Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels

Event Information

Kelly and Leon's Minstrels Hall (720 Broadway)

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
11 August 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

03 Dec 1866, Evening
04 Dec 1866, Evening
05 Dec 1866, Evening
06 Dec 1866, Evening
07 Dec 1866, Evening
08 Dec 1866, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

Text Author: Leon
Participants:  Edwin Kelly
aka Clog reel
Composer(s): Unknown composer
Participants:  Edwin Kelly
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Francis Leon
aka Carnival march
Participants:  Francis Leon


Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 December 1866.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 03 December 1866, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 05 December 1866, 7.

“Kelly & Leon’s minstrels have become such favorites with the public that their neat little hall is nightly crowded by their patrons. Last night the programme was varied, ample and attractive, and comprised new songs, jokes, sketches and dances. Kelly’s reputation as a balladist is now so well established that it is only necessary to say his ballads were sung with his usual good taste. Leon’s versatility was shown by his remarkable power of vocalization and execution in the trio from Attila, and his peculiar agility in the fancy dance, the Carnival of Venice. The pianissimo repetitions of the choruses were rendered by the troupe with a pleasing delicacy of expression.” 

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 08 December 1866, 275.

“special notice: No old Acts called by new names.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 08 December 1866, 278.
Review: New York Clipper, 15 December 1866, 286.

“Kelly & Leon's Minstrels have been rewarded by excellent houses since our last. On Wednesday evening there was not standing room to be had.  The aisles were crowded with camp stools, and every available spot occupied. The ‘City Cars,’ which finished the first part, was very cleverly given by Mr. Kelley [sic] and the company. It showed up the troubles of a conductor as well as the many inconveniences to which the public is subjected. In the second part, Nelse Seymour, Oberist and Sam Price appeared in an act called ‘The Surprise Party.’ Johnny Allen’s ‘Nicodemus Johnson,’ in the second part, is good, but he is apt at times to take too many liberties with his audience in the first part. A good end man can be witty without indulging too freely in personalities. His joke about Andy Johnson and Bourbon was a little too heavy to please all his bearers. Dick Sands does a clog dance every night.”