Wednesday, July 01, 2020



Chic Silber said...

I wonder if the fellow on the right

in the suit & tie is the communist

"Company Comandante"

Roger Smith said...

At the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, in '09, we booked in the Virsky Ukranian National Dance Company. Their commandante stood Down Center with the company in the seats. I was way upstage, worrying a light bar, and could look out to see his audience sitting bolt upright, trying to look attentive, as he droned for an hour. I kept glancing at their faces, regimented and fearful, as this guy relished making cast and crew sit still as long as he wanted. They did a superb show, but never have I seen such strained smiles in performance.

That memory relates to CHIC'S guy here in the suit & tie. I'd bet that's what he's there for.

Roger Smith said...

On 2nd look--What, no American flag?

Chic Silber said...

In the early years after

Trolle Rhodin arranged

for acts to be brought

from the Eastern Bloc

to Big Bertha each of

them had an "Official"

accompany the groups

Later on an annonymous

member of each troupe

was the eyes & ears &

kept them intimidated

Bobby Johnsen was able

to determine which of

them in a few groups

could be "bought" to

help him in recruiting

good & willing help

Chic Silber said...

In many situations not

all family members of

each group were allowed

out together with some

kept behind as insurance

Chic Silber said...

When Louisa Bisbini married

into a Polish act family &

went back to Poland with

them she wasn't allowed to

return to the US with her

daughter & was captive

(Perhaps the Wozniaks)

Louisa was the youngest

of her family including

Antoinette Francesca &

their brother Angel

Roger Smith said...

It came out that Communist-nation performers on RBB were allowed $7 a day to live on, while the acts themselves were booked at contracted rates. The act money went to the Iron Curtain countries. I've wondered what Trolle Rhodin's cut was.

Chic Silber said...

Trolle was very well paid by JRN

along with a very generous travel

& expense account which increased

when the Felds realized his worth

Along with that were many "fringe"

benefits such as favored rates on

acts for "Cirkus BrazilJack" as

well as others I won't mention

Chic Silber said...

When Hugo Schmitt was hired

by Cirkus BrazilJack with

his elephants Axel Gautier

came with him as assistant

it was during that time

that Trolle met & maried

Axel's sister Ingeborg