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August 27, 2016

Songs from TIMBER!! - cover illusTimber!, a musical comedy written by David Savage and Doug Nixon, with music by Dolores Claman and choreography by Aida Broadbent, opened the 1952 season of Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) at Malkin Bowl in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

The show was an immediate success. “Timber!! Scores In Debut” headlined one review. Attendance was at a record level for opening night and grew during its week-long run to overflow proportions.

The “tuneful yarn of loggers and their ladies” — as Clyde Gilmour put it — was a natural theme for an original British Columbia production, At intermission the boss of the powerful IWA union presented TUTS producer Bill Buckingham with a double-bladed woodsman’s axe.

The story of a logger arriving in town flush with “summer wages” was a familiar and recurring west-coast story.
With Vancouver scenery as the back-drop, that va-vanity the city is known for was the side-glance attraction for the home-town crowd.

Writer David Savage was quoted as feeling “exhilarated,” “flabbergasted” and “bowled-over” by public reaction to Timber!

The show starred Don Garrard, Jacqueline Smith, Lorraine McAllister, Barney Potts, Thora Anders, Frank Wade and Sam Payne, and “a bevy of chorines and dancers” that included ballerina Kay Bird.

It’s A Wrap

On Friday it rained, still 600 people turned out, regardless of the weather, just in case. The show went on for them. A sheet of butcher’s paper was torn off a roll for each patron to wear as head-gear. True Vancouverite form. That would prove to be the final performance, however, as a heavy rain all day Saturday forced cancellation of the last evening show.

Jacqueline Smith - female lead in Timber!A special radio broadcast of the show was aired over the national network of CBC for distant audiences to enjoy.

A New Revue As Introduced by The Vancouver Civic Theatre Society at the “Theatre-Under-The-Stars.”

Songs from Timber!
Music by Dolores Claman
Lyrics by David Savage and Doug Nixon

“High, Wide and Handsome”
“Highrigger Song”
“Sunday Heart”
“Is Your Heart At Home”
“With All My Love”
“Won’t It Be Wonderful”
Kay Bird in Timber!“Timber!”

Ballets by Aida Broadbent
“Birk’s Corner”
“Stanley Park”
“Hoe Down”

Harry Pryce, conductor
James Johnston, stage director
Aida Broadbent, choreographer
Neil Chotem, orchestral arrangements

Don Garrard
Jacqueline Smith
Barney Potts
Lorraine McAllister


“Jimmy Johnston was one of the prime directors of Mussoc [Musical Theatre Society], and he was also one of the directors of Theatre Under The Stars. Mussoc was like a bit of a farm team in a sense.” Bob Allen, quoted by Mel Atkey in Broadway North.


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