Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe Outline and Scrapbook

Complete Programs from the 2nd Festival of Fools -- 1976

Thanks to Ed Baker of the Friends Roadshow, I have scanned these programs as PDF files and made links to them below. These were all printed at least a week or more before the events they advertised, so it was inevitable that reality varied from the script here and there. I'll mention some events I remember, along with a few historical comments.

Introduction Program

Program: First Week

Program: Second Week

Program: Third Week
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Introduction: This 8 page magazine circulated for a few weeks before the 2nd Festival of Fools began. There were quite a few companies from the 1975 Festival, but many new groups too -- most notably Theatre Slapstique from England, and the Dutch group Hauser Orkater, who did an amazingly original music & comedy production called Famous Artists. The London Friends Roadshow performed a play called Friends In High Places. Henk Langeveld drew the map on the back cover.
NOTE: In subsequent programs, there's a venue called The Movies -- it was a cinema on Haarlemerweg, near the West Gate of Amsterdam. They sponsored short theatrical acts in addition to their films. (I performed there a few times.)
First Week: That's Jango Edwards on the cover, photographed by Jan Jaap Dekker, who had replaced me as stage manager for the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe. Personally, I was enroute from the volcanic island of Stromboli off the coast of Italy. I'd seen Lumiere and Son in England the previous winter. The Fabulous Poodles would have a hit in the US a few years later with Mirror Star, and Jimi Hendrix's old bassist Noel Redding showed up, leading his own group. Johnny Melville played his first Festival of Fools with the Salatka Balloon Band.
2nd Week: The famous Mall of America is located near Minneapolis, Minnesota -- the city where cover subjects Mime Troupe of America was formed. Some of these actors stayed in Holland and formed the long-lasting Pidgeon Drop company. My friend Jean Paul Bell performed with the great Nola Rae in the London Mime Company. This was the first Festival of Fools for Dog Troep -- a processional Dutch conglomerate who affected the course of theater into the Twenty-first Century. Prolific English writer George Melly acquitted himself famously as the front-man of an entertaining cabaret-style Jazz band. I returned to Amsterdam that weekend, and met Sharon Landau, who was performing with Abrakadabra. We would later work together in Theater Slapstique, and she performed many times with other members of the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe, well into the 1980's.

3rd Week:
I was a welcome guest at my old haunts from the previous year. Rob Weber at the Shaffy issued me a Medewerker card, and all doors flew open. The Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe's show relied on a lot more verbal comedy and clowning, plus Alan Purves hit the drum kit hard -- he'd played for Friends Roadshow in 1975, and would later join Sail-Joya for a long sit on their throne. The band was otherwise the same as '75 until later that summer. Debra Ryals was back as a dancer, and Dave Zupan, fresh from Dimitri's school in Switzerland, performed onstage with George-O. Matthew Child and Katie Duck* introduced themselves with choreography by Patsy Droubay, who stayed in Salt Lake.
Davey Norket was leader of the band for Friends Roadshow, with new drummer Tom Derry, ace percussionist Linda Anton Curtis, and soundman David Roe -- alongside Sean Bergin, Ced Curtis, and Jane Hunt. Ed Baker & Ted Van Zutphen returned. Bobby Clark was a co-star, as was Michael Novotny, Rick Parets, and Carl Holmer. Jango Edwards led the onstage insanity!
Random Notes: It was nice to re-introduce myself to hilarious actor/director Carlos Trafic and singer Joanie Borgman of Blue Rose, who'd seen me and Footsbarn in Mousehole, Cornwall the previous summer. There was a film crew at many performances -- I vividly remember abstract Argentinian stylist Benito Gutmacher playing to the camera in the Zuilenzaal at the Shaffy Theater. I later found out that it was Jacques & Ann Katmor, Victor Ken and "twelve other Israeli cinematogues" making a 16mm film called The Fools, which was shown at the 1978 Festival. Read about The Fools HERE
Members of the Friends' band and the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe's group jammed together many times. These musicians played at De Paradiso on the bill with great Blues and Jazz musicians Jimmy Witherspoon and Herbie Hancock -- Footsbarn was playing Midsummer Madness during Queen Elizabeth's 25th Jubilee, and wouldn't come to Amsterdam until after the USA Bicentenial Celebration on July 4. (I was wearing a tricorner hat that day in Vondelpark!)
* Katie Duck acquired her professional name after duet work with Jango Edwards, and a solo tour later in 1976. "Duck" Photo HERE

PDFs and images courtesy of Ed Baker, Ted Van Zutphen, Alan Purves, and my own collection.
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