Rábanos Radiactivos number 49
Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, September 23, 1965. Intended for Apa L, Forty-Ninth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1467, September 23, 1965. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
San Diego in 1966! Los Angeles in 1968! Salamander Press #125.


Well, L.A. Fandom's first Gilbert & Sullivan Theatre Party last Saturday proved to be almost as successful as the Bay Area's, although on a smaller scale. As this was the first time any of us (except for Tom Slate) had seen this company, and the first time any of us had seen "Utopia Ltd.", we went into it wondering how the whole thing would rate. Happily, we weren't disappointed.

The day started when Al met Ed Meskys and Felice Rolfe and brought them out to our place about noon. The ensuing conversation killed any hopes I had of getting the N'APA mailing finished and out that weekend. Among the other topics of conversation, Ed mentioned a lost issue of MAYHEM ANNEX he'd mailed to me a couple of months ago, realizing as soon as he'd dropped it into the mailbox that he'd misaddressed it. Just as he was wondering what had happened to it, the mailman came, with guess what? Len Bailes arrived a couple of hours later, and as neither Len nor Ed were familiar with the Westwood book stores yet, and it'd been over three weeks since I'd last toured them, we joined on an impromptu expedition. This was topped off by a quick trip to my parents' home, since they were moving that weekend and I had to get my books and fanzines that were still there packed away. By the time we got back to West L.A., it was getting dark, and the Trimbles had stopped by to drop Luise Petty off with us for the Theatre Party (the Trimbles were spending the evening with the Coxes themselves). Finally, Fred Hollander arrived, it got to be 7:30, and we all set out for the West Hollywood Park Auditorium.

We were afraid we might be late, since we were losing some time hunting for the place -- none of us were overly familiar with the side streets in that section of the city -- but we made it about fifteen minutes before curtain time. The West Hollywood Park Auditorium is a very modern, low-lying building in a shady residential area around the Wiltshire/San Vicente neighborhood; it also has a large parking lot, which is a welcome change from the blocks-long searches for parking space whenever we go up to see the Lamplighters in Berkeley. Unfortunately, when we got inside, we found out that the building is a gym-type auditorium, similar to (but bigger than) our Silverlake Playground. It was all very well prepared for the evening, but it couldn't get around two big disadvantages: firstly, the acoustics weren't nearly as good as they should've been in an auditorium designed for stage productions, and secondly, the standard folding chairs that were used weren't as comfortable as regular theatre seats, especially when you're trying to sit in them for a couple of hours. One nice thing is that we found the LASFS seats all arranged together in one group, even though I'd phoned in the reservations a few at a time as I got them; the bloc of seats also had the club's name posted on the back of each chair, which was very handy for identification. Tom Gilbert was already waiting as we sat down; in short order, in came Alex Bratmon and Lois Lavender, Tom Slate and his guest, Ted Johnstone, Don Simpson (in his THRUSH business suit) and Lyn Stier, Jack Harness in his Ghengis Kahn uniform, and Steve Schultheis.

The performance itself was very enjoyable, if not as polished as those the Lamplighters usually give. The L.A. Savoy-Artes is an amateur group, and this showed, although they gave such a lively performance that the audience didn't much care. Much of the dialog didn't come through clearly, though this may have been due partly to the acoustics of the auditorium -- and certainly the Savoy-Artes isn't the first group to have trouble with Gilbert's lyrics. Having a competent orchestra instead of merely a piano for accompaniment was a great improvement. The costuming was very colorful and effective, and much of the staging -- entrances down the main aisle from the rear of the theatre -- was an advancement over that of the earlier G&S operettas I've seen. Luise had a few technical complaints; which covered some of the minor flaws I'd've had a hard time putting into words; poor blocking, which meant that in some of the more involved numbers, a major actor who was singing would cross behind one of the supporting cast when he should have passed in front, and a few spot improvisations by various members of the cast which fit in with the lively mood of the performance, and didn't really hurt anything, but made it look more like a high-school production than a professional performance. The result was that, while I enjoyed it thoroughly, I'd like to see what the Lamplighters could do with it. Incidentally, my favorite G&S operetta is still "Ruddygore"; "Utopia Ltd." has too much satire and not enough plot for me.

Following the performance, most of the LASFS group came over to our house for an after-Theatre Party party, which may not have been as large as the usual Berkeley parties (thank goodness; we had to clean up after this one), but lasted until about 4 a.m.. So I presume everyone had fun. The Trimbles arrived on their way back to Garden Grove soon after we began, and stayed through most of the party. Steve Schultheis brought a few of his old comics he'd failed to come to terms with the Collector's Book Store on, and we did a little training. By about 4:00 a.m., though, just about everybody had gone home except for Felice & Ed, who were staying with us, and as I was so tired I kept falling asleep in the midst of conversations, we all decided to declare the party over. By the time I woke up again a few hours later, everyone else had already left for the Trimbles to help them move, so I went over to my parents' again and spent the day helping them get packed. And that took care of this weekend.

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"A yellow bowtie? Ghengis Khan wore a yellow bowtie! We're doomed! Doomed! DOOMED!"

... WONDER WOMAN, Nov. 1965

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The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1 July 1960.

Part II. The Republic.
(Article) 7. The Flag of Ghana shall consist of three equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe being red, the middle stripe gold and the lower stripe green, with a black star in the centre of the gold stripe.

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The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (as amended 21 February 1964).

Part I. Powers of the People.
1A. (2) The National Party shall be the Convention People's Party.
Part II. The Republic.
7. The Flag of Ghana shall consist of three equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe being red, the middle stripe white and the lower stripe green, with a black star in the centre of the white stripe. [The party colors of the C.P.P.]

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