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From the Archives – “Fool’n Angels”

May 28, 2020

Fool’n Angels (1988) was a seminal work for Touchstone, and it wasn’t ours. We’d met Ronlin Foreman at the 1976 American Mime Festival where he was performing a solo clown piece, and we invited him to join us to be part of Touchstone’s 1988-89 season when we started producing. Ronlin brought in this family production, featuring himself and his two daughters— the elder, Lila, and the younger Myra. You’ll notice the patchwork curtain. The production was costumed and in part designed by Ronlin’s wife (whose name I’m sorry to say I can’t get right now). It was from this curtain (that she sewed) the idea for Follies’ curtain grew. I stole shamelessly from Ronlin. Later in the production, he brings on his daughter in a bag, and they do a bit about a mannequin that comes alive. I used that idea, in part, when Anisa (my daughter— much older at the time and heavier I might quickly add) performed in Follies III.

In this clip, we see Ronlin amidst his daughters (angels) and an un-planned moment, when Myra bangs her head on his accordion. It’s a precious moment. Note how Ronlin never stops playing – leaving Lila on stage to cover when he has to go backstage to make sure Myra’s really okay. AND notice how Lila is totally game; she’s ready for her solo, even if it is improvised.

— Bill George

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