The Austin Chronicle

Where Are They Now?

October 10, 1997, Arts

Like most families, the Follies has had members leave home and settle in a variety of different places. Some have continued to perform; others have taken careers in other fields. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Follies, here's an update on a few of the extraordinary talents who at one time contributed to the Follies. -- R.F.

Chris Bonno

Follies Years: 1985-87 (The Ritz)

Best Known For: "Day-O"

Current Whereabouts: Los Angeles

Post-Follies: Performed improv locally with The Laff Staff (1977-92); performed stand-up and won "Funniest Person in Austin" (1991); moved to L.A., where he does improv, stand-up, voiceovers, TV and film acting (Mad About You, The Naked Truth; The Making of ...And God Spoke), book illustration (The Book of Lost Quotes), studio audience warm-ups (Saved by the Bell), and foley work (Independence Day). Currently pitching an animated series, Phil the Unassertive Guy.

Michael Caldwell & Rachel Winfree

Follies Years: Winfree -- 1981 (Original Pool), 85-87 (The Ritz); Caldwell -- 85-87 (The Ritz)

Best Known For: Burt & Marge (together); Liz Taylor, Margaret Thatcher (Winfree); Skipper in Cat! Musical on a Hot Tin Roof (Caldwell)

Current Whereabouts: Los Angeles

Post-Follies: Moved to L.A., where they write and produce their own plays (Dating Ourselves, Our Wedding); produce plays by other writers, including James McLure and Jonathan Tolick; and act on television and in films (Star Maps).

Terry Galloway

Follies Years: 1977-80 (Original Pool)

Best Known For: Jake Ratchett, Short Detective

Current Whereabouts: Tallahassee, FL

Post-Follies: Helped found the Hugh Beaumont Players (1978) and returned to the Follies on many occasions. Wrote two solo shows, Out All Night and Lost My Shoes (1986) and Lardo Weeping (1987), which she presented locally and toured to great acclaim in both the U.S. and England; moved to Florida and founded The Mickee Faust Club, a satirical cabaret. Has had her writing excerpted in Monologues for Women by Women, The American Voice, Out of Character: Rants, Raves, and Monologues From Today's Top Performance Artists, and Women Playwrights of Diversity, as well as the upcoming book Every Woman I've Ever Loved. Currently working on a memoir, The Unheard, and will return to Austin in the spring of 1998 for a conference on women and creativity at UT.

Colom Keating

Follies Years: 1987-92 (Pool II, Pool III)

Best Known For: Geeks Gallery

Current Whereabouts: Los Angeles

Post-Follies: While with the Follies, created the character of Mr. Manly, who became the subject of a very successful syndicated radio feature, two books, and two CDs. Moved to L.A. (1995) to pursue a development deal with CBS Productions for a Mr. Manly TV sitcom. Currently developing a Mr. Manly sitcom for FOX, to be produced by Tri-Star.

De Lewellen

Follies Years: 1977-81 (Original Pool)

Best Known For: Ima Butt, Blandscrew Sisters

Current Whereabouts: Austin

Post-Follies: Founded and sang lead for the bands D-Day ("Too Young to Date") and Zydeco Ranch; performed improv locally with The Laff Staff (1977-93). Currently performing sketch comedy with Jokers Wild.

Dee McCandless & Gene Menger

Follies Years: 1977-82, 88-91

Best Known For: Choreography for "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "Trouble in Tahiti," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," and North Atlantic; "Nutcracker Tout Suite," a five-minute solo Nutcracker (McCandless); The Lone Tones

Current Whereabouts: Austin

Post-Follies: Created and periodically revived Waterworks, a water ballet at Barton Springs Pool (1978, 81, 85, 89, 91, 96, 97); collaborated with David Byrne on the film True Stories and on dances with local companies Tapestry and Sharir; choreographed musicals at Capitol City Playhouse and children's projects with Joe Scruggs and Believe in Me! (McCandless). Currently playing with the eclectic European-Latin band La Strada (McCandless on accordion and Menger on bass); teaching at Austin Community College (McCandless); and managing Forbidden Fruit and, in partnership with Eileen Keller, running the public relations-special events firm

Ingo Neuhaus

Follies Years: 1987-91 (Pool II, Pool III)

Best Known For: Scooter in Hooter & Scooter, Uncle Randy in Uncle Bosco's Birthday Party, General Norman Schwarzkopf

Current Whereabouts: Los Angeles

Post-Follies: Moved to L.A. where his acting career has taken off (TV: ER, Beverly Hills 90210, Roseanne, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Murphy Brown, and a series of 14 Spanish language commercials for Bud Lite, televised internationally; film: Executive Decision, The Rock, L.A. Confidential). Currently preparing for a role in the blockbuster film Armageddon.

Steve Saugey

Follies Years: 1977-96 (Original Pool, The Ritz, Pool II, Pool III)

Best Known For: Lord Wood (accompanist to Dame Della Diva), writing Westward Hose!, Ode to Joy, A Mall and Its Night Visitors, et al.

Current Whereabouts: Austin

Other Credits: Wrote and produced the performance of the Austin Flops Orchestra (1983) and Beethoven's Birthday (1994). With Lyova Rosanoff, co-produced and co-starred in the musical parody show Forbidden Classics (1996-97). Currently serving as rehearsal pianist for the Austin Musical Theatre production of West Side Story and writing for and performing with the sketch comedy troupe Jokers Wild.

Ernie Sharpe

Follies Years: 1977-78 (Original Pool)

Best Known For: Creating Jake Ratchett, Short Detective and co-writing it with Terry Galloway

Current Whereabouts: Austin

Post-Follies: Has worked as a journalist and a scriptwriter for educational and corporate videos.

Mandy Steckelberg

Follies Years: 1988-91 (Pool II)

Best Known For: The Bowhead

Current Whereabouts: New York City

Post-Follies: Attended Vassar as a film major (1991-93), then started writing for and acting on stage in New York. Currently Off Broadway in The Official Show, a play she co-authored.

George Wilkerson

Follies Years: 1977-80 (Original Pool)

Best Known For: Writing close to 100 scripts: "Supermarket," "I Am Texas!," "The Bridge Game," et al.

Current Whereabouts: Austin

Post-Follies: Performed stand-up; with Dude Skiles, co-wrote and co-produced Mondo Texas (1983) and The Bogus St. Nick (1985); worked for Shell in Africa, and Dell and Radian locally. Currently teaches online for Austin Community College (the only completely online freshman English course in the state).


William Dente

Follies Years: 1977-86, 88-89 (Original Pool, The Ritz, Pool II)

Best Known For: Dame Della Diva, Duetto Grosso (with Linda Wetherby), Stale Evans in Westward Hose!

Other Work: Performed in local productions of The Primary English Class (1986); Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1987); The Normal Heart (1987).

Died, 1989

Doug Dyer

Follies Years: 1977-84 (Original Pool, The Ritz)

Best Known For: Conceptualizing the Follies; creating Esther's water ballets; staging dozens of Esther's sketches.

Other Work: Adapted Edward Swift's novel Splendora for the stage (1984); founded the Safe Sex Players; directed local stage productions of Splendora (1984, 86), T-Shirts (1985), The Haunted Host (1985), Madwomen (1988), I Pass for Straight (1989, 90).

Died, 1991

Joe Hollis

Follies Years: 1977-84

Best Known For: Billy Bob Treadmill, "Uptight People," "Day-O"

Died, 1985

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