Budworth’s Minstrels

Event Information

Fifth Avenue Opera House

Proprietor / Lessee:
William S. Budworth

Manager / Director:
William S. Budworth

Price: $.50, .35

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
21 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Aug 1866, 8:00 PM
28 Aug 1866, 8:00 PM
29 Aug 1866, 8:00 PM
30 Aug 1866, 8:00 PM
31 Aug 1866, 8:00 PM
01 Sep 1866, 2:00 PM
01 Sep 1866, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Opening night.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Clipper, 18 August 1866, 150.

     “W. S. Budworth is said to be the lessee of the Minstrel Opera House in the Fifth avenue, lately managed by George Christy.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 19 August 1866.
Announcement: New York Herald, 20 August 1866, 5.

Gives names of company.

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 25 August 1866.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 25 August 1866, 158.

     “The Fifth Avenue (late George Christy’s) Opera House, is to be opened on the 27th inst., with what is called Budworth’s Minstrels.” Gives names of cast. “The company is a pretty good one and ought to succeed.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 25 August 1866, 4.
Announcement: New York Herald, 27 August 1866, 5.

Gives program.

Announcement: New-York Times, 27 August 1866, 5.
Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 27 August 1866.
Review: New York Herald, 30 August 1866, 7.

     “Model Servants and the Fall of Fort Fisher each in their turn put the audience into convulsions. The drolleries of the brothers Budworth were irresistible, and Wm. S. Budworth’s imitations of prominent actors exhibited versatility and dramatic genius.  The instrumental and vocal music were also very good.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 30 August 1866.

     “Mr. Budworth’s minstrels have made a very auspicious commencement at the 5th Avenue Opera House. The company is a good one, and the entertainment offered is various and pleasing.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 01 September 1866, 166.
Announcement: New York Herald, 01 September 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 01 September 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 01 September 1866.

[NOTE:  Probably the first ad for a minstrel troupe in the NYSZ.  May be possible to connect this to the gradual change in the German community's greater acclimazation to the English-speaking world around them.]

Review: New York Clipper, 08 September 1866, 174.

     “A very crowded audience.  There was considerable difficulty in purchasing tickets at the office, as the crowd about the door was quite large, and the person who was in charge of the box office appeared to be green at the business. . . . The company is a very good one.  They gave a pleasing entertainment on their opening night, and every one seemed pleased.  There are several excellent performers and singers in the organization, and as a company, it is well worth seeing and listening to.  Mr. C. Henry has long since been acknowledged as a first class ballad singer.  Mr. Dempster has a very pleasing tenor voice, and sings with considerable feeling.  W. P. Grier is another good singer.  In fact, the quartet is well balanced, and sure to please.  The two Buds, William and James, create considerable fun on the ends, and in the olio help to fill up an entertaining programme.  James Budworth, on the opening night, was only a few days off a sick bed, where he had been several weeks, but he did, under the circumstances, very well.  Dick Sands appeared in a clog dance, and did as well as we ever saw him.  He is getting into executing more difficult steps than before.  Mr. G. W. Griffin is a good middle man, and useful in the olio business.  Masters George and Willie Guy do an excellent song and dance for their years.  The first week of this company has been a successful one, and, if they keep up their entertainment to its present standard they will surely continue to do well.”