Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels

Event Information

Kelly and Leon's Minstrels Hall (720 Broadway)

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
11 March 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

07 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
08 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
09 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
10 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
11 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
12 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Participants:  William H. Brockway (role: Prince Say Fire);  Francis Leon (role: Boulotte);  Edwin Kelly (role: Blue Beard);  John F. Oberist (role: Queen Clem);  Leon [minstrel] Mayer (role: Princess Her-Me-Ah)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 07 September 1868.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 07 September 1868, 7.
Announcement: New York Herald, 08 September 1868.

“The programmes of our various minstrel halls remain unchanged. Good bills, full houses and plenty of fun are at present the general order of affairs in the world of minstrelsy…Kelly & Leon’s favor us with the ‘Barber Blue.’”

Announcement: New-York Times, 08 September 1868, 5.

“At Kelly & Leon’s the principal attraction is ‘Barber-Blu,’ a veritable version of Offenbach’s work executed in cork. Leon has performed the task with much tact, wit and ability. He has not attempted to burlesque a burlesque, but follows closely the original story, and gives the music almost entire. We may add here, that he gives it extremely well. The company is large, numbering twenty-six males, and supplemented by many boys to represent the female voice in the choruses. Leon himself sings and acts admirably, and is supported with spirit by Kelly. The orchestra and chorus are thoroughly good, and costumes and scenery have evidently been prepared with care and at great cost.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 12 September 1868, 182.

“Dick Ralph takes the end this week with Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels, made vacant by the withdrawal of S.S. Purdy, who goes with Hooley to Philadelphia.”

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 12 September 1868, 183.
Review: New York Clipper, 19 September 1868, 190.

“‘Barber Blu’ continues to be the principal attraction presented by Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels. It has been improved upon since its initial performance, and is now over by ten o’ clock instead of nearly eleven. The burlesque plays smoothly and each performer is well up in his role. Kelly as Barber Blu and Leon as Bullyette, are the features of the performance, although Brockway’s Prince Say Fire is a creditable performance. There were several changes in the cast last week. J. F. Oberist played Queen Clem in consequence of S. S. Purdy leaving, and Leon Mayer that of Princess Her-Me-Ah, formerly played by Summers. Oberist has left and gone to Hooley’s Minstrels in Philadelphia. Dick Ralph occupied the tambourine end last week in place of Purdy. Excepting Thursday evening, when the weather was very stormy, business was good. A burlesque on Offenbach’s Orphee aux Enfers is in active preparation.”