The Flaming Idiots Are Back at ZACH, and Funnyman Rob Williams Tells Us Why: Does the Fate of the World Hang in Balance?
People ask us … “Why are you guys doing a reunion tour?” This question is asked of us from theater critics, morning television news anchors and fans who thought they’d never have to buy a ticket to one of our shows again. The road to the answer is simple, but I will take scenic detours and bathroom breaks.
We did the show for twenty years, from 1984 to 2004, which apparently isn’t exactly twenty years because you count the first year, thus making it twenty-one years. My friend Jose pointed this out to me, and I nearly wept. But fine. Twenty-one years. The show is legal to drink. We had all lived in Austin for most of those twenty (one) years, and after retiring the show, we each left to seek new adventures in new states with one of us in beautiful California, one in the less beautiful Louisiana and one in the god forsaken ice hole that is Minnesota. After five years of never seeing each other, we agreed a few shows would allow us to get together, laugh and enjoy the old material
one more time. We thought we would only do a few shows, but you can’t own a Tribble, you can’t feed a Gremlin after midnight, and you can’t just do a couple of Idiot shows. The final decision was to go back to the significant and fun places from our long journey. We returned to Edmonton last summer for the best street performing in the world; the holidays took us to The New Victory, our home on Broadway, and now we return to our real hometown, the place we all love more than a zombie loves your brain.
ZACH Theatre was the theater that made us a theater show. We left the Renaissance festivals and comedy clubs with only a rough idea of what would it would take to juggle in a place devoid of drunken hecklers or hobbits. ZACH is a regional theater. Regional theaters don’t work with acts like ours. Let me repeat that with some caps. Regional theaters DO NOT work with acts like ours. So why did Dave Steakley bring us in from the cold? You’d have to ask him, but it made all the difference. The creative team at ZACH gave us many gifts. We toured beautiful theaters across North America for years using the costumes designed by Leslie Bonnell, the set designed by Heyd
Fontenot and the music written by Allen Robertson. More than any other town in America, this is our town, and more than any other theater in America, this is our home theater, this is our theatrical family and this is our family reunion.
Our thanks to everyone on staff here, new and old, for efforts that go beyond a paycheck – and artistry that goes beyond compare. We will be hanging up the clubs again after this little tour, and we promise to only get back together again when the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and the magic goat horn is blown to summon once more, The Flaming Idiots.
- Rob Williams