Minstrel Show Change 1940



From the Colon Express newspaper, October 31, 1940: “The date of the Lions Club Minstrel Show has been changed from Friday night, November 8, to Tuesday night, November 5th.  This change was made necessary because Monk Watson, one of the leading actors in the show, has a week’s engagement at the Colonial Theatre in Detroit as master of ceremonies, opening with the well-known Milt Britton Band next week, and Monk will be compelled to leave for Detroit on Wednesday, or immediately after the Minstrel Show Tuesday night.

The big show will be staged at Hill’s Opera House, and everyone will be glad of the opportunity to return to the favorite play house for this grand show of the season.

The Lions have sold tickets for the show in advance, and while they have been very successful, there are many good tickets available. The reserved seat board is at Niendorf’s Pharmacy where you can secure your seats any time, however, better get busy as they are going quite rapidly. It really appears like a “packed house.” All tickets purchased from the Lions must be exchanged for reserve seats at Niendorf’s not later than 7:00 o’clock the night of the show, as all remaining tickets in the reserved seat board will be sold at the opera house ticket office after that hour Tuesday night.

In case you purchased tickets in advance for the show and the change of date makes it impossible for you to attend, you have the privilege of returning the tickets to Niendorf’s and your money will be refunded.

And now something about the show. Really, folks, it’s going to be an outstanding entertainment, and how could it be otherwise with Colon’s own outstanding show people – Skippy, Jean and Monk – among the leads? Jupie Stevens, who is well known here and who was with Skippy’s Comedians for several years, will swing the minstrel music.

Just an outline of the show. In the first part, Jean LaMore will be the interlocutor. The premier and end men, Skippy LaMore and Monk Watson will be assisted by Bob VanDeventer and “Ray” Ward; and in the grand black-face circle, Virg Farrand, Chax. Williams, Mel Flowers, Don, Bubb, Carleton West, Lawrence West, Edwin Loudenslager, Earl Brown, Ralph McMurray, Geo. Conklin. And what a lot of comedy that group has in store for your amusement.

The songs they will sing– Opening Chorus “Strutters Ball” by entire cast.

Introduction of premier end men, Skippy and Monk.

“Smiling Thru” – George Conklin.

“Cecelia” – Monk Watson.

“Gold Mine in the Skies” – Chas. Williams.

“Liza Jones” – Skippy LaMore.

“Bells of the Sea” – Melvin Flowers.

“Why Do You Sit On Your Patio?” – Skippy and Monk.

“God Bless America” – Circle, and for the second chorus the audience is invited to join. Following an “intermission of ten minutes, sure” as the program states will come the grand second part.

The opening will be a special musical treat, a marimba solo and drum solo by Mary Joan Ward, of Brunson, who was out in front with the first prize as a marimba artist in the state contest, and won second place in the international contest.

The second act, “Back Stage,” courtesy Elsie Janis, with the following cast – Monk, the stage manager; Skippy, wants to be a singer; Jean LaMore, temperamental star; George Conklin, props. Song number, “Too Young for Love” (by Elsie Janis).

The scene “Back Stage” was produced by Elsie Janis and played for one year in London, featuring Lapino Lane, international comic; also played in the United States for one year, featuring Monk Watson. This scene is now being sought by the largest film producers.

The third act – “Arkansaw Travelers” by Carleton and Lawrence West, who are well known to Colon as musicians and entertainers. Their song numbers will be “Hiccough Rag”, “Wabash Blues”, and “Alabama Jubilee.”

And the final act, “The Crazy House”, featuring Skippy, will be a side-splitter from start to finish. As the program states, anything can happen here. Hang onto your hats and stuff.

As a fitting line to describe this show we go back to the old Kempton Komedy Kompany headline, “You Laugh, You Scream, You Roar.”

That’s just what you are bound to do, if you see the Lions for the show, and the band will give a short concert before the curtain.

We advise you to get your reserved seats at Niendorf’s now.”