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A Word About Tonight's Musical
Robert Frost once said, "All the fun's in how you say a thing." He might have added that, when you sing it, it's even more fun. In the best tradition of musicals, we're going to have an enormous amount of fun in presenting our show tonight. And our pleasure ·will be directly proportionate to the amount of pleasure that we convey to you who are viewing the show.
High Button Shoes opened on Broadway with Phil Silvers and Nanette Fabray in the leading roles. It ran from 1947 to 1949 on Broadway, and during that time its "Mack Sennett Ballet" became famous . The critics recognized it as a masterly parody on the Sennett Bathing Beauties, the Keystone Kops, and "chase" scenes in general. They were unanimous in declaring it one of the funniest highlights of the show.
High Button Shoes is unadulterated hilarity. The New Yorker reviewer, joyous over the show's entertaining nonsense, wrote, "You don't have to worry your head about the story that has been concocted for High Button Shoes. There is something in it about the 1913 Rutgers football team, something about a couple of confidence men and their dealings in underwater real estate, something about a Model T Ford, and quite a lot about love, but all this is, as it should be, only the foolish necessary background for a collection of nice, lively vaudeville numbers."
The story concerns a mountebank and his stooge who, having made their names prominent on the police blotters of all the major cities, decide to have their names put on the social register of New Brunswick, New Jersey, the town in which Floy had grown up.
The two swindlers hurry there and, after intruding in a romance between a Rutgers football player and the sister of one of the town's most gullible socialites, they abscond with a satchel of money which they had chisled out of the townsfolk by promoting the development of some waterlogged real estate. But the satchel just happens to be attached to Fran, the football player's fickle sweetheart, and Floy promises to bring her to Atlantic City and marry her.
The con men are soon caught after a wild chase by Keystone Kops. Escaping from the jail, they return to New Brunswick and temporarily patch things up. Immediately they devote their talents to fixing the 1913 Rutgers-Princeton game by trying to undermine the morale of the Rutgers players. They are thwarted, however, when Rutgers wins, 40-0, and they are forced to hurriedly leave town in order to "try to make a dollar" somewhere else.
We sincerely hope that you are as pleased with our offering as we are in bringing it to you, and we hope that you will return to see our fall semester play.
Theatre and Performance Studies
La Salle College, "High Button Shoes" (1961). The Masque Programs. 85.
In 1963 La Salle College will have a one hundred year past. Last year the Masque celebrated a twenty-five year history of " putting on plays" with the musical Leave It to Jane. The Masque's past has been exciting and outstanding. It has been full of such successes as South Pacific and Guys and Dolls, to name but two. It has also had a few unsuccessful shows too, such as . . .. (You'll pardon us if our memory lapses here.) But through hard work and by talented direction, we feel that we have maintained a consistently high level of quality in our theater.
At the present time the growth of the Masque both parallels and reflects the rapid progress of our parent institution, La Salle College. Just last year we instituted our Annual One-Act Play Contests, with prizes for best production and best individual performance, for the encouragement of high school dramatics. This year we added three one-act plays to our usual two productions a year. An excerpt from one of these, The Bespoke Overcoat, was presented on WRCV-TV, along with songs from High Button Shoes and commentaries by Mr. Rodden, our Director, and Mr. Macleod, our Technical Director.
In the future the Masque will continue to parallel La Salle's growth. La Salle has many plans for its Centennial Year in 1963. New buildings are now being erected to continue the spurt of growth that started with the new Student Union and Science Center buildings. The Masque also has its plans. A year long drama festival will be presented for La Salle's birthday, and summer stock will soon be visiting our theater. We hope that we can please our future audiences as well as we have our past audiences.