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Old 11-26-01, 02:22 AM   #1
nick nickolas
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Post EDMONTON 2001

EDMONTON 2001

Well Edmonton lived up to its name again by delivering hospitality, hospitality, hospitality.

Performers I had seen before and some new ones returned hospitality with a lot of laughter and frolics on the stage and in the locker room, there was a lot of poker to be played at this gig hosted by the granddaddy of them all Dick Finkel, and the youthful Love 22, Roll ya own, Black bitch wins all, High low design your own and every now and again 5 card draw. Over the week Shelly won most of the money, then being the Queen she is spent it all on snacks and drinks for us all in the presidential suite on the closing night.

THE ACTS…

Andrea House…Has been attending the festival for years now, a local Edmontonion with a walk around character as a talking wishing well, her confidence has grown immensely over the years and performed a few circle shows with Paul on guitar singing parodies of well known songs as well as some of her own and she really nailed ‘em when she starred in the Nochas Locas (midnight madness)
A Judy Garland look-a-like with a voice to make your hair stand on end.

Andrew Elliott…East Indian Magic direct from Newcastle Australia. Andrew gets a crowd by putting on a turban, woos them with the promise of a snake and delivers when the chosen watch appears in an unopened can of corn, funny, unique (unless you’ve been to Delhi). He closes with the noisiest sword swallow you’ve ever seen. A conservative poker player but when mixed with whiskey he’ll go the lot on a 10 high.


Chalk Circle, Ulla & Bev…These woman draw and paint on the street. Perspective pictures that seem to go into the pavement, armed with chalks, pastels, brushes and a bloody lot of patience, two 10ft by 6ft pictures were created encompassing Edmonton, the festival and the surrounding people…
12 hrs a day on their knees, they have to get the prize of the hardest working out there!


Dan the One Man Band…. Dressed in Red and Black with a drum, cymbal, harmonica and guitar, Dan chings, bangs and strums his original rhythms late into the night while trying to sell as many CD’s as is humanly possible. Because he played well into the night always found it hard to get into the poker games.

Davio…A Quebec based acrobat who spends most of his time upside-down on a table on one hand or another and when he is on his feet he prefers to balance on double rolla bolas, high energy, high skill and biceps larger than the French revolution. Had a great food fight piece with face painting queen Lucie Brouillard at Nochos Locus…the French and their food olala…


Feet 2 The Beat…Marietta and Rod a tap dancing duo who put down their board and start clicking and clacking to swing , be-bop and Jazz, smaller crowds but a lot of shows and a lot of sweat paid off for them. Unfortunately the Fred and Ginger of New York City didn’t spot one of the park people as he crept out of the bushes and made off with their hat. Look out for a bowler hat wearing, tree residing, bottle collector in the park!


Dana Smith & Lacy the dog…. Dana a veteran of the street, a man with the deep tanned body of a Greek god emitting charm and charisma that used to have the girls falling at his feet (now it’s middle aged ladies!) he juggles a bit, plays the ukulele a bit, but as the true veteran he is he has trained Lacy to do all the super stunts, she stands on his head, jumps through a hoop over 7/8 kids and has all the young girls attention much to Dana’s demise. Pretty good poker player and recipient of the Golden Finkel award for time and expertise given to the street community.

Flyin’ Bob…Highly skilled with clean material (both in costumes and patter) he is back on the high wire after a pretty bad fall last year a tight act which includes getting dressed and undressed on the wire. Some pretty snazzy juggling and a long curly thing on the end of fishing pole. Years of
experience and it shows. The man looks like a real-estate salesman but behind that clean mask there is another Bob with a certain bent in his thinking as I found out when we co-directed Nochos Lochos,,, nice one Bob.

Furry Eggs (Ed Stander)…. Mix a dozen or so water filled brandy glasses and a professor of geology and what have you got? Music that is both eerie and beautiful, as the audience listen to the Angelica you can’t help but wonder, if only they knew the dark comical thoughts his mind is creating while he wipes his liquid dripping fingers round and around the glass rims .The king of the CD sales, as everyone hands out $20 or so for merchandise their mother will eventually own!
He’d probably fold on 4 of a kind just to see your expression.

Love 22… Love sells his $22 Bills with numerology pitches intermingled with origami and seal noises, has a boggling array of poker games

Jeff Collins…Jeff does a tight juggling routine to music, produces a chosen card from his mouth escapes from a straight jacket and blows fire, he has to hold the record this year for the longest shows and the loudest sound system, and the longest money pitch which he delivers tied up in the straightjacket then hits their soft spots telling the kids to go to college and study, then a patracism pitch about Canada being the greatest country in the world and I must say much to my despise the Canadians lap it up.If he was a poker hand he would be a full house and milk it for all it’s worth.

Karl Slater…A country boy from Kinetcut portraying himself as a taxi driver from Queens NY,
He pounds out the gags eats a flame and doesn’t give an inch, dressed in a leather waistcoat and hat
He flirts with the best looking girl in the crowd (if only she knew he was a country boy!) and proceeds to climb on a unicycle play the harmonica and juggle the flames the only act who gets a member of the audience to ‘hat’ for him! If he was a hand of poker he would have 9 high but still win with his blag.

Heather D. Swain…An Actor, an improviser, a comedian and musician, a bunch of characters including Miss Information who parades around with her own booth giving people maps of the Moscow subway when they ask where the nearest Tim Hortons is. She could be regularly seen pacing around the green room with a wry grin about her face looking for someone to ‘play’ with…
Hard to read as a poker player because of multiple personalities

Michael Lane Trautman…. A performers performer, a punters performer, a kids performer, what can I say, well I can say that MLT doesn’t say much he’s just a genius clown/mime excellent skills and construction of routines combined with a mop of gray hanging from his scalp. A very schewd poker player (I’m sure he cheated once!)

Strange Fruit…Here was an act which was nothing like their name 4 Australians of 3 genders atop 15ft bendy poles 3 times a day in the middle of the square massive crowd stealer, 15 minutes of a surreal love quadrangle play, wicked music, bang on costumes and powerful abdominals…
There was a small competitive edge to see who got the first show in when they broke.

Silly People…. The highlight for me personally was Colin and Phil’s piece at the infamous Volunteers party…they did walk about as volunteers getting beers for you, emptying the ashtrays with far staring eyes focusing just above your head (Which Phil said was very easy…surprising?). When asked about their sudden 2 year step to fame from balloon twisters to twisted baboons Colin just shrugged his shoulders and said “It was all in the training at the Mennonite markets” Great in a game of poker you can read ‘em like books.

Sublimit…Yoko and Gus from Japan played the audience with super high skilled circus routines with acrobalance that seemed to defy natural laws, and put themselves it seemingly impossible contortions that I’m sure would make a pretzel wince

Authors note: After close to 20 years as a vagrant vaudevillian attending a plethora of festivals and events learning/sharing various circus and performance skills from/with my peers, cheers guys…
I’ve had an excellent ride so far; looking for ward many more loops, chicanes and curves along the way.
If I didn’t include you in the review please don’t take it personally it just means I suffer from mind lapses. I thank everyone involved for a bloody great time (that includes the fantastic audiences)…cheers nick
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Old 11-26-01, 10:18 PM   #2
Mr.Taxi Trix
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Cool

Good write up Nick, but the extraordinary thing about Edmonton, (outside of the shining star Jilly from the fruit) was the weather laying down multiple days of heavy hat sun, and, at hat's end, pelting us with a rainstorm on the way to the volunteer banquet.

Shelley, thank you. Ya did good.

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