Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"The Red Mill" at the Court Square Theatre, Springfield, Mass.

Back on this day in 1948 you could have caught the matinee of “The Red Mill”, which ran from April 5th through the 7th at the Court Square Theatre in Springfield, Mass. Victor Herbert’s operetta first wowed ‘em on Broadway back in 1906 at the Knickerbocker Theatre, and was revived in 1945 at the Ziegfeld Theater.

Buster West adorns the program as you see, a comic dancer who got his start in vaudeville while still a child, and appeared in several Hollywood B-movies showcasing his novelty dancing in the 1930s.

Pat Rooney, Jr., who was actually Pat Rooney, III, son of the famous Pat Rooney, Jr. (who became Sr. after the death of his own father, Pat), joined Buster as a couple of American vaudevillians on the spree in Holland.

Frank Jaquet played the Buromaster. Mr. Jaquet was a veteran of Broadway and Hollywood, where he played a slew of bit character roles, most of them uncredited, including one of the senators in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939), and a police desk sergeant in “Meet John Doe” (1941).

“The Red Mill” had “whiskers on it” as they used to say, even in the late ‘40s, so I would imagine a revival today, unless it were a parody of a parody, is unlikely. Typical, though, of the rather wistful post-War nostalgia for a gentler world that brought us the smash “Oklahoma!”

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