Dupree & Benedict’s Great Original New Orleans Minstrels Great Triple Company Burlesque Opera Troupe and Brass Band. Duprez, Benedict’s Minstrels.

Dupree & Benedict’s Great Original New Orleans Minstrels Great Triple Company Burlesque Opera Troupe and Brass Band.

Philadelphia: Merrihew & Son, Prs., 135 N. 3d St., 1875. Broadside, 18” x 2.5”.

An unrecorded broadside for a performance in Providence, Rhode Island of the popular New Orleans minstrel group Duprez & Benedict.

Featuring an illustration of a jovial-looking minstrel performer seated and twirling a tambourine, this broadside advertises an appearance at the Providence Opera House August 23rd and 24th, 1875. Here making an “announcement to the world,” the proprietors proclaim they are “Still triumphant! After traveling a distance equal to fifty times around the world and everywhere crowned with new laurels and received with unparalleled success.” Described as the “leading favorite troupe of America” and offering the “strongest attraction ever offered in Minstrelsy,” an entire original programme is promised for this particular engagement, extensively improved and remodeled for the 1875–76 season.

The troupe comprised a host of “selected artists of various specialties.” Listed are the company’s “most prominent artists, who stand at the head of the profession,” and offer “an increase of new attraction.” These include the Mirth-provoking Lew Benedict; the Veteran Chas. H. Duprez; the Ne Plus Ultra Ferd. Heinrich; the Meritorious U. Crispini, and so forth. Accompanying these performers was a full soloist orchestra and a vocal quintette in a new programme “brim full of originality, mirth and brilliancy.” Experience was certainly on their side: “The largest, oldest, most complete, reliable and powerful Minstrel organization in the world; recognized as a body of solid men, which so characterizes this troupe throughout the entire length and breadth of the United States, Nova Scotia, Canada, New Brunswick, the West India Islands, and New Foundland.” General admission was 50 cts. and the text spells out its “new, original system for selling secured seats in advance.” Those seeking full particulars are advised to see the company’s eight-page Pictorial Daily Heralds, Posters and Newspapers.

Led by Charles H. Duprez and Lew Benedict, Duprez & Benedict’s Minstrels enjoyed popularity in the late 1860s and ‘70s. Duprez began performing minstrel shows in 1852 in New Orleans with the group Carle, Duprez & Green's Minstrels. Lew Benedict joined the group in 1861, bought out Green's share, whereupon group became known as Duprez & Benedict's Minstrels. Benedict left the group in 1876 but Duprez would maintain the troupe until around 1885, operating under several names with various personnel. A 1906 article offers the following account in 1870:

In 1870 Duprez and Benedict's Minstrels were known all over this country and had many old timers in their troupe. In the overture they had the endmen Hughey Dougherty, singing "It's Nice to be a Father" and Lew Benedict "Hot Corn." Both of these grand old minstrel men are still on the stage. "Sall Ann's Away," Chas. Gleason; "I am Lonely no More," D. Swabe Vernon; "Little Brown Jug," (a big hit) Charlie Reynolds; "The Dear Little Shamrock," Fred B. Naylor, and the famous Cocoanut Quarette, Benedict, Gleason, Parkhurst and Lew Collins, completed the company.

No records in WorldCat.

REFERENCES: Garvie, Billy S. “Minstrel Songs of Other Days,” Americana (October 1912), p. 951; Rice, Edward Le Roy. Monarchs of minstrelsy, from "Daddy" Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Co., 1911), pp. 72, 132, 226.

CONDITION: Center horizontal separation reinforced at verso with tape.

Item #5828

Price: $575.00

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