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Something about the Play
When, on the evening of April 14, 1937, Dwight Deere Wiman presented Rodgers and Hart's new musical comedy, " Babes in Arms, at the Shubert Theatre in New York, he introduced to theatre audiences such "new faces" as Mitzi Green, Alfred Drake, Ray Heatherton, Dan Dailey, Robert Rundseville, and the Nicholas Brothers. But - which turns out to be more important - he introduced to the realm of popular music such king-sized favorites as "Where or When," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Johnny One Note," "My Funny Valentine" and the rest of the score that you are about to hear. It is the hope of the MASQUE that you, like us, love these great songs. We are privileged , through the kindness of Mr. Richard Rodgers, to present the first off-Broadway production of Babes In Arms. If its plot was obviously contrived to make room for the melodies, it is a happy story, even though it takes its sources from a day-gone-by; a day when we - hopeful we - thought an economic depression was the worst thing that could happen to us. Strike up the band .
Theatre and Performance Studies
La Salle College, "Babes in Arms" (1953). The Masque Programs. 98.
Something about the Masque
The MASQUE of La Salle College, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary next season, has a tradition of musical plays dating back to 1936. That year, the MASQUE offered The Sweetest Girl in Town, a Samuel French special attraction which, if it had other virtues, at least notified our authorities of the need for a new piano. In the two Spring productions which followed thereupon, the 1890 meller-drammers Gold in the Hills and Silas, The Chore Boy, music of a sort was interpolated. In 1940, the MASQUE did its first full-dress musical, the first off-Broadway production of Maxwell Anderson's and Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday, and quite successfully. The following year, Romberg's Maytime was acclaimed. Not until 1950, with the production of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, did the MASQUE return to the musical stage. The following year The Mikado was presented. In the past two seasons, Spring has seen the MASQUE do two original musical plays: in 1952, Watch the Curtain, and last year, Lucky for Me. This year's production of Babes in Arms will, we hopefully predict, support the tradition.