Shirley's Early Career
The Pittsburgh Playhouse
to Broadway !
"Did you know that Shirley lived in a sorority house
near the Pittsburgh campus when she was 18?"
Shirley's very first stage performance at the famed Pittsburgh Playhouse
was in the musical "Best Foot Forward" Shirley played the role of Ethel.
That's Shirley on stage at the Playhouse in 1953
("Best Foot Forward")
Her next Playhouse
assignment was for a musical revue.
Shirley and John Geary in "Three to One"
Shirley is listed as the "Engenue Lead".
The show had a four week run.
Here is a copy of Shirley's program from her first
appearance with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera
This is a wonderful rare photograph of Shirley and Sari Price.
They met and became great friends during their run with the musical show
"Me and Juliet"
Sari was also Shirley's bridesmaid at her wedding to Jack Cassidy.
They remain best friends to this day.
When Rodgers and Hammerstein first discovered Shirley they felt she needed
more professional experience before they could cast her in their film version of
(early magazine publicity photo)
Shirley was given the role of a nurse in the chorus of
"South Pacific" on Broadway
which earned her a very respectable
one hundred and twenty dollars a week in 1953!
She then went on to play the lead in R&H's "Me and Juliet"
before filming her first major motion picture "Oklahoma!"
On their European Tour of "Oklahoma!"
Shirley filmed the movie version before going on tour.
As her book states, she eagerly accepted a two-for one offer.
Tour Europe with the play and promote her soon-to-be-released feature film.
She also fell in love with her leading man while on tour.
These fabulous photos are from the Paris program.
Return to the
or Opening Index
But don't forget to come back to this page from time to time
for further information and photos.