Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels

Event Information

Kelly and Leon's Minstrels Hall (720 Broadway)

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
13 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

22 Oct 1866, Evening
23 Oct 1866, Evening
24 Oct 1866, Evening
25 Oct 1866, Evening
26 Oct 1866, Evening
27 Oct 1866, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Spinx
aka Prestidigapotato; Prestidigitator; Prestidigitation
Participants:  Frank [minstrel] Moran
Composer(s): Howard
Participants:  Edwin Kelly


Announcement: New York Herald, 22 October 1866, 4.

“The management of the new and really elegant hall of Kelly & Leon’s Minstrels, No. 720 Broadway, announces an entire change of programme, commencing this evening, two-thirds of which is new and original with the members of their very numerous company. Mr. Frank Moran has returned to the house; so that its boards are graced with a trio of favorite comedians, in the persons of Mr. George Christy, Mr. John Allen and Mr. Frank Moran. Kelly’s new burlesque, Five Minutes of Italian Opera, a new Ethiopian farce, with other good things, are on the bill.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 22 October 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 22 October 1866, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 23 October 1866, 7.

“The managers of this minstrel troupe appear determined to maintain the popularity which their exertions have already earned by the introduction of a number of novelties each week. The diversity and excellence of the entertainments produced by them keep the audience in continual good humour. Last evening a change of programme introduced some very laughable burlesques. The first part consisted of the usual sentimental ballads, comic songs and choruses, varied by quaint and witty sayings, while the olio was replete with farce, serio-comic delineations and clog dancing. Leon’s female impersonations and ballet dancing formed a pleasing feature of the performance. The pathetic and beautiful ballad ‘Little Barefoot,’ with its home truths and excellent moral, was sung by Kelly with a feeling which touched the hearts of his listeners, while its chorus, given as a sextet, was executed in good style and perfect harmony. Moran as the ‘presti-dig-a-po-ta-to’ exhibited some illusions which, if they did not evince the dexterity of Professor Hartz, amply fulfilled the purposes for which they were intended – to create hearty laughter. In the farce Dodging for a Wife, the situations were sufficiently ludicrous to provoke mirth from even a defeated ring candidate for gubernatorial honors. Notwithstanding the unfavorable weather the house was tolerably well-filled.”

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 27 October 1866, 232.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 27 October 1866, 7.