Main Banner
About Shep Database Shep Music Timeline Store ACS Excelsior Excelsior
Stage Shows
Shep on "Broadway"
Destry
Last Update: 09-20-2015
Destry Rides Again

St John Terrel's Music Circus - Lambertville, NJ

July 25, 1961

 

In July/August 1961, Shep appeared in a production of "Destry Rides Again" at the Lambertville NJ Music Circus. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mike Schultz remembers: "The Music Circus (now long since gone) was a theatre-in-the-round operation, with a rotating stage in the center, under a canvas tent roof. Seating was several hundred, as I recall, so it was a rather intimate setting. I don't remember much about the show itself, but the guns they used were real (blanks, of course), a fact that Shep mentioned in his radio shows. I was 13 then, and Shep was a big part of my life."
Additional Comments:
From princetoninfo.com: Art Frank (Lambertville Music Circus' musical director) was serving as musical director for a Rider production and contracted a music circus choreography to stage dances. The choreographer realized that the locally-based pit musician was as strong as any New York-based music director and later suggested Frank to Terrell when a music director was fired and the show needed to go on. "So they handed me the script 'Destry Rides Again,' which starred Jean Shepherd. It was a terrible show. So here I come in on Monday morning. (The cast) had been rehearsing since Wednesday. And I come in, face a resistant group who just lost their director, and I have to open the show up on Tuesday night," says Frank. "Jean Shepherd was a radio monologist, but he had never done a Broadway show before, was not a theater person, and was not disciplined. He couldn't remember his lines or entrances. So I made up a system, where I would give a hand signal and we would lead into the chorus and end the song. We saved his ass. It was like that all week. For the professional staff, it was a nightmare. The fact that I got him through it, Sinjun realized that I was real," he says. While he went on to become a professor of music at Temple University (retiring after 27 tears), a performer with the Trenton Symphony Orchestra for 20 years, and musical director for the Bucks County Playhouse, several McCarter Theater productions, and Foundation Theater, he says those years in Lambertville were vital. "That was my first professional conducting experience. I did 10 or 12 shows a summer. Learning a show in one week was invaluable. I loved those years and I loved those summers. It was hard work." See link to full article below
Links to Further Information:
• Labertville Music Circus website
• Link to princetoninfo.com article
Photos:


June 30,1961


June 30,1961


July 20,1961
Bristol Daily Courier

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


July 25,1961
Destry Rides Again - Autographed program

Courtesy: Shiela Frayne


July 25,1961
Destry Rides Again - Newspaper photo

Courtesy: Shiela Frayne


July 25,1961
Destry Rides Again program - cover

Courtesy: Mike Schultz


July 25,1961
Destry Rides Again program - pg1

Courtesy: Mike Schultz


July 25,1961
Destry Rides Again program - pg2

Courtesy: Mike Schultz


August 02,1961
Bristol Daily Courier

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


August 03,1961
Bristol Daily Courier

Courtesy: Steve Glazer