This Month in Edmonds History: All hands on deck for glee club operetta

1932 Glee Club at Edmonds High School.

My Edmonds News is proud to present a monthly look at Edmonds history, straight from the archives of the Edmonds Historical Museum. For the month of February, we’ll revisit 1932.

The operetta “All At Sea,” presented by the Edmonds High School glee clubs, was big news in February 1932. At that time, the operetta was the biggest production ever put on at Edmonds High School. Reserved seats cost 35 cents, while general admission was 25 cents. Articles in the high school newspaper asked for donations of costumes, including “a long black graduation robe, a sea captain’s hat, an admiral’s hat, and a pair of Japanese sandals,” among other items.

The operetta was “a galaxy of singing, dancing, and witty-pater [boasting] characters ranging from fairies to pirates; from a deck hand to a Mikado.” The day before the production, The Wireless printed the entire cast and crew list, which included nearly 100 students, and the highlights of the story that would be set to stage the following night. According to Miss Carlson, the music director, the department wanted an operetta that would involve as many students as possible, and give them the chance to develop talent. Even the ninth-grade glee club was allowed to participate and gain experience on stage.

Advertisement for “All At Sea,” printed in The Wireless Feb. 5, 1932.

The production displayed its talent well, as was written in The Wireless: “It gives such a range of emotions that it will appeal to everyone. If you love light comedy, you will enjoy Koko, the Lord High Executioner, who has never yet killed anyone and hesitates to begin with himself. Or perhaps you enjoy seeing a dance by a group of beautiful girls. If so, you will not be disappointed when you see those charming fairies let their feet wander where they will… If you enjoy solos by voices ranging from a soprano to a bass, you can listen to your favorites to your heart’s content, because the twenty-three leads afford a range that is excellent in every department. A mixed chorus of more than fifty voices adds a touch of harmony to ‘All At Sea.’”

The operetta contained popular songs such as “When the Foeman Bares His Steel,” “A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One,” “Titwillow,” “A Maiden Fair to See,” “Taken From A County Jail,” and many others.

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