1960 Chickens’ Ball – Reflections of the Gay ’90’s

The 1960 Chickens’ Ball, entitled, Reflections of the Gay ’90’s was a gay, carefree, side-splitting fun-fest from start to finish. Guiding lights behind this production were Louise Kilday and Norma Bundsen as Chairman and Audie Justus and Bob Brown as Production Managers. Anabel Mueller directed the entr’actes, Vivian Robles co-ordinated the decoration which were carried out in a a patriotic red-white-and blue theme. The scene opened in Golden Gate Park on the fourth of July. A small cannon helped assure the “smashing” success of the show. On opening night, the boom caused such a rocking of the building and its occupants that it was discreetly (?) shot off outside thereafter.

In the opening skit the T.O.P.S. with their orange and black costumed can-can girls get the spirit and the pace for the entire show. The delightful troupe of pleasingly plump pigeons, aided and abetted by the antics of Irma Stone and Alice Norbut as the “Dolly Sisters” stopped the show before it had really gotten started. Their rendition of Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, But Oh How a Fat Girl Can Love was a high point of Chickens’ Ball history. Irma Stone stole the show as shoe couldn’t stop laughing and the audience was soon sharing in her joyful hysteria.

The Junior Matrons scored with their production of Peeping Percival’s Playful Plunge, staged on a Gay ’90 type beach with Jean McGann starring as the impish Peeping Percival.

Who Could Blame Lily Tremaine was presented by the San Carlans’ cast of Ginny Grant, Marian Christensen, Marilyn Foskett and Jean Steiner and Ginny really wowed the folks as their bottle-tipper, Lily Tremaine.

The Squires’ version of the Follies Parisienne featured such lovelies as George Grover, Ken Black, Dr. Randall Polson and John Smith – an incomparably gorgeous group of lovelies.

The teachers presented an elaborate satire entitled Fine Feathers and won kudos for their props and much applause for the Five Slick Chicks taking part in their hen house bar scene.

One of the prize entr’actes of the 1960 show was a satire on the ancient Greek aesthetic dance and was called Lotta’s Fountain. Appearing as escaped sprites from the Fountain were a trio of frozen-faced beauties – Dr. Wlliam Hornyak, Gordon Craig and Robert Nelson.

Another fabulous entr’acte was the Little Egypt number, performed by a group of hefty lovelies garbed in different colored chiffons. The sight of Hugh Malley, Carl Dietz, Arthur Tonsager, Dr. Thomas Pardoe and Clyde Devine shimmering about the stage was unforgettable.

To add to the realism of the scene, the above gentlemen danced barefoot. One night as Dr. Pardoe stepped onto the stage, he placed his foot squarely on top of two thumb tacks that had been accidentally left behind by the previous act. For carrying on without missing a beat, the good doctor was awarded a purple heart. That same night, Carl Dietz brought down the house because he forgot to remove his shoes before going on-stage.

The chorus line was a beautiful as ever with such lovely ladies as Maedyln Burly, Barbara Polson, Roxie Lewis, Jackie Anderson, Phyllis Huey, Jan Warren, Betty Huber, Liz Walton and Shirley Brown gracing the stage at Central.

Some unforgettable Chickens’ Ball photography was achieved this year by Norma Bundsen with her “invisible” camera. Rumor has it that these pictures are being preserved in a hidden vault for posterity. The Bundsens aren’t talking, but perhaps they’re saving the evidence against some future rainy day?

The 1960 the Ball performances were increased to two week-ends, providing six nights of unforgettable humor and good spirits. Some of the high spots of this year will remain as perennial Chickens’ Ball classics.

Source: 1968 Reflections

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