Christy, Edwin P.
Edwin P. Christy, 1815–62, American showman, b. Philadelphia. He established c.1846 in Buffalo, N.Y., a company of minstrels that came to be known as Christy's Minstrels. The company, although not the first of its kind, crystallized the pattern of the minstrel show—the interlocutor, the semicircular arrangement of white performers in blackface, the end man, and the variety act. For over 10 years Christy had great success all over the United States and in England. He retired in 1854, and the group continued under the direction of George N. Harrington, who assumed the name Christy. Some of the songs of Stephen Foster were published bearing Christy's name as author and composer.