Esther's Gene Pool

During its 20-year history, Esther's Follies has had four homes: the original Pool, 515 E. Sixth, which was destroyed by a fire on October 12, 1983; The Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, a former movie theatre and playhouse which was being renovated by Follies founders Michael Shelton and Shannon Sedwick at the time of the fire and became the Follies' refuge for three years; the second Pool, 501 E. Sixth, the former home of one Sixth Street's first "fern bars," the Balboa Cafe, and the Follies' first return to the intimate setting with a view of the street that had marked its first space; and the current Pool, 525 E. Sixth, a slightly larger version of the original, incorporating the best aspects of all three incarnations. The Esther's "gene pool," then, is really four pools, and this chart attempts to track the Follies families by listing each member beside the pool in which he or she first joined the Follies. Our apologies to anyone inadvertently omitted from any list. -- R.F.

The Original Pool

Shannon Sedwick
Michael Shelton


Noel Alford
Jeanne Baxter
Mary Collins
Michael Collins
William Dente
Bill Dick
Doug Dyer
Max Evers
Terry Galloway
Alice Gordon
Joe Hollis
George Kiernan
De Lewellen
Dee McCandless
Gene Menger
Ed Neal
Michael Nesline
Isabelle Potts
Lyova Rosanoff
Steve Saugey
Ernie Sharpe
Rick Sternberg
Cass Charbonneau Vizard
Linda Wetherby
George Wilkerson


Dave Arnsberger
Aubrey Carter
Ted Davis
Bill Fagan
Robert Faires
Kerry Fitzgerald
Mark Kishego
Leo Lerma
The Lone Tones
(Mark Ammerman,
Phillip Diehl,
Mark Edwards,
Greg Hill,
Kurt Hill)
Janet Lynn
David Perkoff
Turk Pipkin
Boyd Vance
James Wagner
Debra Watson
Margaret Wiley
Rachel Winfree
Doug Jacques (muralist)
Frances Morey (videographer)
Michael Prochoroff (lights, printing)
Angus (watchdog)

The Ritz

Chris Bonno
Michael Caldwell
Amos Ewing
Mario Lorenz
Ingo Neuhaus
Nora Neuhaus

Pool II

Ray Anderson
The Flaming Idiots
Crazy Carl Hickerson
Colom Keating
Keith Kelly
Joel McKean
Andra Mitchell
Nancy Reed
Angela Rovetto
Ryder Schwartz
Mandy Steckelberg
Jana Williams

Pool III

Stephen Crabtree
Mary Lang
Derek Reid
Jerome Schoolar
Victor Steele
Mical Trejo
Cindy Wood

illustration by Robert Faires

Linda Wetherby (Original Pool) as one of Macbeth's witches.
photograph by Alan Pogue

Cindy Wood (Pool III) as Ross Perot
photograph by Alan Pogue

Margaret Wiley (Original Pool) and Colom Keating (Pool II) as Tammy Faye and Jim
photograph by Alan Pogue

Projects By Follies Alumni

The Hilarions (1985-86)
The Hugh Beaumont Players (1978)
Waterworks (1978-97)
Little Big Band (1980- )
D-Day (1980-82)
Austin Flops Orchestra (1984)
Better Than TV Players (1982-85)

The Laff Staff (1987-93)
Club Sandwich (1987)
Zydeco Ranch (1988-93)
Beethoven's Birthday (1994)
Funny Bizness (1995- )
Forbidden Classics (1996, 97)
Jokers Wild (1997- )

Warm-Up Acts/Guests

Liz Carpenter
Judge Harley Clark
Joe Ely
Sharon Ely
John Henry Faulk
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Butch Hancock

Tommy Hancock & the Supernatural Family Band
Rich Harney
Karen Kraft
Little Big Band
Jim Mattox
Max Nofziger
Bill Oliver

Cactus Pryor
Ann Richards
Carol Keeton Rylander
Tap Dancing Grandmothers
Lily Tomlin
Uranium Savages
Jerry Jeff Walker

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle