Programs from the 3rd Festival of Fools -- 1977
Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe asked me to be their Stage Manager again in
the summer of 1977. It was an honor, a godsend, and a great amount of
fun. Besides the now-traditional Melkweg, Shaffy, and Paradiso, the festival
included venues elsewhere in Amsterdam, plus performances in Utrecht,
Delft and Nijmegen.
Good Fortune spared my copies of these programs over thousands of miles
and thirty-plus years: I have scanned them 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 some mistakes were inevitable. I'll mention
some events I can remember, along with a few historical comments.
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This 8 page magazine circulated for most of a month before the '77
Festival of Fools began. Unfortunately, the influential San Francisco
Mime Troupe never came to Amsterdam. Footsbarn Theatre
was performing an original play called The Dancing Bear,
which was rich and deep, as well as funny. Somehow, their winter
pantomime Peter Pan was wrongly touted in this and the following
programs. Speaking of which, the centerfold text called the Great
Salt Lake Mime Troupe "...Friends sister company,"
which still makes me laugh. Were those words a tribute to Katie
First Week: Nola
Rae, our "cover girl" eventually earned the honor of "Commander
of the British Empire" for her magnificent theatrical work.
The kick-off at De Paradiso was a million laughs -- I made one of
my very few appearences with Friends Roadshow, and video
of me was shown on Dutch TV that evening during the news while I
was marching in the Fools Parade. Muyei Power, a fabulous
Masoka group from Senegal kept everybody dancing late with clattering
drums, electric guitars, and exuberant singing in French.
HISTORY touched down at Paradiso Friday night when New York's Richard
Hell led Television, the first Punk Rock band, appearing
along with Blondie. (The Talking Heads opened the
4th Festival of Fools a year later.)
We, however, were in Delft throughout Friday, performing on a double
bill with dancer/mime Annie Stainer and her husband, the late great
Reg Bolton. On Saturday night, Annie stopped by the Concertzaal
at the Shaffy to see the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe in one
of its LAST performances with its full-scale Jazz band (renamed
Expression after they separated from the troupe). Katie's
choreography for Stu Goldberg's Lotus Feet was so beautiful
it hurt the eyes -- tears were falling everywhere.
2nd Week: That's
Jango Edwards on the cover, vainly exhorting his audience: Don't
We "followed" Haarlem's Onafhankelijk Toneel (Independent
Theater) in the huge Shaffyzaal -- they played an incredible piece
all week based on George Herriman's classic comic strip Krazy
Kat, ( See Picture ) which involved
drawing a different Herriman-styled gigantic mural during each performance
-- which they carefully took down afterward. This same organization
published a magazine called Onafhankelijk Comix. After that
evening, we moved upstairs to the Shaffy's Zuilenzaal, and shared
a magical night with the Los Angeles Mask Theater and Steve
Hansen, the Puppet Man. The program called him Steve Hensen,
but he always let that slide. Sunday night at De Melkweg was a total
loon-out, performing between Johnny Melville's Salatka Baloon
Band, and Hans Dulfer's Perikels. Hans was an excellent
saxophonist, and his daughter Candy Dulfer became world-famous playing
the same instrument. She was still a young girl when she first sat
in with a fabulous bandleader named Rosa King, who played Funk and
Jazz just down the street from De Melkweg, as well as during the
festival. Besides touring with Prince, Candy Dulfer runs
her own band nowadays.
3rd Week: Caped
cover hero Carlos Trafic and Katie Duck, who was a "free agent"
with the Mime Troupe by then, also worked together in those
days -- even taking precious time to show their stuff during the
Festival. Those performances were INCREDIBLE -- every single one
of them. These two sensitive actors brought out the best in me and
the musicians who played with them. The Great Salt Lake Mime
Troupe took the Festival of Fools to Nijmegen, where Footsbarn
Theatre played outside earlier in the day. We filled a spacious
indoor theater with a young appreciative audience and saturated
them with Modern Dance all evening to the electrifying accompaniment
of Paul Blackwell's guitar and Ernst Rijseger's cello. I worked
my er, tail off all that last week!
Between everything, I was lucky enough to witness San Francisco's
Tumbleweeds impressive debut in the vast Shaffyzaal, and
Spiderwoman Theater's unannounded Lysistrada Numbah.
Franz Josef Bogner's jazzlike movement and comedy was some of the
best clowning I'd seen since Dimitri in 1974. Paul Holland, drummer
of Friends Roadshow, wrote musical charts which made Friends
Big Band possible, and their music was sheer heaven in a full
Jazz orchestra, staged by beautiful Helena Van Danzig and her husband.
The few nights I was actally IN Amsterdam that week, I made sure
I found Muyei Power, and danced my troubles away until daybreak.
Images from my own collection.
Rights Reserved for use in this site © Michael R. Evans 2010