Friday, August 19, 2011

The only time I worked at Disneyland, as a performer, was for special events.  I did a concert with Scott Baio on the Tomorrow land concert stage, and a grad night at the rising stage near the submarines.  I have also hosted the Imagination Awards and performed for the service awards shows.  But I have never been on the Golden Horseshoe stage... until last night.  Unfortunately it was a reception and I was not performing.  It still did not diminish my excitement.  All the theaters in all the theme park stages I ever performed for were either modeled after, or owe their very existence to Disney's Golden Horseshoe Theatre.  It was one goal that I never made in my career.  Working in that Stage.
My wife was one of the Can Can dancers at the Golden Horseshoe Revue a year or so before we met.  She performed with the Disney legends, Wally Boag, Betty Taylor and Fulton Burley. They WERE the Golden Horseshoe Revue.  Well into their 90's they passed away in the same week recently. Last night at Disneyland they were honored.  Everyone who had ever performed with them was invited.  This meant a lot of musicians, comics who understudied Wally, and of course a bevy of Can Can girls including my wife... all grown up.  There were vintage films of the show, Wally and Betty, and a tribute to the longest running show in the history of theatre, well over 47,000 performances at the same theatre.
Wally Boag was a vaudevillian who spent the last 30 years of his career working at the Golden Horseshoe. He inspired so many young comics and performers including the likes of Steve Martin.  Wally was truly the last vaudevillian standing and was a wonderful guy.  He was a Walt Disney favorite and wrote sketches and did voices for various cartoons and rides at the park. YouTube him and you will find a wealth of film on him and his act.  I knew him best for giving my wife her cat. She named the yellow cat, Bogie and by the time I entered the family Bogie was an established squatter who looked at me as competition.
So there was a pre-reception and registration at the California Grand Hotel. From there we were shuttled to the frontier stage in Disneyland for the show.  Sandi and I got on the bus. The only seats were in the very back.  The lady in front of us said, "Now there is someone who looks familiar.." referring to me.  Although I pretty much felt she recognized me from SOAP I answered her questions about why I was at this reception.  We determined that her name was Nancy and she was a Can Can dancer.  I said she probably know my wife Sandi since I had never worked the Horseshoe.
As I remember the conversation between them it went something like this.  "I was there when Toni Kaye was there... "Me Too"  "I worked the evening show"..... "Me Too" "It was between my junior and senior year in college".... "Mine too."  But they reached an end to the similarities.... Sandi moved back to Texas where we met.Nancy had gone on to a life less danced.  

Suddenly a lightning bolt hit Sandi and she ruffled through some old fades pictures she brought with her until she found the one she was looking for.  As she pointed to a picture of some can can dancers on stage she said... "Is that you?"... the lady looked carefully and excitedly said, "Yes that's me.... "
 Sandi pointed to the dancer next to her and said..."This is me...."

"Oh my God.... Sandi"
"Oh my God... Nancy" 
They were in the same show, dancing next to each other. Same cast for almost a year..... I got a picture of them together on the stage.
Small world... even smaller when you can't remember people from years ago.
As you were,

1 comment:

Daray Pringle said...

Thanks for Sharing this Story, how Amazing. - Daray Pringle