Borden's "All About Elsie"


Elsie the Cow stars in her own Musical Production "All About Elsie"
And now the lights brighten to reveal Elsie's head framed in a magazine cover (Peep). She is surrounded by a montage of other magazine covers all of which have Elsie on their covers and one of which (Romance) features both Elsie and Elmer. Suggested magazines include Life, Look, Fortune, Time or Newsweek, Vogue or Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, Photoplay or Silver Screen and Romance.
Elsie in Peep!

One of the more prominent exhibits in the Better Living Center could be found on the third floor courtesy of the Borden Company. In 1939 Borden had used the New York World's Fair as the place to showcase their new company mascot, Elsie the Cow, for the first time. Thus the 1964 Fair would be an opportunity to mark the 25th anniversary for Elsie as well as the original Fair!

Unlike 1939 when Borden had their own exhibit building, 1964 would see Borden taking up a considerable amount of space on the Better Living Center's third floor. And at the center of their exhibit would be Elsie herself (the latest in a long line of Elsies the company had used since 1939) kept stationary while an extravagant musical revue show took place around her.

The program, "All About Elsie," was as ambitious as any of the Fair's musical-oriented stage shows. Composer Kay Swift (one-time mistress of George Gershwin) who had written music for the Century 21 Seattle World's Fair (and also been "Director Of Light Music" for the 1939 Fair) was commissioned to write a tribute to Borden's corporate symbol in song, while Yale University's playwright in residence, Joel Oliansky, would furnish the script. As Elsie remained stationary, animated puppets and set pieces would move about her with prerecorded voices and singers advancing the "action" of the story which ultimately was little more than a giant and shameless plug for Borden's products delivered with none of the subtlety in corporate message that one might have seen in GE's "Carousel Of Progress" show. The program lasted 15 minutes and visitors could also see five different "sideshows" that served as quick one minute sketches using the same techniques. Like the main show the sideshows, for all their innovative gimmicks and attempts at humor, were extended commercial messages first and foremost.

Four identical Admirals enter resplendent in cocked hats, plumes, epaulettes, aiguilettes, blue and gold full dress uniforms, decorations, dress swords, etc. Their platforms are small toy-like battle-ships and each carries in his own down-stage hand a three dimensional carton of a Borden milk product decorated with red, white and blue streamers. They are squabbling. FORTIFIED SKIM ! BUTTERMILK ! EGGNOG ! HOMOGENIZED !

SOURCE: Photos presented courtesy Bill Cotter collection © 2010 Bill Cotter, All Rights Reserved. See more images from Bill's fabulous collection of World's Fair photographs at his website WorldsFairPhotos.com.

Elsie in "All About Elsie"

Some familiar voices could be heard in the "All About Elsie" voice cast including Charlotte Rae, future star of the television show The Facts Of Life and, as the deliberately pompous sounding narrator, Jackson Beck who had been the announcer on The Adventures Of Superman radio program in the 1940s and been the first to utter the words "Faster than a speeding bullet..."

For 1965, there were some minor modifications made to the program with Tom Whedon,writer for the "Captain Kanagaroo" TV program, contributing some new material. While the original vocal cast was retained press stories indicated that "one additional male voice, that of a "well-known comic," would also be added to the program but there is no surviving record to indicate if this change ever took place or who the comic was.


"ALL ABOUT ELSIE"
at the
BETTER LIVING CENTER
 
1964-1965 New York World's Fair
 
T H EXXS C R I P T 
Borden's logo

 

A L L _A B O U T _E L S I E

Borden's World's Fair Presentation

 

 
 
Script by Joel Oliansky
 
Music & Lyrics by Kay Swift
 
Settings by William & Jean Eckart
 
Characters by Miles White
 
Musical Director, Sherman Frank
 
Lighting Director, John Robert Lloyd
 
Concept & Production by Alfred Stern
Robinson-Capsis-Stern Associates, Inc.
547 West Broadway, New York 12, N.Y.
 
General Manager, Paul C. Castellanos
The Borden Company
350 Madison Avenue, New York, 17, N.Y.
Note: This Script is For The Information of The Borden Company, The Project Producers, Designers & Technicians Exclusively. It Is Not For General Distribution, Release And/Or Publication. Portions May, However, Be Released And/Or Published With The Express Permission Of The Borden Company.

 

Borden's World's Fair Presentation

ALL ABOUT ELSIE

FIVE SIDESHOWS

ELMER'S MARVELOUS ARK

Script by Joel Oliansky
Music & Lyrics by Kay Swift
Settings by William & Jean Eckart
Characters by Miles White
Musical Director, Sherman Frank
Lighting Director, John Robert Lloyd
Concept & Production by Alfred Stern
Robinson-Capsis-Stern Associates, Inc.
General Manager, Paul C. Castellanos
The Borden Company
THE CAST
Jackson Beck - Narrator
Charlotte Rae - Secretary to Elsie
Morton Marshall - 1st Aide to Elsie
Gene Varrone - 2nd Aide to Elsie

Numbers:
1. "Doin' Fine" - Jack Russell, Joan Fagan, Entire Company
2. "Is It Worth It?" - Louise Carlyle, Joan Fagan, Anita Darian
3. "Audition Song" - Morton Marshall, Gene Varrone, Ted Thurston &
Quartet: Lou Angel, Gordon Ramsay, Jack Russell, Ted Thurston
4. "Lady Borden French Ice Cream" - Anita Darian
5. "Instant Omelet Man" - Lou Angel
6. "The Star You Are" - Louise Carlyle
7. "Ice Cream Kids" - Sindee Richards, Paul O'Keefe, Jan Tansy
8. "Party Song" - Entire Company
SIDESHOWS

 

1. Marcel ("For The Birds") - Donna Sanders, Joan Fagan, Anita Darian
2. "Milk" ("Strongman") - Jackson Beck, Morton Marshall
3. "Cheese" ("Swiss Bell Ringer") - Gordon Ramsay
4. "Packaging" ("Martians") - Jackson Beck, Charlotte Rae, Morton Marshall
5. "Borden's Holiday Jamboree" - Paul O'Keefe, Jan Tansy
6. "Elmer's Marvelous Ark" - Jackson Beck
 
ORCHESTRATIONS BY: Sherman Frank, Luther Henderson, Ruth Anderson & Carlyle Hall

-1-

As the audience enters the theater area they see our stage. Foot and border lights come up on our house curtain, a design of daisies, executed in fresh yellows and white against a spring green field. The sprightly (recorded) overture begins instrumentally and its final section includes choral voices ("Doin' Fine"). On cue, when the voices begin, the house curtain parts, revealing the show curtain which is identical in design (though it may and probably should vary in color) but we are conscious of one major change. Our star, Elsie's face, is emblazoned in the center of each daisy.
 
DOIN' FINE
 
OH, ELSIE WAS A WINNER
AT THE FAIR IN THIRTY NINE,
SHE WAS ONLY A BEGINNER,
BUT SHE'S A STAR THAT'S GOT TO SHINE
AN' BORDEN SAID "YOU'RE DOIN' FINE, ELSIE ! "
BORDEN SAID, "YOU'RE DOIN' FINE ! "
 
NOW, ELSIE IS THE GREATEST,
YOUR FAVORITE AN' MINE.
HER PRODUCTS ARE THE LATEST --
SHE'S EVERYBODY'S VALENTINE.
AND BORDEN KNOWS YOU'RE DOIN' FINE, ELSIE !
BORDEN KNOWS
YOU'RE DOIN' FINE !
And now the lights fade, the show curtain parts to reveal a totally dark stage. Following a drum roll we hear (from off-stage) a pompous Charles Collingwood - Milton J. Cross unctuous television-radio announcer type voice.
 
ANNOUNCER:

 

DIRECT FROM THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR ! PASTEURIZED
PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS THE LATEST EDITION OF THEIR PROBING,
HARD-HEADED TELEVISION MAGAZINE -- PEEP !
-1-

-2-

A pompous fanfare and the music continues.

ANNOUNCER: (Continued over music)

 
THIS EXCLUSIVE EDITION PENETRATES THE GLAMOROUS, GAUDY WORLD OF ONE OF THOSE RARE CREATURES TO WHOM THE PUBLIC HAS GRANTED INTERNATIONAL FAME AND ADULATION - IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD - A STAR !
A brilliant pinspot concentrates on Elsie wearing her daisy collar. The rest of the stage remains in total darkness. It is very "Lady in the Dark" in feeling.

ANNOUNCER: (Continued over music)

 
ELSIE ! OUR ASSIGNMENT - TO FOLLOW OUR STAR THROUGH A SINGLE DAY IN HER LIFE. OUR QUESTION - WHAT KIND OF A LIFE IS IT ? IS IT ALL IT'S CHURNED UP TO BE, OR DESPITE THE FACT THAT HER NAME'S A HOUSEHOLD WORD, IS IT MERELY A GOLD-PLATED GOLDFISH BOWL ? IN SHORT, IS IT WORTH IT ?
And now the lights brighten to reveal Elsie's head framed in a magazine cover (Peep). She is surrounded by a montage of other magazine covers all of which have Elsie on their covers and one of which (Romance) features both Elsie and Elmer. Suggested magazines include Life, Look, Fortune, Time or Newsweek, Vogue or Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, Photoplay or Silver Screen and Romance. At any rate in addition to Peep, there are at least a half dozen other varied top circulation magazines. Throughout this sequence flashbulbs pop. Beginning on the Announcer's words "Is it worth it ? " off-stage voices sing . . .
 
SAY, IS IT WORTH IT ?

1ST VOICE:

OH, ELSIE, WHAT IS IT WORTH TO YOU
TO DO THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO ?
WITH YOUR CAREER AND ELMER'S TOO,
SAY IS IT WORTH IT ?

2ND VOICE:

YOU NEVER SEEM TO SLOW DOWN,
TO SLOW DOWN, TO SLOW DOWN,
SO TELL ME WHAT'S THE LOWDOWN ?
HOW DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO ?
-2-

-3-

1ST VOICE:

OH, ELSIE, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU
TO BE LA VACA, OR, DIE KUH
THE COW OF COWS, THE MIGHTY MOO ?

ALL VOICES:

SAY IS IT WORTH IT ?
SAY IS IT WORTH IT ?
Immediately following this song the general lighting fades on all the magazine covers, last of all on Elsie herself in a pinspot on the cover of Peep. We again hear the Announcer's voice off-stage.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
WORLD FIGURE ! WIFE ! MOTHER ! MERCHANT PRINCESS !
MARRIED TO ELMER, HIMSELF A RENOWN BUSINESS TYCOON -
PERFECTER OF ELMER'S GLUE-ALL, WALL-TEK AND MYSTIK TAPE ! ELSIE'S SUCCESS HAS OFTEN PROVOKED SPECULATION AS TO
WHETHER THEIR TWO DYNAMIC CAREERS CONFLICT, THREATENING THE HAPPINESS OF HER FAMILY. NOW - THE UNADULTERATED
TRUTH FROM PEEP !
And now the lights come up on Elsie in her World's Fair dressing room. It is very much a star's dressing room, complete with frilly dressing table, a frame of make-up lights, photographs of celebrities inscribed to Elsie, telegrams surrounding her dressing table mirror (the cut-out through which we see her), a portrait of Elsie, Elmer and the children, which is obviously her inspiration, and large bouquets of opening night daisies decorated with blue ribbons. As we take in this scene, the Announcer continues ...

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
ELSIE'S DAY BEGINS HERE. IN THIS VERY SAME DRESSING ROOM,
AT THE 1939 WORLD'S FAIR, SHE BEGAN HER METEORIC RISE TO
STARDOM. ONE MIGHT THINK THAT THE DEMANDING SCHEDULE OF
HER TRIUMPHANT RETURN WOULD RULE OUT ANY OTHER OBLIGATIONS - BUT ONE WOULD BE WRONG. IT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING . . .
And now on our terraced, tracked stage, the first of our animated figures, Elsie's Social Secretary, enters. She is a rather elegant, tweedy British type matron (though she may have originated in Bensonhurst) of undetermined age. She's been with Elsie for years and as a satrap assumes that Elsie's importance is inseparable from her own and her position as Social Secretary approximates being First Lady in Waiting to the Queen of England. She wears
 
-3-

-4-

glasses, carries an ornate clipboard and a small container of Borden's milk with straws. As she enters the Announcer continues . . .

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
SHALL WE PEEP ?

SECRETARY:

 
GOOD MORNING MADAME. HERE'S OUR SCHEDULE: - NINE SHARP, UNISPHERE - GREET FOUR H DELEGATION. CONFER AWARDS FOR BEST CURRIED AND CARED FOR CALVES IN THE COUNTRY. AND WHILE WERE ON THE SUBJECT, I'VE TAKEN THE LIBERTY OF PLACING YOUR DAILY CALL HOME TO TALK TO THE CHILDREN AT NINE-FIFTEEN. THIS WILL FACILITATE YOUR SUPERVISING THE DISTRIBUTION OF BORDEN'S PRODUCTS THROUGHOUT THE FAIRGROUNDS BEGINNING AT NINE-THIRTY. TEN-TWENTY-TWO - ART DEPARTMENT - SKETCHES FOR PORTRAITS ON EIGHT NEW BORDEN'S PACKAGES AND CARTONS. WHILE WE HAVE A MOMENT, HERE'S A CABLEGRAM DATED LATE EVENING, BUENOS AIRES: "DARLING STOP PROSPECTS ENCOURAGING STOP STATE DEPARTMENT CONFIDENT MY GLUE WILL HELP CEMENT INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS STOP MISS YOU TERRIBLY STOP SEE YOU SOON STOP ELMER."
Throughout the reading of Elmer's cablegram and under the Announcer's and Secretary's next lines we hear musically "The Star You Are" a questioning theme interpolated with the pompous introductory Peep musical theme.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
AND ANOTHER LONG DAY BEGINS . . .
The lights dim to conceal the Secretary's exit but a pinpoint remains on Elsie and we hear the tick of a clock (which also chimes) throughout the balance of the Secretary's recitation of Elsie's schedule for the day.

SECRETARY:

 
ELEVEN-THIRTY - PASTEURIZED PRODUCTIONS' RECORDING STUDIOS - TAPE INTERVIEW FOR THE VOICE OF AMERICA. TWELVE-TEN - LUNCHEON WITH THE AMBASSADOR OF THE NETHERLANDS REGARDING IMMINENT IMPORT TREATY FOR DUTCH CHOCOLATE. ONE-FIFTEEN - JUDGE LADY BORDEN BEAUTY CONTEST.
-4-

Elsie Judges a Beauty Pageant
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved
Beauty Pageant

-5-

Throughout the last lines of the Secretary's speech, the lights on Elsie have dimmed, our set changes and as the lights come up, we see Elsie in a flower-bedecked judge's stand. As additional lighting comes up we see a line of four or five identical bathing beauty mannequins who enter together. They are vapid, smiling animated dolls in identical bathing suits (though colors should vary to suggest their specific flavors). They have identical features and movements but their coiffures vary in color and are in a range of mad, extravagant, ridiculous styles. They wear identifying sashes proclaiming the names of exotic Lady Borden and Borden ice cream flavors - "Miss Pistachio" - "Miss Peppermint Candy" - "Miss Mint Fudge" - "Miss Plantation Peach" - "Miss Holiday Bisque" or perhaps "Miss Almond Nougat" an Oriental cookie. As they glide across the stage an oily Bert Parkish voice speaks . . .
BEAUTY CONTEST IMPRESARIO: (Off-Stage)

 

IN ORDER TO BE SCRUPULOUSLY FAIR, WE HAVE EQUIPPED EACH LOVELY MISS WITH AN EQUAL SUPPLY OF MARCELLE COSMETICS SO THAT SHE MAY BEST MEET THE CHALLENGE OF PERFECTION.
The beauty contestants move off stage, the general lighting fades, there's a pinspot on Elsie and again we hear the off-stage voice of her Social Secretary over a few bars of introductory baseball music. The lights have dimmed sufficiently to shift in (unseen) a set-piece in front of Elsie and when the lights come up again we see her in a bunting draped box at Shea Stadium. Concurrent with this we hear . . .

SECRETARY: (Off-stage)

 
TWO-FIFTEEN - IN COMMEMORATION OF THE METS' THIRD CONSECUTIVE VICTORY SINCE SWITCHING TO STARLAC, YOU THROW OUT THE FIRST BALL AT SHEA STADIUM. THEY HAVE GIVEN US A WRITTEN GUARANTEE THAT SOMEBODY ON THE TEAM WILL CATCH IT.
And on the word "Mets" in the above speech, nine identical baseball players facing upstage enter from stage left. On the backs of their uniforms in place of numerals we see, reading from left to right on the 1st player the letter B, the second, O, the third, R, the fourth, D, the fifth, E, the sixth, N, the seventh, ', the eighth, S, and the ninth, !. Thus the team spells out B_O_R_D_E_N_'_S_! Each wears an appropriate three dimensional mitt; pitcher's, catcher's, first baseman's, fielder's, etc. They raise their gloved hands to salute Elsie, we might hear their voices in a brief cheer, they move off as the baseball music builds and the scene fades. In the darkness we once again hear the Secretary's voice over appropriate naval music.

SECRETARY: (Off -stage)

 
THREE - NAVY YARD TO LAUNCH CRUISER.
As the lights come up we see Elsie and her Secretary at a Navy Yard launching platform decorated with crossed anchors. There are nautical flags and pennants and other appropriate Navy motifs. In front of Elsie on the balustrade of the platform we see an extravagant bouquet of daisies with elaborate red, white and blue ribbon streamers (a gift from the Secretary of the Navy). Her
 
-5-

-6-

Secretary has a single ribbon-bedecked daisy, courtesy of the same official. As the lighting brightens, the Secretary speaks . . .

SECRETARY:

 
THIS MIGHT BE A BIT STICKY. WE'VE GOT FOUR ADMIRALS COMING AND EACH ONE WANTS TO USE A DIFFERENT BORDEN'S PRODUCT TO LAUNCH THE SHIP.
Four identical Admirals enter resplendent in cocked hats, plumes, epaulettes, aiguilettes, blue and gold full dress uniforms, decorations, dress swords, etc. Their platforms are small toy-like battle-ships and each carries in his own down-stage hand a three dimensional carton of a Borden milk product decorated with red, white and blue streamers. They are squabbling.

1ST ADMIRAL:

 
FORTIFIED SKIM !

2ND ADMIRAL:

 
BUTTERMILK !

3RD ADMIRAL:

 
EGGNOG !

4TH ADMIRAL:

 
HOMOGENIZED !

SECRETARY:

 
GENTLEMEN, GENTLEMEN ! IT IS ELSIE'S POSITION THAT EACH BORDEN PRODUCT CONTRIBUTES AS MUCH TO AMERICA'S STRENGTH AS THE U.S. NAVY. WE SUGGEST YOU USE THEM ALL !
The Admirals salute Elsie with their swords, whistles blow, flashbulbs pop, there is a salvo of cannons and as cymbals clash, the bow of the dreadnought backs away from the launching platform to simulate the ship's sliding down the way. As the red, white and blue bunting which decorates her bow parts, we see her proud name, the U.S.S. Elsie. All lighting fades, the scene is over and in the darkness we again hear the Announcer off-stage.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
BUT LIFE FOR A STAR IS NOT ALL EGGNOG AND FLASHBULBS - ELSIE HAS TREMENDOUS BUSINESS RESPONSIBILITIES !

SECRETARY: (Off -stage)

 
FOUR - BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING.
Lights come up and we are in Elsie's Board Room. Elsie is up-stage center flanked by two Administrative Aids. These two animated figures work in unison and always make identical "yes-man" gestures signifying their approval of Elsie's every thought. There's no doubt who's Bossy. As the Administrative Aids alternate in introducing the Board Members, they gesture only when they speak unless otherwise indicated. Extending from up-stage to down-stage in widening perspective we see eight animated figures representing Borden's affiliates and Elsie's Board. They are:
 
-6-

-7-

  1. Captain Snow, a salty, jovial Main fishing captain in appropriate nautical attire.
  2. Comstock, an affluent, florid gold and silver prospector who struck it rich. A Diamond Jim Brady type, ornate vest, gold watch chain, nugget fobs and cufflinks, elk's tooth, diamond horseshoe stickpin, etc.
  3. Brandywine, a rotund American Revolutionary major in dress uniform. His epaulettes, decorations, buttons and cockade on his colonial tricorn all may resemble mushrooms.
  4. Ducky Drake, a dapper, meticulous drake. The second best known duck in America, a stylization of Drake's established symbol.
  5. Greenwood, a sporty Harvard (beets) type wearing a Harvard crimson turtle-neck sweater emblazoned with a large G. Perhaps he sports a JFK type coiffure.
  6. Wyler's, a patriotic all-American red, white and blue astronaut complete with space helmet and suit. The design of his helmet includes a steaming soup bowl (the Wyler's logo) and this same logo is emblazoned on the chest of his space suit.
  7. ReaLemon, a sporty California type, a lemon shaped gentleman, attired in a natty lemon yellow suit, lime green vest, etc. Perhaps he wears lime green spats and lemon yellow buck shoes.
  8. Aunt Jane, the only lady on the Board save Elsie. A somewhat prissy, middle aged pure American gothic type, a Hetty (pickle) Green character. She wears pince-nez glasses.
All these characters wear large beribboned badges, buttons or other devices which clearly identify their specific companies. They are synchronized and their movements are identical. Simultaneous with the illumination of this episode we hear the Announcer's voice off-stage.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
LIKE MANY ANOTHER PERSONALITY, ELSIE HAS A GREAT SENSITIVITY FOR TALENT IN OTHERS. IN HER TIRELESS CRUSADE TO MAINTAIN HER CREDO, "IF IT'S BORDEN'S ITS GOT TO BE GOOD" SHE HAS CREATED A GALLERY OF ALL-STAR FOOD PRODUCTS. TODAY THESE ELITE, THE CHOSEN LEADERS IN THIS FIRMAMENT OF FINE FOODS, SIT ON ELSIE'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS. WHO ARE THEY?
Elsie's Administrative Aids alternately call the role and as each Board Member is introduced a spotlight concentrates on them as they raise their hands to signify their presence. The Announcer (off-stage voice) in a confidential aside, gives us the lowdown on each Member.
 
-7-

Comstock and Wyler's
 
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Comstock and Wyler's

-8-

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
CAPTAIN SNOW.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
AN OLD SALT FROM NEW ENGLAND. COMMODORE IN CHARGE OF CLAM AND CORN CHOWDERS AND DE LUXE MINCED CLAMS.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
COMSTOCK.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
A BORDEN'S BONANZA. THE COMSTOCK LODE - PIE SLICED APPLES, CHERRY PIE FILLING AND RICE PUDDING

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
WYLER'S.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
A YOUNG MAN ON HIS WAY UP. HIS MISSION - TO EXPAND THE UNIVERSE OF SPACE AGE INSTANT FOODS - CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP MIX, BOUILLON CUBES, LEMON DRINK MIX - IN ORBIT FROM CARARSIE TO CAPE KENNEDY.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
DRAKE'S.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
DUCKY DRAKE; SECOND MOST IMPORTANT DUCK IN AMERICA. VICE PRESIDENT IN CHARGE OF RING DINGS, DEVIL DOGS, YODELS, FUNNY BONES, YANKEE DOODLES AND A HOST OF OTHER PASTRY DELIGHTS.

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
GREENWOOD'S.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
SCARCELY OUT OF COLLEGE BEFORE HE MADE A NAME FOR HIMSELF - HARVARD BEETS, SLICED PICKLED BEETS AND SWEET SOUR CABBAGE.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
REALEMON.
 
-8-

Aunt Jane and Drakes
 
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Aunt Jane and Drakes

-9-

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
BORDEN'S BON VIVANT, IN GREAT DEMAND AT EVERY PARTY, BUT EVEN THOUGH HE'S A GREAT MIXER, HE'S ALWAYS GOT THE TIME TO POP INTO THE KITCHEN AND ADD THAT TANGY REALEMON TOUCH.

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
BRANDYWINE.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
YANKEE INGENUITY APPLIED TO THE PRODUCTION OF THE MUSHROOM - CHEF CUT, FANCY BUTTON AND A LA BRANDYWINE, ANY WAY YOU SLICE THEM, THEY'RE DELICIOUS.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
AUNT JANE.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage aside)

 
THE PRACTICAL WOMEN'S TOUCH, SHE KNOWS THAT WITHOUT DILL MEALS CAN BE DULL - HENCE ICEBERG DILLS, KURED POLISH DILLS AND CANDIED SWEET DILL STRIPS.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BOARD MEETING OF THE YEAR FOR TWO REASONS - FIRST, ELSIE HAS SOME MOMENTOUS ANNOUNCEMENTS TO MAKE.

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID: (after conferring with Elsie)

 
WE HAVE CONCLUDED NEGOTIATIONS WITH BRAZIL INSURING A BOUNTIFUL SUPPLY OF BORDEN'S INSTANT COFFEE FOR YEARS TO COME. FURTHER, ELSIE HAS FINALIZED ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE DUTCH AMBASSADOR REGARDING IMPORTATION OF THE FINEST CHOCOLATE FROM THE NETHERLANDS. THEREFORE ELSIE SUGGESTS
 
-9-

-10-

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID: (Continued)

 
THAT WE ADD TO OUR GOLDEN VANILLA AND STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM, A NEW AND INIMITABLE FLAVOR, DUTCH CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM. ALL IN FLAVOR ?

BOARD OF DIRECTORS: (Raising their hands in affirmation)

 
AYE !

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
THE SECOND REASON FOR THIS CRUCIAL CONFERENCE . . . ELSIE'S ANNUAL AUDITIONS. FROM JUST SUCH GRUELING TRYOUTS BORDEN'S LIFELINE AND CHEESES - NEUFCHATEL AS WELL AS COTTAGE, SKYROCKETED TO TAKE THEIR PLACES IN ELSIE'S RENOWNED REPERTORY OF QUALITY.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

 
ELSIE WILL SEE YOU NOW.
The Audition Songs which follow, involve three animated figures, each of which makes an entrance following an appropriate musical fanfare. Fanfare in G - then . . .
AUDITION SONG

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

THERE'S NO PERMISSION
TO AUDITION HERE, UNLESS
ELSIE SAYS, "YES,"
APPROVING -
IN THAT CASE - GET MOVING !
1st Administrative Aide in Elsie's ear or leans toward her.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

ELSIE WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AND LISTEN TO THREE
INVENTORS, AND SHE
WILL WELCOME ANY FIRST RATE ITEM,
AD INFINITUM.
Instrumental: Waltz introduction to: Chocolate-Covered Onion in C.
 
-10-

-11-

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

FIRST INVENTOR,
FRONT AND CENTER !
The 1st inventor enters from stage right. He's a diminutive, bespectacled, professorial eccentric, inconsistently attired in Paul Bunyan lumber man's garb complete with coon-skin cap (with a squirrel perched on top. The squirrel is looking for a nut and obviously found one) and jack boots. Over one shoulder he carries a pole from which is suspended a fringed, buckskin net bag filled with chocolate covered onions. Perhaps he carries a single, large chocolate covered onion in his other hand. He sings in plaintive, lyric fashion.

1ST INVENTOR:

TRY MY CHOC'LATE-COVERED ONION
INSPIRED BY PAUL BUNYAN
MY CHOC'LATE-COVERED ONION
IS BETTER THAN FRIED GRUNYON.

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

ELSIE SAYS "GO!"
CHOCOLATE, YES, BUT ONION, NO !

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

OH, SHOW HIM OUT ! MAKE IT STICK !
HIS WHOLE IDEA
IS MERELY SICKENING.
1st Inventor exits stage left. Russian musical introduction as 2nd Inventor enters stage right. He's a bearded Cossack wearing a tall rhubarb-colored fur shako with rhubarb stalk plume, a full sleeved rhubarb-colored Cossack tunic with stalks of rhubarb in his chest cartouche bandoleers, full trousers, perhaps in rhubarb leaf yellow-green and gleaming ruby rhubarb-colored Cossack boots. Throughout his song he does a Russian kazotski. Simultaneous with his introduction . . .

1ST ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

GENIUS NUMBER TWO !
MAYBE HE HAS SOMETHING NEW !

2ND INVENTOR:

SEE ME VAULT ! SEE ME VAULT !
OH, YOU'LL NEVER SEE ME FALTER
WHEN I'VE HAD MY RHU-
BARB JUICE AND GLUE.
 
-11-

-12-

2ND INVENTOR: (Continued)

I JUMP HIGHER,
I DON'T TIRE,
SINCE MY WILD IDEA TOOK FIRE,
AND A DASH OF GLUE
MADE THE RHU-
BARB JUICE MY BREW !
RHUBARB AND GLUE !
RHUBARB AND GLUE !
THE ONLY BREW FOR YOU ! HI !

2ND ADMINISTRATIVE AID:

ELSIE SAYS WITH REGRET,
IT'S NOT HER CUP OF GLUE. NYET !

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

AH, SHOW HIM OUT ! MAKE IT FAST !
HIS WHOLE APPROACH IS ONLY
GHASTLY !
The final and at last, only triumphant audition will be the introduction of Borden's chosen new product for the Fair. Initially this will in all probability be Lady Borden French Ice Cream for the first three months followed by Instant Omelette for the second three months or some other schedule to be determined. At any rate only one will play at a time though both will be recorded at the same recording session and both lyrics are here-with included. Both will be introduced by the lines below and simultaneous with their musical introduction . . .
 
NEW PRODUCT No. 1 This song is presented by a French chanteuse who in contrast to the two crazy inventors (Chocolate Covered Onion and Rhubarb & Glue), clearly scores a success and captivates Elsie's Board as well as the audience. She is indeed a glamorous figure.
 
-12-

-13-

LADY BORDEN FRENCH ICE CREAM

CHANTEUSE:

A LADY BORDEN LUXURY I OFFER YOU,
I PROFFER YOU
HER FRENCH ICE CREAM - (SHE ASKED ME TO !)
AND EV'RYTHING I SAY OF LADY BORDEN'S TRUE,
SO, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR,
TRY ZAT HIGHER FLAVOR !
YOU'LL SAY "OUI !"
"VANILLA CHO-CO-LATE, VANILLA STRAWBERRY,"
"ZAT'S FOR ME !"
"FRENCH VANILLA AND PARFAIT ARE BOTH UNIQUE !"
"MAGNIFIQUE !"
ZAT LADY BORDEN FRENCH ICE CREAM,
WE'VE ALL CONFESSED,
EET EES ZE BEST !
S'IL VOUS PLAIT, EET'S, HOW YOU SAY ?
HEAD AND NECK ABOVE ZE REST !
NEW PRODUCT No. 2 This song is presented by an egg-headed cowboy type executed in yellow and white. His yellow chaps are made of chicken feathers. On cue his upstage arm draws a frying pan with omelette instead of the traditional Colt or Remington. He is obviously a sharp character and Elsie's Board of Directors are impressed not only by the merit of his product but also his speed in serving same. Vocally he's a Western tenor type. The music is, of course, Western in character.
BORDEN'S INSTANT OMELETTE MAN

OMELET COWBOY:

I'M A QUICKER DRAW
AN' A SLICKER DRAW
THAN ANY GUY YOU EVER SAW !
DON' NEED NO GUN
 
-13-

-14-

OMELET COWBOY: (Continued)

JUST A FRYIN' PAN,
'CAUSE I'M THE INSTANT OMELET MAN !
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH ! BORDEN'S INSTANT OMELET MAN !
FOUR FLAVORS, ALL OF 'EM GREAT !
OUT OF THE PACK; TO THE PAN, TO YOUR PLATE !
CHEESE, WESTERN, MUSHROOM AN' HAM -
ABRACADABRA !
ZIM, ZAM !
WHEN YOU SEE EV'RY POP AN' MOM LET
THEIR KIDS MAKE INSTANT OMELET,
REACH
FOR YOUR FRYIN' PAN,
AN' REMEMBER THE INSTANT OMELET MAN !
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH ! BORDEN'S INSTANT OMELET MAN !

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
AND SO ANOTHER FEATURE PLAYER IS DISCOVERED. WILL THEY BECOME A STAR ? ONLY TIME - AND YOU WILL TELL !
Fast blackout and the scene ends. And now we hear the musical introduction of Elsie questioning, "The Star You Are" theme which continues under the Announcer's next two speeches.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
LONELINESS IS PART OF A STAR'S WORLD - SOMETIMES A MAJOR PART . . . THE HOTEL ROOMS . . . THE DESERTED STREETS LATE AT NIGHT . . .
As the lights begin to come up during the above lines we see Elsie in perhaps the longest limousine in the world. Its radiator cap is a daisy, its doors emblazoned with Elsie's escutcheon and an ornate E. Her Social Secretary is in the front seat (downstage) next to the liveried chauffeur. The
 
-14-

-15-

background is a deserted street, the time, about 2:00 A.M. and Elsie is returning to her hotel from her backbreaking day.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
AT THESE WEARY MOMENTS DOES ELSIE ASK HERSELF OUR QUESTION: IS IT WORTH IT ?
And now we hear lyrically, from off-stage, her haunting, questioning song, "The Star You Are."
THE STAR YOU ARE

1ST VOICE:

ELSIE,
YOU'RE IN CLOVER -
BUT, SUPPOSE
YOU CHOSE ALL OVER,
ELSIE,
TRUTHFULLY,
WOULD YOU BE THE STAR
YOU ARE ?
OH, ELSIE,
WHAT YOU CHOSE IS,
HEAVEN KNOWS,
NO BED OF ROSES.
ELSIE,
TRUTHFULLY,
WOULD YOU STILL
GO THROUGH THE MILL
TO BE THE STAR
YOU
ARE ?
-15-

-16-

And on the lyrics, "Would You Be The Star You Are ?" - three small children enter from what ever side the front of the limousine faces. Two little girls and one little boy. Their backs are to the audience, they are facing upstage and are, at first, seen in silhouette.

SECRETARY:

 
NOW CHILDREN: FIRST OF ALL IT'S MUCH TOO LATE FOR YOU TO BE OUT - AND SECOND: ELSIE ONLY GIVES AUTOGRAPHS BETWEEN HER FIRST AND SECOND SHOWS AT THE FAIR.
Throughout the Secretary's lines, the lights begin to brighten and we see that each child carries a banner (which they raise on cues) in appropriate colors, proclaiming their specific allegiance. 1st Little Girl: Borden's Golden Vanilla Ice Cream Fan Club; Little Boy: Borden's Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream Fan Club; 2nd Little Girl: Borden's Strawberries an' Cream Ice Cream Fan Club. The banners are, of course, in colors inspired by their favorite flavors. As it is past their bedtime and they are AWOL from their nursery's in hope of seeing their favorite star, Elsie, they are dressed in Dr. Denton pajamas in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry colors - very Winkin, Blinkin and Nod.

1st LITTLE GIRL: (Vanilla)

 
BUT WE'RE NOT AFTER AUTOGRAPHS . . .

LITTLE BOY: (Chocolate)

 
WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR SUCH A LONG TIME . . .

2nd LITTLE GIRL: (Strawberry)

 
ALL WE WANTED WAS TO THANK YOU . . . OFFICIALLY.

SECRETARY:

 
OFFICIALLY?

1st LITTLE GIRL: (Vanilla)

 
YES, IN OUR CAPACITIES AS CHAIRMEN AND WOMEN OF THE THREE NATIONAL BRANCHES OF THE BORDEN'S ICE CREAM FAN CLUBS.
And throughout the last speech we begin to hear the musical introduction of the Ice Cream Kids Song, a sort of madrigal, sung in parts.
ICE CREAM KIDS SONG

1st LITTLE GIRL:

GOLDEN VANILLA !

LITTLE BOY:

DUTCH CHOCOLATE !

2nd LITTLE GIRL:

STRAWBERRIES AN' CREAM !
 
-16-

-17-

1st LITTLE GIRL:

GOLDEN VANILLA ! GOLDEN VANILLA !
OUR SUPPLY WILL NEVER RUN OUT.
DADDY TOLD ME, WHEN IN DOUBT,
GOLDEN VANILLA
IS SOMETHING TO SHOUT
ABOUT.

LITTLE BOY:

DUTCH CHOCOLATE ! DUTCH CHOCOLATE !

ALL THREE KIDS:

OUR SUPPLY WILL NEVER RUN OUT.
DADDY TOLD ME, WHEN IN DOUBT,

LITTLE BOY:

DUTCH CHOCOLATE

ALL THREE KIDS:

IS SOMETHING TO SHOUT
ABOUT.

2nd LITTLE GIRL:

STRAWBERRIES AN' CREAM, OH,

ALL THREE KIDS:

OUR SUPPLY WILL NEVER RUN OUT.
DADDY TOLD ME, WHEN IN DOUBT,

1st LITTLE GIRL:

GOLDEN VANILLA,

LITTLE BOY:

DUTCH CHOCOLATE,

2nd LITTLE GIRL:

STRAWBERRIES AN' CREAM,

ALL THREE KIDS:

ARE SOMETHING TO SHOUT
ABOUT !
 

1st LITTLE GIRL:

MISS ELSIE, WE KNOW YOU'RE AWFUL TIRED, BUT WE COULDN'T GO TO SLEEP WITHOUT SHOWING YOU HOW MUCH ALL OF US LOVE YOU . . .
 
-17-

-18-

LITTLE BOY:

AND WE KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ALL OF US - SO WON'T YOU PLEASE FOLLOW US JUST A LITTLE WAY UP THE STREET . . .

2nd LITTLE GIRL:

PLEASE . . .
The lights dim half-way down. The children, again in silhouette, exit on the same side from which they entered. The Austrian shade in the limousine lowers and in the half light it travels off-stage following the kids. The lights dim further down and in the darkness we hear the musical introduction to our Party Song. And now the lights brighten on our party set, a surprise party given by the kids for Elsie. Other guests include the four Ice Cream Beauty Contestants and the four Admirals from the previous scenes. It is a gala and colorful interior. There is a daisy chandelier which illuminates. Also potted daisies in elaborate urns and festooned banners proclaiming 4 legends: 1. America Loves Elsie. 2. Canada Loves Elsie. 3. Latino America Quiere Elsie. 4. The World's Fair Loves Elsie. As the general lighting brightens and the daisy chandelier illuminates, we hear all of our vocalists (off-stage) in The Party Song.
THE PARTY SONG

VOCALISTS:

GET GOIN !
WE'RE THROWIN'
A PARTY FOR ELSIE -
BORDEN'S ELSIE,
WE'RE SEEIN' HER FAIR FACE
EV'RY PLACE !
- THERE'S NEVER BEEN
A WINNER LIKE BORDEN'S ELSIE !
A BASIC BELLE
IS ELSIE - WE BOAST,
SHE'S THE MOST !
SHE'S COOL, SHE'S TRANQUIL !
WE TRUST HER - ANY BANK WILL !
THE PACE MAY QUICKEN,
BUT SHE'LL NEVER CHICKEN !
BET ALL YOUR WORTH,
NOBODY ON EARTH
-18-

Ice Cream Kids at Elsie's Party
Ice Cream Kid
SOURCE: Photos presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Ice Cream Kid Ice Cream Kid

-19-

VOCALISTS: (Continued)

BEATS ELSIE !
WHAT A PARTY WE ARE ABOUT TO TOSS
FOR BORDEN'S BONNY BOSS !
On the lyric, "A Party For Elsie" colored pinspots concentrate and revolve on our star, now wearing her most luxurious daisy collar. On the lyric "We're Seein' Her Fair Face" the Three Ice Cream Kids re-enter (opposite side from which they previously exited). They are a new trio of animated figures, this time facing downstage and we see their beaming faces. They still wear their ice cream colored Dr. Dentons but now each has a fancy party hat inspired by ice cream sundaes in their specific favorite flavors. On the lyrics "A Winner Like Borden's Elsie !" the four Ice Cream Beauty Contestants raise their pennants and the four Admirals raise their swords to salute our heroine. On the lyrics "What A Party We Are About To Toss" two epergne set-pieces revolve or track in, stacked high in pyramids of every existing Borden's product or certainly as many as we can physically accommodate. (actual cartons, cans, packages, jars, etc.) . The music builds, lights concentrate on the jeweled trimmed portal curtains, additional brilliant lighting focuses on our divine Elsie and to a slightly lesser degree, on the two epergnes of Borden's products. Now the lighting dims except for a spot or two on Elsie (the same lighting as when she was first discovered on the Peep Magazine Cover near the opening of the show. Simultaneously we hear for the final time, our Announcer off-stage.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
A SURPRISE PARTY - GIVEN BY THE PEOPLE SHE'S MADE HAPPY - WITH THE PRODUCTS SHE'S MADE FAMOUS. IS IT WORTH IT ? DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS ! IF IT'S BORDEN'S ITS GOT TO BE GOOD ! GOOD PEEPING, - GOODBYE - AND GOOD LUCK !
There is a final coda of The Party Song musical theme. Blackout and fast curtain. We see once again the house curtain with Elsie's face emblazoned in the center of each daisy as we hear a fast reprise of "Doin' Fine." The show is over and we are in a position to repeat this divine bovine whimsy to the udder delight of Fair visitors as soon as a new audience has filled our grandstand.
 
-19-

More Content