Wednesday, January 18, 2012

She-Boying in Sheboygan

The January 2, 1939 issue of Life contained an article about Boy Scout Troop No. 1 of the Grace Episcopal Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The troop performed in a womanless burlesque version of Romeo and Juliet by Episcopal minister, Father William Elwell, who rewrote Shakespeare’s prose using modern slang.

The play "began with a chorus dancing the Big Apple. From then on, taking all the female parts themselves, the boys interrupted the tragic drama at every possible point to dance the can-can or the Lambeth Walk, or croon the newest song hits."
The all-male cast (aged between 9 and 17) raised money for local charities.

As was typical in a Life story, there were a lot of photos including the following.
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Boy Scout "Romeo" embraces and kisses Boy Scout "Juliet."
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High-kicking Boy Scout can-can dancers flaunt their petticoats to the delight of the audience.

11 comments:

  1. And now they all read yur Blog

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  2. Love it! I've always wanted to be a "Rockette" sort of like the boys in the photo!

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  3. dianegirl44January 18, 2012

    Wonderful Story -love those petticoats
    Hugs
    Diane

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  4. This issue is available on Amazon.com or can be read on Google books.
    Barbra Anne

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  5. I could not help but notice the attention to detail and the quality of the outfits the boys in the Can Can line adhered to.

    contrast then to know, and how the majority of people today have no understanding of what good quality actually is, and the reverence to femininity (sans tramp) which was certainly adhered to.

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  6. Hmm... wonder how much time and effort Romeo and Juliet spent "rehearsing"...

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  7. That must have been alot of fun for the boys.
    Around 1952 I did a similiar thing for our church youth play. Myself and a few other boys played the parts of girls and I don't know about the rest of the boys, but I loved every minute of it.

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  8. really funny! the whole issue on google books shows the audience with lots of real girls laughing in fun watching at boys dressed as women!

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  9. Always looking for funny womanless pictures...i found a good number of pictures of german school doing trips on mountain.
    It's a sort of "beauty contest" where boys are dressed in full makeup,heels,wigs and parade in front of the girls!
    Most of them are quite pretty and the whole pageant is very amusing!
    Here is the link..http://www.schoulkaerjeng.lu/cgi-bin/apps/wikiview?com=0O0O0O1O8O1O0O0458502811O1731061O00&sid=&projectid=732&page_id=&mode=viewer

    the event is miss albiez-montrond...on google images lots of pics.
    Enjoy

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  10. OMG! I remember seeing this can-can photo way back when... maybe in the 50s or 60s... and it moved me so. I was so anxious at my reaction: the attraction, wishing that I could be one of those....
    thank you Stana!
    deborah

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  11. Has anyone ever noticed how in the past men and boys weren't so uptight about dressing en femme as they are now? I wonder what happened.

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