Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe Outline and Scrapbook

Complete Programs from the 3rd Festival of Fools -- 1977

The 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.
 


Introduction Program

Program: First Week

Program: Second Week

Program: Third Week
 
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Introduction: 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 Duck?
 
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 Laugh!
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.
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