Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels

Event Information

Kelly and Leon's Minstrels Hall (720 Broadway)

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
18 May 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

08 Oct 1866, 7:00 PM
09 Oct 1866, 7:00 PM
10 Oct 1866, 7:00 PM
11 Oct 1866, 7:00 PM
12 Oct 1866, 7:00 PM
13 Oct 1866, 7:00 PM

Program Details

George and Willie Guy are cited and reviewed in performances this week with Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels. An advertisement in New York Clipper lists that George and Willie belong to Budworth’s minstrel troupe, which had concurrent performances the same week. It is unlikely that George and Willie performed with the Budworth troupe this week, though, because there are only reviews of them with Kelly and Leon’s. (See Budworth’s Minstrels, 10/08/66.)

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Doctor of all-can-tear-her ; Doctor of all can tear her
Text Author: Leon
Participants:  Francis Leon
Participants:  Edwin Kelly
aka Yodel; Swiss song
Participants:  John F. Oberist


Announcement: New York Herald, 08 October 1866, 5.

“The opening of the new hall No. 720 Broadway by Kelly & Leon’s Minstrel Company has been quite a success, and the management appears determined not only to achieve but to retain a leading position for the establishment. A burlesque entitled the ‘Doctor of All-Can-Tear-Her,’ written by Leon, will be produced the first time this evening. The bills also announce the first appearance of the comedian Mr. George Christy, Masters George and Willie Guy and other well known artists.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 08 October 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 08 October 1866, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 10 October 1866.

“The public of New York, ever ready to acknowledge genuine merit and talent when properly brought to their notice, have not been slow to recognize the excellence of Kelly and Leon’s Minstrel Troupe. The result has been that their beautiful little hall, 720 Broadway, has been nightly crowded since their opening. Last night a new programme was presented, and the veteran George Christy made his first appearance with the troupe as endman, the facetious Frank Moran facing him at the other end. Their amusing dialogues, interspersed between the songs of the first part, created a continued roar of laughter. The beautiful ballad ‘Evangeline’ was sung by Mr. Kelly with rare taste and expression. The Swiss Song by Oberist was greeted with shouts of merriment. In the second part of the programme which was rich with a variety of burlesques, extravaganzas, grotesque and jig dances, and quaint and original sayings, the principle attraction was Leon’s female impersonations, which received the applause they deservedly merited. His dance, La fille de l’air, and his imitations of some of the leading operatic singers of the present day, in a sketch entitled the Prima Donna from the Country were really excellent. George Christy and Hank Mudge in the challenge dance; Allen as Nicodemus Johnson, and Moran as the Demonstrator of the ‘laufing gauz’ were amusing in their delineation. A capital musical burlesque entitled the Doctor-of-All-can-tear-her, in which Kelly sang the charming serenade, Wake Lady Wake, in a very pleasing manner, brought an agreeable and amusing performance to a termination. Throughout the whole of the entertainment the audience was kept in excellent humor and boisterous laughter frequently rewarded the efforts of the performers.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 October 1866, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 13 October 1866, 4.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 13 October 1866, 7.
Review: New York Clipper, 20 October 1866, 222.

Kelly & Leon’s Minstrels are now in the third week of their season in this city. We visited them again last week, and witnessed a marked improvement in the performances, as well as in the attendance. The first week, their olio business was rather light waisted, but by the addition of George Christy, Dick Sands, and George and Willie Guy, that part of the show came to the [illeg.] excellence of [illeg.] minstrel entertainment. In consequence of the death of his [illeg.], Frank Moran was obliged to leave for Philadelphia, and his end was kept up by George Christy, who never appeared in better spirits. George has been taking care of himself lately, as was manifest every evening he appeared, for he was as witty as he was years ago, when he was on the end with the K. P. Christy party in this city. The first part of the entertainment was very good, especially the singing of Evangeline, by Mr. Kelly; [illeg.] by Jackson, and Swiss Song, by Oberist. The instrumental music is also good. The olio commenced with [illeg.] dance, and now that he has got acquainted with the style of the music and his audiences, his terpsichorean movements are more appreciated than they were the opening week. Allen’s ‘Nicodemus Johnson’ was excellent, so was his ‘Rip Van Winkle;’ Dick Sands and George Christy did the ‘Challenge Dance,’ and the Masters Guy did a song and dance. A burlesque called the ‘Doctor of All-can-tear-her’ closed the evening’s amusement. This week, a burlesque on Ristori and ‘Medea’ is given. The attendance last week was much better than the opening week.  In fact, an increase of nearly fifty per cent, which proves that the company is liked, and is a guarantee of future success.”