Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels

Event Information

Kelly and Leon's Minstrels Hall (720 Broadway)

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
22 July 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

04 Nov 1867, Evening
05 Nov 1867, Evening
06 Nov 1867, Evening
07 Nov 1867, Evening
08 Nov 1867, Evening
09 Nov 1867, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

Text Author: Unknown playwright
Participants:  Nelse Seymour (role: Valentine);  William H. Brockway (role: Faust);  Francis Leon (role: Mag-you're-right);  Edwin Kelly (role: Me-det-oh-feel-his);  Sam Price [minstrel] (role: Martha);  Harry [banjo player] Stanwood (role: Wagoner)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 November 1867.

 “Enlarged Company, Orchestra and Chorus.”

Review: New York Herald, 08 November 1867, 5.

“Kelly & Leon’s Minstrels have blacked Gounod’s face, put a baton in his hand and forced him to look at Faust in an Ethiopian dress.  Marguerite and Mephistopheles sing all the principal airs and leer at each other with dusky countenances, while a chorus and military band, not often met in a minstrel hall, give some excellent music. Nelse Seymour and Sam Price are also in the cast.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 09 November 1867, 246.

“Ethiopian burlesques are made a feature of by the Kelly and Leon Minstrels. Some of the very best burlesques we have ever seen have been produced by this troupe. . . . The management produce [sic] this evening a burlesque on ‘Faust,’ which has been in preparations for some time. It will be brought out with new dresses, decorations, tricks and transformations. One of the features if its production will be the introduction of a brass band in the march, and there will be a double quartet. A number of extra chorus singers have been engaged, and everything done to ensure its success. Add Ryman having left the troupe, the end is now filled by Sam Price, who strives to please.”

Review: New York Clipper, 16 November 1867, 254.

“‘Faust’ has been produced in this city on several occasions at the Fourteenth street establishment and always received with great favor, but it remained for Messrs. Kelly & Leon to produce it in a burlesque style, which they did at their popular minstrel hall on the 4th inst. It has been very cleverly sketched by Mr. Leon and it is very carefully placed upon the stage. An extra chorus has been engaged, in fact the same parties who sang the music at the Fourteenth street place, and this added greatly to the general effect. Some half a dozen musicians were engaged for the brass band in the march, and it was very effective. In writing this burlesque, Leon has retained the original music as well as many of the popular songs. The burlesque is well cast, well acted, and well placed upon the stage. Leon is ludicrously funny both in make-up and acting of the role of Mag-you’re-right (Marguerite). Mr. Kelly plays Me-det-oh-feel-his (Mephistopheles); he has very little to do, but he does that little well. W. H. Brockway is the Faust; Nelse Seymour, Valentine; Sam Price, Martha; and Harry Stanwood, Wagoner. The usual first part minstrel entertainment as well as the olio business precedes the burlesque, and a most enjoyable performance in burnt cork is given. Nelse Seymour has the bone and Sam Price tambourine. Mr. Price appears to have made decided improvement in the end business since we last saw him with Arlington’s Minstrels.”