It’s our first summer in 58 years without free San Francisco Mime Troupe performances in the park, but the show will go on over the internet and local radio.
You did not get the opportunity to enjoy the annual July 4th San Francisco Mime Troupe show in Dolores Park this year, nor did the SF Mime Troupe get the honorable distinction of Breitbart writing an article about them with the glorious headline “Trump NEA Grants $20K for Lesbian Illegal Alien Musical.”
But not all is lost for Mime Troupe fans, in fact, their shelter-in-place solution is pretty innovative and harkens back to their radio era. This year they’re back with a nine-part episodic radio show called "Tales of the Resistance," also streaming on-demand over the internet, that keeps alive the spirit of their irreverent political shows that started way back in 1959, hit the parks in 1962, once got the whole cast arrested (Jefferson Airplane raised their bail with a show), and have been a summertime staple in the Bay Area for decades.
Missed watching San Francisco Mime Troupe at Dolores Park this July 4? You can catch their new nine-part serialized radio drama as part of this year's LaborFest. https://t.co/TkxbdWmeQ3— KQED Arts & Culture (@KQEDarts) July 8, 2020
The first episode in the radio serial is already up online, and has received good reviews from KQED and the Examiner. Jade for Hire! is detective noir that parodies our collective dependence on Amazon, and will be followed up every other week with new episodes on the theme of resistance. Forthcoming episodes include Novice Nurse: Susie Terse! (a well-timed satire on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries), and a police brutality sendup called Fear of the Dark. Per the Troupe’s website, the anthology of episodic shows “will culminate in a finale where all the narratives converge.”
In a tip of the hat to old-timey radio tradition, the shows will also be broadcast weekly on a number of different stations nationwide. Locally, these will air on 91.7 KALW and 102.5 KSFP, and the first episode is on KALW at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, as part of their Corona Radio Theater series.
In light of the recent George Floyd protests and national conversation on police violence, the Mime Troupe is also re-upping their 2015 show Freedomland that also addressed police brutality in comedy fashion. (Here’s the Examiner’s review). It’s on Vimeo and does require a purchase, which they suggest as a $10 donation, though they’ll take as little as 99 cents, since they cannot pass the bucket in the park this year.
Tales of the Resistance will release a new episode every other Saturday until October 24th. You can listen to the episodes here.
Images: San Francisco Mime Troupe via Facebook