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1981

Shoes

Jeff and Jodie come into the children's department carrying shoe boxes. Jeff asks what's in them and Jodie says "shoes, shoes, shoes and more shoes." She explains there's a big sale tomorrow and tells Jeff she has a new pair for him. They're white running shoes. Jodie has to leave but she invites Jeff to try them on while she's gone. Jeff wonders what the laces are for and we explain to him that he should tie them in a bow. He understands that is to keep the shoe on properly. When Sam comes in on his rounds, Jeff tells him about the shoe special tomorrow. "You won't find me at the special!" Sam promises. He doesn't like new shoes, even though his own shoes are a little "worst for the wear" Jeff says they look like they're falling apart, and he suggests Sam buys a pair of new shoes. Jeff loves his, so as they sing "New Shoes" together, Jeff stating the things he likes and Sam singing the things he doesn't like about new shoes. As Sam is dancing we get a good look at his current pair of shoes which are falling apart, with holes and a big opening at the toe. Still, Sam thinks they're comfortable and wants to keep them. Next, at Muffy's place, Muffy explains why mice don't wear shoes. They need to be quiet to live in houses where people don't know they're there, and that's why mice go barefoot.

Next Jeff is in a spotlight in the children's department. "Wanna dance? Here's your chance!" He teaches us to do a simple dance and we do it together. "If you like we'll dance some more later in the show!" he says and then turns a beautiful handspring.

Next Emma Jones reads the story of a horse named Henderson. He is a gift to twins named Chris and Cathy from their grandmother. She tells them to take good care of them and always to make sure he has new shoes. They are confused by this but decide to give Henderson some old shoes of their father's. Henderson isn't too happy about this but he tries hard to walk in his "ridiculous shoes". Fortunately they meet their grandmother in town and she is able to show them where horses get shoes, at the blacksmith's. The blacksmith fits Henderson with new shoes, and their horse is happy again, and Chris and Cathy ride him back home.

Jeff has been listening to the story of Henderson so now he knows what a horseshoe looks like, and there is one in Jodie's display. Jodie tells him there's a great game you can play with horseshoes and that Sam had taught her in the park one day. She didn't think it was hard but Sam had lots of trouble.

Next Jodie shows us how Sam tried to tell her that horseshoes was hard and that she shouldn't be disappointed if he won every game, but every time he tries he misses the pole. Once he throws the horseshoe too far, ("do you get points for distance Sam?" Jodie asks slyly), and the next time he almost hits a bird's nest as the horseshoe lands in a tree. Jodie on the other hand, finds the game easy. She suggests they start a game but Sam begins making excuses for not playing, saying he has to buy some cat food. Jodie understands, so she says reassuringly, "You know you're a really good teacher though." Sam is pretty depressed and says maybe he should take up tennis. But when he tosses the last horseshoe over his shoulder, it lands on the pole! Jodie says, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Jeff thinks horseshoes looks like fun and suggests that Sam might teach him how to play in the basement. He's sure there's enough room, but Jodie isn't. "There wouldn't be enough room not the way Sam plays!" But she wants him to give Sam a pair of new shoes that are exactly like the ones he already has except they aren't falling apart. Jeff tells her Sam doesn't like new shoes, which she's heard, but she hopes Jeff can convince him to try them. Jeff says he'll tell Sam it's her idea and maybe he'll try them on.

Next we pay a visit to the mime lady -- the shoe lady today, and she tries to get us to guess what kind of shoes she has on special. She gives us a hint, a pail of sand. The shoes are sandals.

Back in the children's department Jodie is exercising by running up and down the two stairs next to the counter. Jeff wonders what exercise is, so Jodie explains that dancing, swimming, playing baseball, anything that gets your muscles moving is exercise, and she tries to do it every day if she can, swimming several times a week and taking a dance class on Saturday morning or taking long walks.

Jeff notices that Jodie is wearing the same kind of white running shoes that he is. She says she couldn't resist getting a new pair of shoes and that running shoes are her favorite. They're Jeff's too, so they sing "I love my, I love my, I love my running shoes!" together.

Jeff feels like he could run really fast in his new running shoes. Jodie challenges him to a race to the main floor and back. Jeff gets off first as Jodie stays behind to turn off the light. "Oh no he's going to beat me!" she says laughingly.

Sam comes into the darkened children's department on his rounds, lighting his way with a flashlight. He begins to hear something and thinks someone is following him because he hears the sound every time he moves. Muffy comes in and startles him and he tells her what's going on. So Muffy offers to turn on the light ("What a brave little mouse she is!" Sam comments) so they can see whose following him. With the lights on Muffy can see that no one is following him, it's just his new shoes creaking as he walks! Jeff had gotten him to try on the new shoes and he had forgotten he had them on.

Next we see Jodie's feet dancing down a line of shoes looking for the right size and shape. After stopping at big boots, tiny baby shoes, and even underwater flippers, she finds a nice pair that "feel just right" at the end of the line.

Now Jeff and Jodie are in the children's department spotlight and they sing, "Here's another chance if you wanna dance it's a little soft shoe just do what I do!" They teach us another simple dance and we join in. "Thanks for the chance to see you dance!" they say when we're through.

In Muffy's apartment, she is admiring the twirling ballerina doll in her jewelry box and her pretty ballet shoes. She wishes she could see the doll really dance, hand in hand with a dancing prince. She decides to imagine her ballerina doll dancing with Jeff.

Today's Special Guest Karen Kain plays the ballerina doll in a lovely mini-ballet in which Jeff brings her to life, they enjoy dancing together, and then she goes back to being a doll with Jeff looking on wistfully.

Back with the shoe lady, she has another set of shoes on display and she wants us to guess what kind they are. To give us a hint, she puts on a nightcap, cuddles a teddy bear, and lays down on the display table. All these are hints that the kind of shoes she has are worn when we're getting ready for bed. Slippers. But the shoe lady got a little too comfortable and actually has fallen asleep, so TXL has to wake her up.

Jeff and Jodie come running back into the children's department still having a race and Jodie has won. She says she thinks it really helped having her new running shoes on. Now Jeff, Jodie, Sam and Muffy sing "New Shoes" again, in Muffy's verse however, she sings, "I'm the only one without a pair, that's cause my feet would rather be bare!" She displays her feet to prove her point.

Even Sam is pleased with his new shoes. "I must admit they have lots of style, and when they creak they make me smile!"


Quizzes:

  • Which pair of shoes is different? (the one without laces)

Nursery Rhyme:

  • The princess lost her shoe.

Notes:

  • Jeff Hyslop has said in interviews that Karen Kain is his favorite dance partner and it's easy to see why in their lovely pas de deux. They move very well together. The number is also exquisitely choreographed, and the music, written for the show, I assume, is also first rate.
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