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Baxter Street Dudes


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The Baxter Street Dudes was a New York teenage street gang, consisting of former newsboys and bootblacks, who ran the Grand Duke's Theatre from the basement of a dive bar on Baxter Street during the 1870s. Led by founder Baby-Face Willie, gang members operated the Grand Duke's Theatre and established the venue as their headquarters. Members of the Baxter Street Dudes wrote and performed plays, musicals and variety shows which were enjoyed by other street toughs and slummers throughout the city. The theater house eventually became a popular underworld hangout, from which the gang found financial success.
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