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Bluefinger: The Manager

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Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting Koos Van Dijk, former manager of legendary Dutch rocker Herman Brood--the subject of Catastrophic Theatre's Bluefinger.

Van Dijk, who flew in from Amsterdam, is the ultimate authority on all things Herman, so for the cast it was even more of an occasion than usual to perform the show. And of course, I was nervous as hell, up there carefully lipping a Dutch accent, trying not to fuck up, and wondering whether Koos was buying one syllable or gesture of my performance AS HIM.

All anxiety was drained when we met afterwards, Van Dijk greeting me with "It's the manager!" and offering his compliments. As writer-director Jason Nodler had assured me, Van Dijk is truly an "enthusiasm machine."

Following a Q&A with audience and cast, where all seemed spellbound by Van Dijk's extremely candid accounts of Brood's sex-and-drug exploits and artistic ambitions, a handful of us accompanied Van Dijk over to the nearby hippie-haven Last Concert Cafe, where the wafting scent of weed encouraged more tales and discussion of Brood's addled life.

Van Dijk offered some suggestions for the performance, and Matt Kelly (who plays Brood) and I jokingly agreed to simply indulge Van Dijk and implement the notes without Nodler's blessing.

"The Manager" or "Coach," as Americans mispronounced his Dutch name in the late '70s, will attend tonight's 8 p.m. performance at DiverseWorks and stick around for another post-show Q&A. Last night, Van Dijk's presence was the perfect companion material to the show.

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