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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

“You, tall boy, can you walk properly in a skirt? Try this one on and let me see you walk across the room.”

That was the provocative quote from a New York City director as he auditioned the men at Spokane’s University Club for the club’s annual stage revue, “On a Roof Garden.”

The University Club consisted entirely of men. The show, however, included a number of parts for showgirls – or at least men dressed as showgirls.

Those were the most coveted roles.

“Voice, of course, had an important part in the selection, but ‘figure’ had a lot more to do with it,” said a reporter at the auditions. “Anybody that could sing could get into one of the male choruses, but not all could qualify for the ‘girl’ parts. Every member of the club seemed intent on getting into the limelight dressed in skirts and many were disappointed when the coach calmly waved them aside with cutting remarks about the daintiness of their ankles or their lack of ‘form.’ ”

Dr. L.M. Munson was cast as the lead “actress,” and a photo showed him wearing a wig and gown.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1977: About a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)