Griffin & Christy’s Minstrels

Event Information

Fifth Avenue Opera House

Manager / Director:
George W. Howard Griffin

James Morrison

Record Information


Last Updated:
20 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

11 Mar 1867, 8:00 PM
12 Mar 1867, 8:00 PM
13 Mar 1867, 8:00 PM
14 Mar 1867, 8:00 PM
15 Mar 1867, 8:00 PM
16 Mar 1867, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Re-engagement of Otto Burbank; first appearance of John T. Boyce.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Participants:  Fred Abbott [minstrel dancer] (role: Premiere danseuse)
Composer(s): Unknown composer
aka Twas a cold winter night; Katie Avourneen
Composer(s): Johnson


Article: New York Clipper, 02 March 1867, 374.

Injunction brought against Frank Leslie (real name: George Weeks) by the journalist over rights to use of the name.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 10 March 1867.

“The inimitable quartet will represent the vocal department, assisted by the splendid orchestra under the direction of J. Morrison.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 March 1867.
Review: New York Herald, 14 March 1867.

“Amusements. Griffin & Christy’s Minstrels. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather a very fair audience filled the pretty little Fifth Avenue Opera House last night to listen to the music and drollery of this clever minstrel troupe. The programme was entirely new, consisting of some very fine ballads and really good delineations of negro eccentricities, which were presented in such a manner as to draw down the unrestrained laughter of the audience for several minutes. George Christy and C. Henry were particularly noticeable in their singing, the latter especially so in the sweet song of ‘Katie Avourneen.’  Griffin and Hodgkin [sic] in the Bond Robbery were side-splitting, and the burlesque of the Black Crook, with Fred Abbott as premiere danseuse, was all that could be desired, and concluded an evening’s entertainment amusing and pleasing in the extreme.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 16 March 1867, 390.

Johnny Boyce and Otto Burbank appear. Henry, Shattuck, Leslie and Hodgkins form the vocal quartet.

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 16 March 1867, 387.

Christy, Burbank, Griffin, Hughes, Boyce and Abbott will “represent the comicalities of the evening.” Henry, Shattuck, Leslie and Hodgkin, “The Inimitable Quartett will represent the vocal department.”

Review: New York Clipper, 23 March 1867, 398.

“Griffin and Christy’s Minstrels, now holding forth nightly at the Fifth Avenue Opera House, include some very good performers, and they give a pleasing as well as varied entertainment. We took them in one night last week and passed two pleasant hours. Johnny Boyce and George Christy are on the ends, and judging by the applause that greeted them we should say they were great favorites. C. Henry sang a popular ballad in the first part, and in the olio sang ‘Katie Avourneen’ in a manner that richly deserved the great applause that was bestowed upon him. Otto Burbank appears to be a favorite with the frequenters of this establishment. Johnny Boyce gave a stump speech, but it was like all stump speeches we have heard the past five years, studied from a book. Performers who do this act ought to get a new one written for the novelty of the thing.”