~ Arts and Culture / ~ In the Old Days

★ Days Out and Dolls of Paris

NY World's Fair by Anthony Conti (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

★ Hi everyone! After a fun, frantic but generally fabulous two week break, I’m back! I’m so happy to get back to posting, as I have some stuff I can’t wait to share with you, including one particularly vintage-tastic day out! For now though, here’s a fun photo I came across of the New York World’s Fair, which opened for its second season on this day in 1965.

It features the marquee for Les Poupées de Paris (The Dolls of Paris), an adults-only musical puppet show featuring likenesses of some of the era’s biggest stars, including Jayne Mansfield, Cyd Charisse, Liberace and even a topless Mae West! Created by Canadian puppeteer brothers, Sid and Marty Krofft, the show was known for its risque humour and lavish visuals; the production cost $200,000 and featured elaborate sets that included a revolving theatre, elevators, an ice-skating rink and waterfall.

Poupees de Paris Marty Krofft 1962

Although a key attraction at the the New York World’s Fair in 1964-1965, the show had first appeared at the newly-built theatre ‘The Guilded Rafters’ in the San Fernando Valley, before going on to enjoy even greater popularity at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. This fantastic press photo (above) shows Marty Krofft displaying the puppets to eager fairgoers backstage after a performance on 24th September. Upon seeing the premier performance at the fair, the Reverend Billy Graham even publicly denounced the bawdy topless puppets, though his anti-endorsement actually resulted in the show taking in record audiences and landing appearances on several TV shows! One such appearance was on The Bell Telephone Hour in December 1964 (below), where, accompanied by Stanley Holloway, Maurice Chevalier got to meet his very own marionette!

Poupees de Paris with Maurice Chevalier and Stanley Holloway in 1964

Immensely popular with audiences across the United States, the show toured the country for most of the 1960s, and was seen by an estimated nine and a half million people. I don’t know about you, but I think it sounds like tremendous fun and I for one would love to have been one of them!

Much love,

Top Photo: Anthony Conti (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.