Our Correspondent in Amsterdam... 11/1/99
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 99 12:36:09 -0800
Subject: Our Correspondent in Amsterdam... 11/1/99
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: xaviera hollander <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE STORYTELLING SHOWS ARE OVER? BUT THEATER EVENTS NOT?
Upon reflection I may still decide to have STEPEN RAPPAPORT perform the 11,
12, 13, and 14th of November at MY HOUSE rather than the AMP theater, so it
is wisest to CHECK IT OUT WITH ME BY PHONE IF YOU DECIDE TO COME. Read on
further down in this newsletter for more info.
YOU KNOW WHAT???? I had three "full house"- audiences at my own home theater
for the charismatic Tunisian story teller Jean Jacques Fdida, from Paris.
He was accompanied by Amir Perelman from Israel, a year long friend of his,
and they were at the same time making a few sound recordings for a future
CD. Even my best soulmate Einar Moos, a Romanian Jewish filmmaker from
Paris, who had met and befriended J.J.F. and admired his storytelling in
French when he saw him perform in Paris, came over for a long weekend.
Einar, who grew p in Chili, made some terrific chili con carne for all of
us one night which left us with noisy after effects for days!!
The ambiance was great and the turn out surprisingly good as well. The last
evening, Sunday, when we were all pretty exhausted, was wonderful, only a
half full audience of paying guests and a few really good friends, whom I
would never dare to charge entrance fee, as they have done so many good
deeds to make these 'nights' a true happening Among them was the incredibly
powerful black poet Kain, from down south in the USA and was he ever so
impressive. The way he read his poem about FEELINGS was absolutely
haunting and gave me goosebumps at a certain moment. This man really puts
all of himself in his readings. He then becomes actor, writer, poet and
storyteller. We ended the evening with a funny Canadian group of starving
very young musicians, who just were sent over by a friend, the so called
Poly-esters. They did a terrific job not only entertaining us with their
lively music, but also finishing up whatever leftovers and scraps of food
there were left in my fridge after 4 hectic days of people marching in and
out of my kitchen. Boy were they hungry!
Actually I more than broke even... I did it again.. This time no
losses.... As they say in Holland: 'hehe' everybody was happy. I must
admit it could not have happened without my faithful helpers like Wendy and
Christopher, the cooks, Dia my girlfriend and right-hand girl Friday, who
even did the lighting during one night, Marzio, an ex accountant now my
assistant who did most of the flyering, Pauline, who designed the flyers,
Nick Leslie who also told some terrific stories as a second act after
Fdida.. and finally Cain and the musicians. Not to forget Floor, who set
up most of the light equipment and little ole me as the leader of the pack.
We all made it possible, not to forget the performers themselves. Then
there were friends like Bo and Norbert who helped during the evenings and
are now busy promoting the next plays THE CHOCOLATE QUARRY AND THE MUSEUM
OF CONTEMPORARY ART which will take place on November 11, 12, 13, and 14..
with one of my favorite American actors Stephen Rappaport, who is both the
author as well as the performer of both plays.
Once more I want to bring back some things that come to mind about the
Oriental tales and Jewish stories events with J.J.F. The audience wrote
raving reviews in my guest book and I have been on several radio and TV
programs. In one newspaper I am being referred to as the Mecenas of
Amsterdam.. Now that my main expenses are covered, with a bit of luck, when
my next performer Stephen Rappaport will be coming to town I can breath
easier and actually hopefully fill a newly found theater the AMP theater
with lots of people as well. I have noticed that the desire to come to my
home is always so much bigger than for people to go elsewhere. Yet that
AMP theater is cute, cozy and there are some terrific people who own the
joint and run it. And what's nicest, it has a really nice stage..The word
is INTIMATE So check in future all my theatrical escapades out on
Would you believe it that one night I was even interviewed on Turkish
television, a new station for Turkish people who live in or around
Amsterdam, A dear friend of mine, John the Macedonian brought along the crew
but also a dozen wealthy and bright Turkish bankers and academics with their
exquisite looking wives. They sure gave the evening that Oriental touch
Fdida enjoyed so much, It inspired him to a scintillating performance. They
brought with them the world famous singer Szezen Akzu.. whose music I
always admired. Then there were quite a few artists and academics in the
audience a.o. a famous American filmmaker Gail Baily and her husband. It
sure was the most international of evenings.
So far the first night was kind of lukewarm very Dutch audiences. Then the
mobs came.. the second night we even almost ran out of food.. They ate
everything in the house except my cat and dog food. According to Fdida the
Dutch can be quite a square and uninspiring crowd. And maybe THAT'S WHY I
WANT TO CONTINUE DOING WHAT I AM DOING.. trying to warm them up to feelings
and impressions they have never known or may never experience again. Einar
just tells me that SPINOZA, a famous Dutch philosopher, long dead in the
meantime, said the same and what happened to the poor guy. He got instantly
Well, this is it. My Singaporean houseboy Christopher, has developed
muscles as well as muscle aches from schleppping the podium pieces and most
of the furniture back to place single handed, or with both hands. Two
nights ago, when I thought of having a really well deserved quiet night at
home with Dia, suddenly my favorite cat, Moomy showed up.. looking like a
horror picture cat from a story of Edgar Allan Poe or Roald Dahl? he had
apparently fallen into a cement mixer. Poor thing was almost as stiff as
a statue. We had to quickly wash him off, under the shower, rush him to
the vet, and it took us all almost one hour to clean him up a good as we
could; his eyes looked blind and were full of gook and cement.. in fact
right now they are still half closed most of the time, he needs treatment
every few hours which he hates and we are all full of scratches.. The poor
thing has left a trail of mud and sandy stuff all over the house, even in
and on my bed.. His skin is still dry and full of hard pieces of cement..
but while he is so wild nobody dares to start to comb his belly. Well we
saved his life, had we been out, Dia and I we surely would have found a dead
cat standing at the door, made into a statue.
And here is last but not least a comment from my soul brother Einar, who
came to regain his sanity in Amsterdam and get away from domestic troubles
with x wife and kid in Paris. He is a moviemaker and scriptwriter and one
of the most loveable persons I know.
ENCHANTMENT AT XAVIERA'S HAPPY HOUSE
For the sake of accuracy I have to apply a classic fairy tale formula in
order to talk of an evening of high class entertainment and dinner at
Xaviera Hollander's home.
Once upon a time there was a Happy House on Stadionweg in Amsterdam, where
the dervish and oriental storyteller Jean-Jacques Fdida came to deliver his
enchanting tales of ancient (and not so ancient) lore, to the musical
accompaniment of Amir Perleman on the guitar.
Like in the castles and palaces of former kings and queens, Xaviera had
turned her spacious ground floor living room into a small theatre, with a
raised stage, professional lighting, and rows of plush padded folding
chairs. A perpetuum mobile of energy, electrically charged like a nuclear
reactor, Xaviera had promoted this event round the clock on the telephone,
internet, through faxes and mailings. Each night of this past weekend
(October 21-24) guests rushed to see Jean-Jacques tell his amusing and
profound tales in English, followed by a convivial delicious meal composed
of warm entrees and sweet dessert. A moment of peace and happiness pervaded
the house. Visitors relaxed and digested the wealth of divine merriment,
whether it was the tale of the foolishness of Gaitzel in Chelem, or the
story of King Solomon and his thousand wives.
The success of this event is due to Xaviera's tireless energy and drive,
but also to her fine staff of dedicated and enthusiastic assistants. There
is Dia, champion swimmer and computer expert, Romke, a thoughtful carpenter
and healer; in the kitchen you'll find the forever smiling Christopher, a
photographer from Singapore, and Wendy, a talented sculptress/belly
dancer/cook from California, as well as Alex and his famous friend Fred,
two towering gay men from Amsterdam, offering their helping hands; finally
Bo, the tall and attentive stewardess of Xaviera's flying theatrical comedy
diner show, and Floor, a tug-boat owner and specialist in pyrotechnics who
directs the lights.
Let me state at last that Xaviera's show is a fireworks for the senses, one
that one wished would never stop.
Einar Moos, Paris
and as they say in Turkish Xaviera writes: Ben seni cok seviyorum
You are only young once,
And if you work it right,
Once is enough.
© 1999 Peter Langston