Fifth Avenue Opera House
6 May 2016
For 8 Aug., with Ben Cotton and Sam Sharpley’s Minstrels.
“Although the hall was not crowded, yet the attendance was fair. There are eleven performers in the first piece, with Sharpley as tambo, Cotton as Bones, Mr. T. Skiff as middleman, J. H. Cook, Ira Paine, J. E. Greene, M. T. Skiff and another ‘singing’ in the quintet. The entertainment throughout was very well received by the audience, nearly every act encored. Sam Sharpley is one of the wittiest as well as most original performers in the business. He is the life of the first part with his queer, quaint and original jokes. In his banjo solos in the olio he is also very funny, and can always keep his auditors roaring with laughter. He possesses a style peculiar with himself, and having had considerable experience in and out of the show world, has the happy faculty of grasping at once whatever may be agitating the country and working it up into a very good joke, and doing it in such a manner that no one can take offense. He is also one of those comedians who are very guarded in what they say, and while he makes fun at the expense of all, be they great or small, he goes just far enough not to offend or to say that which will cause a blush to mantle the cheek of any one. . . . The singing in the first part was only fair, but the instrumental music was good. Master Bennie Cotton is a smart boy, and danced a step jig very cleverly. . . . Sam Sharpley’s banjo solo took hugely in the olio, receiving several encores. Mr. Bloodgood may be a good song and dance man, but we failed to discover it. Masters Willie and Charlie did a good song and dance, and J. K. Green’s mocking bird song was a gem.”