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Sit down with Saul

Saul Tannenbaum discusses Capital City Pride and his "Friends of Dorothy"

Saul Tannenbaum is a bit nutty.

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How much of an Olympia mainstay is former vaudevillian Saul Tannenbaum?

Enough that Tannenbaum (who made his Olympia debut just a year and a half ago) is performing Sunday, June 12, as part of Capital City Pride.

The show, dubbed Saul Tannenbaum and His Friends of Dorothy, is the highest profile gig to date for Tannenbaum (the alter ego of theatrical Josh-of-all-trades Josh Anderson of Olympia). And it's the first one open to an all-ages audience.

This success is particularly impressive given that Tannenbaum is fictional, the creation of Anderson and actress-singer-writer Christina Collins, who scripts the shows and portrays Tannenbaum's perpetual special guest, Mona von Horne.

But people - even Anderson himself - often seem to forget that fact.

"It's a rainbow connection kind of show," Anderson says of his upcoming gig. "It's Sunday afternoon in the park after a parade, and I think Saul understands that, too."

The 90-minute show will begin at 2:15 p.m. in Sylvester Park, at Legion Way and Capitol Way in Olympia, with a cast including Tannenbaum regular Lauren O'Neill, plus Bruce Haasl, Kerry Martin and Stephanie and Jared Nace.

In honor of this "songstravaganza," as Tannenbaum calls it, the Volcano interviewed the elusive entertainer, who dictated his answers to Collins.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: What does the Pride Festival mean to you?

SAUL TANNENBAUM: I love a parade, first and foremost. The people, the excitement, the dogs in costumes. And this event seemed like such a nice one. I was advised against doing this by some very shady fellows who said I wouldn't know what I was getting into, but all I see in the world is love and music, and celebrating love with music. I think it's just wonderful. Everybody loving everybody, and why shouldn't we celebrate? I don't know much about the history of the event, but apparently it's been going on for some time, and I'm so proud - eh? proud? - to bring all my fantastic performers to help celebrate this gorgeous community and all its gorgeous inhabitants!

VOLCANO: Who are the "Friends of Dorothy"?

TANNENBAUM: Well, it all started with my friend Dorothy, who played the zither and the washboard like you wouldn't believe. She was a beautiful old soul and also an old person, and, tragically, she passed away not long ago. But she touched so many lives, and I've culled our list of performers from the many people who would go to her for zither lessons or shoe repair or just to listen to her stories about living in San Francisco in the 1960s. Dorothy was a lovely free spirit, and I believe she would have been very supportive of this event. I asked her life partner, Joanne, if she thought it would be all right to use her name, and Joanne said it would be a fitting tribute, so there you are. Friends of Dorothy, bless her heart.

VOLCANO: This will be your first all-ages show in Olympia, correct? Have you done shows for kids before?

TANNENBAUM: I don't really think of it as a show for kids: It's a show for everybody! Obviously, we've never done a show just for kids here, since in this state you don't let children drink or hold down steady jobs, which I'll never understand, but c'est la vie. We're all very excited to perform for all the types of people who would be the types of people to celebrate this lovely event!

VOLCANO: Will Mona von Horne be the special guest? How does she feel about doing an
all-ages show?

TANNENBAUM: Of course, of course. Mona is helping out a little more on this one; she's graciously agreed to perform a number with me as well as doing some other things here and there. Mona, ah, Mona, she loves performing for young and old alike, so long as someone in their party can pay for the tickets. Don't tell her this is free; I said it was very expensive. She'd do it regardless because she's got a heart of gold, but Mona is a woman who doesn't give it away. Not even for kids, especially after that PTA meeting in Minneapolis.

VOLCANO: You've become such a big part of the Olympia entertainment scene. Have you ever thought about moving here?

TANNENBAUM: I always like to keep my options open. I haven't ever had a permanent address. Some people say the ten years I spent in Teaneck would count as residency, but I lived out of a StayAmerica - which is where we're at now, such lovely people and free parking and continental breakfast - so it doesn't really count. I've got to stay limber! Keep my options open! This is certainly a gorgeous little burg you've got here, and Judy seems to like it very much, but you never know when the siren song of the open road will call you up on your telephone and play you the address of an airport bar looking for some high-quality entertainment!

Saul Tannenbaum and His Friends of Dorothy

Sunday, June 12, 2:15 p.m., all ages
Sylvester Park, Capitol and Legion, Olympia

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Out, loud and proud

Comments for "Sit down with Saul" (2)

Weekly Volcano is not responsible for the content of these comments. Weekly Volcano reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

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Proud said on Jun. 11, 2011 at 12:14am

Olympia LOVES our Saul!!!

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Louise said on Jun. 11, 2011 at 8:55am

Luck be a lady tonight! Or tomorrow, as the case may be. And a man, cause... well, Saul's a man. You know what I mean: Luck!!!

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