When I discovered that one of the numbers on the JOHN MURRAY ANDERSON'S ALMANAC CD was attributed to NEW FACES OF 1952, I went searching on Internet for details of this show.  I was able to track down a video of it, and also discovered copies of the records, playbills and programs of this and other NEW FACES revues up for auction on eBay.  I was outbid on eBay for all of these but either the sellers or buyers were kind enough to Xerox some of this material for me, so my knowledge of these revues and the way they interact with other revues has greatly expanded.

The NEW FACES revues were all produced by Leonard Sillman (except the 1962 edition).  Sillman was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 9, 1908.  He made his theatrical debut as a singer/dancer with Lew Fields in 1924; and made his New York debut at the Palace Theater in 1926 with Imogene Coca in a vaudeville act called Sillman and Coca.  Later he partnered with a Gershwin sister, Frances.  He progressed to Broadway where he became known as the youngest leading juvenile in the theatre.  He took over Fred Astaire's role  of Dick Trevor in the Gershwin musical LADY BE GOOD (1926) and toured in John Murray Anderson's GREENWICH VILLAGE FOLLIES (1927).  He was featured in MERRY-GO-ROUND (1927) and in Arthur Hammerstein's POLLY WITH A PAST (1928).

While appearing in a cross-country tour of a vaudeville extravaganza, he decided to settle in Hollywood where he opened up a dance studio, coaching and directing such stars as Laura LaPlante and Ruby Keeler.    His first revue as producer was THE 11:15 REVUE (1930) starring his sister June and Charlie Chaplin's first wife, Mildred.  He appeared in a 1932 revue, HULLABALOO, where he was spotted and signed by agent Irving Kahn.  Sillman subsequently appeared in  three 1933 films, GOLDIE GETS ALONG, WHISTLING IN THE DARK and BOMBSHELL.

He produced, directed, wrote and appeared in a musical revue at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, LOW AND BEHOLD (1933) with a cast of 27, including Eve Arden, Tyrone Power, Jr. (then working as Sillman's chauffeur), Kay Thompson and Betzi Beaton.  Arden and Power performed a number called  REVOLT OF THE STATUES which consisted of the statues of Psyche and Cupid coming to life in the park and complaining to one another about the people scratching matches on them and the dreadful things the birds had done to them over the years, and what a bore it was for Cupid to hold Psyche in that Godawful position for such a long time.

In his autobiography, Sillman writes of another number called TRAFFIC BLOCKED which does not appear on the copy of the program I was able to track down  It consisted of Sillman in silk hat and tails sitting in the middle of a staircase.  On the bottom step sat the lovely ballerina, Peggy Lou Neary, and on the top step sat Marguerite Namara in a low-cut evening gown.  Both ladies were crying their hearts out for love of Sillman because the bottom one was too young for his taste and top one too old.

Kay Thompson and several other girls in the cast participated in a running gag.  They would come out, wheeling a small portable bar; they'd take a drink and then reprise a song from the show.  They kept this up all through the evening, getting drunker and drunker.  By their last appearance, they were so sozzled they couldn't stand up.

Sillman also did a number of songs he characterized as "tragic song and dance and dramatic tap."  One was called I'M THE MAN YOU'VE GOT TO SEE ABOUT A DOG in which he impersonated Clifton Webb.  Another was AFRICANA which gave the whole history of a safari in one tap dance.  Another, written by Jeanie MacPherson, was called HARLEQUINADE, in which Sillman as Harlequin snaps the strings that bind him and makes a daring escape.  Drunk with his new-found freedom, he whirls and leaps in sheer joy but the dance ends with Sillman falling on his prat.

The Professor
ProfessorBilly Griffith

Stage ManagerBill Burns
Things They Told Us Not to Do In PasadenaLyric by Jun Sillman; music by Warburton GuilbertDancersLois Ingraham, Bill Gryder, LaVerne Pickering, Zeke Haddon, Peggy Neary, Charles Walter, June Shafer, Jack Thomas
The Professor and His Guides

Billy Griffith, Eunice Quedens, Virginia Hart
Raven Locks
Billy GriffithHeJohn Kent

SheLois Ingraham
The DanceTom RileyDancersTyrone Power, Jr., Dorothy Dee

A BoyDon Honrath
Man About A DogLarry ScheinbergSung byLeonard Sillman
Rhyme or ReasonJohn Rox &  Hugh Berner
Peggy Neary, Charles Walter

DancersJune Shafer, Jack Thomas, Dorothy Dee, Bill Gryder, Lois Ingraham, Zeke Haddon, Tyrone Power, Jr., LaVerne Pickering, Jimmy Tracy
Spring NightLyric & music by Robert BardSung byJune Sillman
Earl Haddon
Dance Specialty
Blessed EventEddie LambertMotherLarri Armstrong

NurseDorothy Dee

ManTyrone Power, Jr.

ManTeddy Hart
Wicked, Unwholesome, ExpensiveJohn RoxSung byEunice Quedens, June Sillman, Virginia HOward, John Kent, Tyrone Power, Jr., Jack Thomas
Service With a SmileLyric by June Sillman; music by Warburton Guilbert
Paal, Leif Rocky
The Rise and Fall of the American CorsetBilly Griffith
Billy Griffith
So LowLyric by June Sillman music by Don HonrathSingersJune Shafer, Dorothy Dee, Zeke Haddon

DancersPeggy Neary, Charles Walter, Jack Thomas
I See Him Over There

Betzi Beaton, James Shelton, Annette Evans

To Like You is to Love YouGeorge Grandee & J.K. BrennanSingersJohn Kent, Eunice Quedens

DancersPeggy Neary, Charles Walter, Lois Ingraham, Jack Thomas
They Knew What They WantedBilly GriffithMrs. JonesHelen Warford

Mr. JonesTeddy Hart

Russian PeasantBill Burns

Emperor JonesLyric by June Sillman; music by George Grandee & Don HonrathSung byLeonard Sillman
Poppy DayEddie WelchVenderHelen Warford
Smoky RhythmGeorge HickmanSung byJune Sillman, June Shafer

DancersLois Ingraham, Zeke Haddon, Peggy Neary, Charles Walter, June Shafer, Jack Thomas, Bill Gryder, LaVerne Pickering, Tyrone Power, Jr.


Park Sequence
Revolt of the Statues
Mindret Lord & June SillmanWhite WingTeddy Hart

PsycheEunice Quedens

CupidTyrone Power, Jr.

PoliticiansBill Burns, Don Honrath
Balloon SequenceEddie Welch

Music in My HeartLyric by June Sillman; music by Warburton GuilbertFlower VendorNamara

Strollers in the ParkMembers of Cast
Modern HumoresqueLyrics by Paul Gerard Smith; music by Warburton GuilbertSung byHelen Warford

ChildrenLaVerne Pickering, Bill Gryder

ServantsCharles Walter, June Shafer, Eunice Quedens, Jack Thomas
Danced byLeonard Sillman

Introduced byPeggy Neary, Charles Walter
Peggy Neary, Charles WalterLyric by Jack Brennan; music by George Grandee

I've Been PropositionedBetzi Beaton
Betzi Beaton

Assisted byLeif Rocky
Great American DramaBilly GriffithProfessorBilly Griffith

StudentsTeddy Hart, Tyrone Power, Jr.

June Shafer, Eunice Quedens, Dorothy Dee, John Kent
The WaltzMusic by Warburton GuilbertDanced byPeggy Neary, Paal, Leif Rocky

Helen Warford
Eight Hours a DayLyrics by June Sillman; music by Warburton GuilbertManicuristJune Sillman

CustomerBill Burns
A Modern MadrigalLyric by June Sillman; music by Warburton GuilbertSung byNamara

Her TroubadorsJune Shafer, Dorothy Dee, John Kent, Don Honrath

Introduced byJack Thomas
HarlequinadeJeanie Macpherson; music by Don HonrathHarlequinLeonard Sillman

ColumbinePeggy Neary

PuppeteersFrederick Peters, George Burton

NurseHelen Warford

ChildrenLaVerne Pickering, Bill Gryder

Trash ManBill Burns
Something Again

Position in LifeMindret LordMrs HuntingtonEunice Quedens

Mr. RichmondJack Thomas

Mr. HuntingtonJohn Kent
Burns and Shafer
Introduced byBilly Griffith

DancerJune Shafer

IdolBill Burns
The Dollys and Their Collies
The Dolly SistersPaal, Leif Rocky

SingersJohn Kent, Bill Burns, Tyrone Power, Jr., Jack Thomas, Dick French, Don Honrath
The Professor and His Guide

Billy Griffith, Eunice Quedens

Entire Cast

The show consisted of three times the amount of a regular revue.  The curtain rose at 8:30 and didn't come down until 2 a.m.  Despite this, it got good reviews and Lee Shubert offered to bring it to New York.  However, once in New York, Shubert was not able to fit it into his schedule, so Sillman and the unknown cast he hired for the East Coast edition invented the backers audition and raised money that way.  In the process, material was added and deleted, the running time trimmed, and the show was renamed NEW FACES (suggested by the financier Otto Kahn, who did not back it).

The NEW FACES revues included:

I'm grateful to Adam Rubin who let me hear the original cast recording for the 1968 version which, in addition to the NEW FACES song included Definitions by Random House m By the C, Where's the Waltz?, The New Waltz, The Girl in the Mirror, Luncheon Ballad, Love Songs, Something Big, Love in a New Tempo, Hungry , Where is Me?, Tango, Hullabaloo at Thebes, Prisms, You're the 1 I'm 4, #X9RL220, Philosophy, Das Chicago Song, You R and Die Zusammenfugung.

In addition to the NEW FACES revues, Sillman also produced (and sometimes appeared in) revues called

Sillman copresented with Bryant Haliday MASK AND GOWN which ran on Broadway from September 10, 1957 to October 12, 1957 which showcased the female impersonator T.C. Jones.  This revue, although it ran to only 39 performances, has been preserved on CD.

Sillman devised an entertainment for the local Armed Forces in the early days of World War II, which was so successful it led to the creation of the USO.  Information about the career of Leonard Sillman is mainly from his 1959 autobiography HERE LIES LEONARD SILLMAN (which is often vague about dates).  He died in 1982.

Click here to return to the JOHN MURRAY ANDERSON'S ALMANAC webpage

Click here to visit my homepage

Or e-mail me at

internet tracking stats