BEST FOOT FORWARD is the quintessential high school comedy: On a lark, Bud Hooper asks his idol, a Hollywood actress, to come to Philadelphia to be his partner at a school dance, and she accepts — for publicity reasons. The celebrity’s arrival at Winsocki Military Academy causes much excitement, and Bud abandons his girlfriend Helen Schlessinger to accompany the star to the ball. Out of jealousy, Helen damages the actress’s sash during the dance, and when other students see a chance to get a celebrity souvenir, chaos ensues. The school regards the incident as a scandal, and Bud is now in danger of being expelled before all problems are resolved for a happy ending.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
Just for fun, prep school student Bud Hooper writes a fan letter asking his idol, Hollywood actress Gale Joy, to come to Philadelphia to be his partner at the junior prom. His school is Winsocki Military Academy. Jack Haggerty, the actress’ manager in Hollywood, sees an opportunity for publicity and advises Gale to accept Bud’s invitation. The appearance of the famous star at Winsocki is greeted with excitement, and Bud abandons his own girl Helen Schlessinger to accompany Gale to the ball. Out of jealousy, Helen tears Gale’s sash while she is dancing, which causes a riot. Others begin to tear off pieces of Gale’s clothes as well, but only to gain souvenirs from the famous star.
The boys hide Gale in their dormitory, where farcical comings and goings ensue. The school regards the incident as a scandal, and Bud is now in danger of being expelled. Gale and Jack try to avoid furore and go back to Hollywood. After Bud and Helen settle their arguments and any other problems are solved, everything at Winsocki goes back to normal.
Book by John Cecil Holm
Music and Lyrics by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane.
2 Violin A
1 Violin B
1 Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & Baritone Saxophone
1 Reed III: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed IV: Flute, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed V: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Trumpet I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Trombone III
Snare Drums (2 sizes)
Tom Tom (2 sizes)
Cymbals (2 suspended)
Door Slam Effect
Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book
22 Dialogue Parts
40 Chorus-Vocal Parts
(in the order in which they speak)
BEST FOOT FORWARD opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, October 1, 1941, and played for 326 performances starring Maureen Stratton, Rosemary Lane and Gil Stanton, Jr. It was revived off-Broadway in 1963 at Stage 73 Theatre starring Liza Minnelli and Christopher Walken.
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