Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels

Event Information

Kelly and Leon's Minstrels Hall (720 Broadway)

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
3 April 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

14 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
15 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
16 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
17 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
18 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
19 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Necromancer
Participants:  Edwin Kelly
Participants:  Francis Leon (role: Boulotte);  Edwin Kelly (role: Blue Beard)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 September 1868.
Review: New York Herald, 14 September 1868, 4.

“Kelly & Leon’s Minstrels have found ‘Barber-Blu’ such a favorite with the public that they propose to exhibit him until further orders.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 September 1868, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 14 September 1868, 4.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 September 1868, 5.
Review: New York Herald, 17 September 1868, 7.

“Leon’s interpretation of the French opera bouffe was given to the public last evening at the hall of the above minstrel troupe. The new piece was well received and is in for a run, although it shows signs of less preparation then the same author’s burlesques of the other French operas produced in this city. After an agreeable and charming olio the curtain went up on the first scene—for the piece is cast in five quick scenes introducing all the characters. The dresses of the principal roles have been gotten up with real magnificence, and in the culminating part, when all are grouped together, the richly attired actors and the cosey auditorium vividly recall the ‘Grande Duchesse’ and the Theatre Francais. The only Leon as Bullyette, was a laughter-provoking travestie of Irma’s Boulotte, while Edwin Kelly was an unimpeachable Blue Beard. The piece went off splendidly for a first night, and the rapid succession of incident and music kept the audience constantly engrossed until the final scene, an excellent one, if not the best of all, where the resurrected wives charge upon their would-be murderous spouse in a perfect Ku Klux Klan. The choruses heed a little more rehearsal, and some few ambiguities—allowable in the French opera, perhaps, but distasteful in English—might be omitted from the text.”

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 19 September 1868, 191.
Review: New York Clipper, 26 September 1868, 198.

“A few changes were made in the first part and the olio by Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels the past week. Mr. Kelly sang ‘Pleasant Dreams of Other Days,’ and for the finale of the first part gave ‘The Bachelors’ Club,’ a musical sketch, in which the entire company took part, even to the gas man of the house, who appeared in his shirt sleeves with torch in hand. It was an amusing affair and caused considerable fun. In the olio a Mr. Davis appeared in a wooden shoe dance called ‘Lignum Vitae Specialty,’ which he did very well, and for his encore amused the audience by taking a newspaper and, by doubling and twisting it in his hands and tearing it with his fingers, presented one of the most curious looking and ingeniously contrived perforated patterns we have yet seen. There was scarcely a place on the whole sheet one inch apart that was not a neat design.  It elicited shouts of applause and deservedly so. Mr. Kelly gave an act called ‘Necromancer,’ which, from its absurdity, created roars of laughter. The burlesque of ‘Barber Bleue’ continues on the bills. The house was crowded every night last week.”