San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Fourth of July Tradition Continues

guest post by mikl-em



On Friday, July 4th, the San Francisco Mime Troupe debuts their new show in Dolores Park… RED STATE

What if a small town found itself at the forefront of a political fight? It’s Election Day in small town America, and that’s what happens when, due to an Electoral College tie, the entire Presidential Election comes down to the one tiny town. Suddenly, the ignored, disregarded Bluebird, Kansas is the most important town in America. And they are being pressured to quickly cast the deciding vote, and vote the “right way.”

But what would happen if they decided to wait? Can one little town hold an entire nation’s election hostage? Should it? Is bread on the farm house dinner table tonight more important than deciding who sits at the Oval Office desk tomorrow? Yep, this election could take a while . . .

I am not sure how many years SFMT has done their season-opening show on the Fourth of July at Dolores Park in San Francisco, but it’s a lotta them. As always the show is free, the music starts at 1:30 and the show at 2pm. They will ask for donations after the show, so give generously if you can.

You should get there early and bring a blanket, if you want a good seat. A picnic and a bottle of wine or three is not a bad idea either. If you miss the Friday the Fourth show, they will be doing it again on Saturday & Sunday at the same place and time. And after that they start performing the show several days a week all around SF and the greater Bay Area: see the full schedule.

The Mime Troupe, in case you weren’t aware, is not a group of white-faced silent-types, but a politically-explicit and musically-enabled company, or rather collective, that has existed since the early-60s and won 3 Obie awards. Their early performances were mostly in the Commedia dell’Arte form and included a production of Ubu Roi scored by a young Steve Reich.

Without the Mime Troupe, Bill Graham would probably never have become a music promoter.

Many other well-known names are alumnae of the group. Luis Valdez, a young college grad, spent a few months with SFMT then left to found El Teatro Campesino which was the cultural arm of the United Farm Workers in the mid-60’s. Peter Coyote was an actor, writer and director for SFMT in the 60’s.

And of course Ed Holmes, who is a long-time member of the troupe and a great friend of Laughing Squid. Ed’s alter ego is Bishop Joey, Supreme Pontiff of the First Church of the Last Laugh. Every April 1st, he celebrates “Saint Stupid’s Day” by leading a parade through downtown San Francisco. This helps the world in innumerable ways which cannot be adequately accounted. Ed has an unfortunate resemblance to Dick Cheney, which has cursed him with a set role for the last several years.

photos by San Francisco Mime Troupe and getinet