 with a single terse line: "Mark twain and George W. Cable tonight."
From Evening News, Plainfield, New Jersey November 18, 1884: The Mark Twain-Cable Readings.
Owing to outside attractions the appearance of Mark Twain and George W. Cable at the Music Hall last evening failed to attract as large a number as was confidently expected would welcome these well-known authors to this city. There was, however, a fair number present, who listened with marked appreciation to the selections which were rendered. In opening, Mr. Cable requested any among the audience who might be carried away by the Democratic demonstration outside to leave whatever sky rockets or Roman candles they might have about them at the door. The following was the
*From Dr. Sevier - Narcisse and John and Mary Richling.
"Mistee 'Ichlin', in fact, I can haw that fifty dolla' from you myself."
Songs of Place Congo;
GEORGE W. CABLE
Digging for the Facts
Tragic Tale of the Fishwife.
From Dr. Sevier -- Narcisse is mourning for "Lady Byron."
GEORGE W. CABLE
A Trying Situation.
Why I Lost the Editorship.
From Dr. Savier -- Mary's Night Ride.
GEO. W. CABLE.
A Ghost Story.
Cure for Stuttering.
Of the selections that of Mr. Cable's of Mary's Night Ride from Dr. Sevier called for the most marked elocutionary display, and elicited loud and continued applause from the audience. His Creole Songs were listened to with more curiosity than otherwise, though they were ably given.
Both Mr. Clemens and Mr. Cable, in conversation after the entertainment, said the the enthusiastic manner in which they were received amply compensated them for the smallness of the audience. It is probable that they will appear again here before the season is over.
Material from Evening News courtesy of Plainfield Public Library, with thanks to Sarah Hull, Archivist.