The Efteling is Hollands best amusements park.  Like Mickey Mouse for Disney world,
Pardoes is the leading character for the Efteling.  Gemma and Nand came from Belgium.
John en Bobbie de Jong from California were already in the Netherlands for their summer
vacation.   Monique, Janny, Bobbie and I were wearing our shirts with Maggie's poem!

On June 21, the weather had been terrible all day long!  We were amazed to see that
Andre and the orchestra were on a completely open stage.  No roof, no walls, no protection from
the elements.  What a risk with all that expensive equipment!  In my opinion Andre was having a
bit too much confidence in St. Petrus and/or Clara…..  

Andre told us that every fairytale character in the Efteling would come alive when the clock strikes
twelve. That is why they had been recording every night, for the past three weeks. The whole
special will be taped in the dark….. Andre said he had forgotten one big thing,
June 21st is the longest day… And in the Netherlands darkness does not fall
until 10.30 pm, so filming could not start until that late!  And …… according to
the rules of the Efteling, they have to stop at twelve midnight!  (to avoid sound
problems for the people who live in the surroundings)

Andre introduced Pitt Weyrich to us, the manager of the ZDF (German) tapings.
There were some troubles with the microphones. Andre had to undress (a little)
to get his transmitter replaced. That is how we could see his suit hides two
inside pockets for two radio mikes. He wears a waistcoat underneath his
jacket and his shirt has openings at the side (airco??).

The dress rehearsal started at 9.30 with the “grand finale”. Every fairytale
character was on stage while they played the 'Cinderella Waltz'. The actors
all entered through one door, but Andre thought they should enter simultaneously
through both doors. They had to do it over and over again, until Andre was
satisfied.   Once in a while we would hear Pitt’s voice from the mobile
recording studio, giving Andre directions what to do next.

                                          We saw Pierre, Marc and Marjorie. The complete family was
                                          there to support Andre. The intermission came early: at 10.10 pm.
                                          Andre wanted us back at 10.30 pm. Andre teased us by saying:
                                          the Efteling management will give all of you a free glass of
                                          champagne! And later on, when he liked the big applause we
                                          gave him, he said: the management will give you TWO free
                                          glasses of champagne…. That was funny. During the intermission
                                          we could order anything (indeed: for free) from coffee to beer or
                                          wine, but no champagne!

                                         The audience was great. From the beginning they gave standing
                                          ovations after every piece of music. The ”grand finale” with all the
                                          fairy tale characters, the funny dwarfs with their Sousaphones (Andre
leading the dwarf march). Mirusia as an angel (Andre: normally angels come from above, but this
angel comes from down under…), and the big surprise: Brian Dickinson (if I remember his name
well) as a magician, an Egyptian high priest, and Porky and Bess singer (“I’ve got plenty of

As a magician Brian Dickinson waved his arms four times in the direction of some of the orchestra
members. Andre told us: in the special they will change into an animal. But that is a computer trick,
we could not see that!

Janny and Monique had to go to the restroom during the show, so they sneaked out. They
returned with a few happy pictures with some dwarfs behind the scenes!!  Never a dull moment
with Janny and Monique! They had fun with the gnomes!

Andre did a magic trick himself: with his magic wand he changed an older lady in the audience
into the beautiful young lady she had been in her twenties: Mirusia’s face appeared on the big
screens! (On Friday Arie told us that Mirusia moved into the lady’s chair). Dressed like an angel
Mirusia sang “the concert for one voice”.  She should only have a few white clouds around her
feet, but the smoking machine worked too well, and she disappeared into the mist. Pitt’s voice
said: “Stop! That is too much smoke, I cannot see Mirusia anymore!!  So she had to sing again
(we sure did like that!), now taped without

Well, I thought it was a very enjoyable evening for half of the price!
There was a lot of taping, we noticed! At the end of the show at twelve
o’clock, Andre wanted the audience to count till  twelve with him
(the moment the characters will come alive). We counted and………
just after the twelve, an enormous shower started!!    At the first drops
someone in the orchestra yelled: rain! Andre ran away with his violin, and all orchestra members
followed. Some people pulled covers over the chairs and the larger music instruments like the
piano and drums.     It was like St. Petrus above pulled a handle to send a waterfall down. It rained
Cats and dogs, as you say in the USA.

The audience quickly donned their raincoats, put up the umbrellas, and left the Efteling. We were
thankful to St. Petrus that he had waited till the show came to the end…..
It felt like magic!  The Efteling management wanted to close at midnight and….. like in Cinderella
the audience ran away at the sound of midnight and in no time the whole place was empty!   What
a unusual ending of a wonderful night.

The next day June 22,was officially the first day for the taping of the show.  Arie Bussemaker was
at the concert (for the full price of € 50).  He went early and during the day was in the park and he
could hear and see Andre and the JSO practice, they were in their casual clothes. The weather
was sunny all during the day.  

Arie said that they did not sell any programs.  He also said that much attention was focused on the
filming for the TV program.  It looks like they taped in German, but also in English.   Things were
repeated many times both on the direction of Andre as well as the direction of Pitt Weyrich.  The
soloisten sang the same song in both German and English. (
for German TV and for a DVD?)

Mirusia sang a Norwegian fairytale song. and she sang it in Norwegian. Fantastic.  Suzan sang
“Over the rainbow”.  Carla, Carmen and Suzan played the well known act of Ki, Mo and No (the
Chinese act from the operetta “Das Land des Laechelns” (Country of smiles)).  The tree tenors
and four sopranos sang Louis Armstrong’s famous song: “What a wonderful world”.   

Mirusia sang "Concerto pour une voix"  Wonderful, what a grandiose
artist she is.  Andre used a magic wand and she even sat at the seat
of the old lady.   How fun.

Marjorie was there too and Mirusia sat next to her in the afternoon.
Carla, Carmen and the Platin Tenors also talked to her.  

It stayed dry until the intermission at 9:30pm, but then to everyone's
dismay it started to rain a little, and by 10:45 the rain was pouring
down and it did not look like it would end anytime soon.  Everyone
put on their rain gear.   The show had to be cancelled.   Andre told
his audience he would be back in August.  We fear the special and
the DVD will now have to be delayed!!

The Efteling website mentioned the cancelled Friday concert. The audience will be paid back their
money and they will get a free ticket for the musical Cinderella in the Efteling theater in August.

The Saturday show did go on as planned. Let’s hope  they were able to tape enough to have the
TV special and to make the DVD. Let’s hope so!!!

Thank you to Ineke and Arie

Some additional pictures from Arie before the rain started.  
Concerts in de Efteling
                                           Pictures by Ineke and story by both Ineke and Arie /Sonja               
                                                    June 21 and 22, 2007
The Entrance of the Efteling
Pardoes, The
Efteling's Mascot.
Roos Aarts, the stage manager
does the last touches herself
Restaurant Applause were the final
tuning of instruments was done.
Nervous as usual before a
concert especially for a DVD
Brian Dickinson
as a Egyptian.
Brian also sang from Porky and
Bess "I've got plenty of nothing,
nothing is plenty for me".
Once on Stage, the stage
fright is all gone, Oops I
forgot something
In front of the gnomes, Hei ho,
Hei ho.  from Snow White.
Angel Mirusia, Concerto
pour une Voix
Mirusia sings a
Norwegian fairy tale.
The concert was in front of the
Theater in the Efteling
Janny and Monique with two of the seven dwarfs.  Happy and Dopey?  
From left to right,  Nand, Gemma, Monique, Janny, Ineke (I hope)
John and Bobbie, waiting for the rain to stop after the concert.  
Efteling Entrance sign
with picture of Pardoes.
Suzan, Over the rainbow
Suzan/Ki                 Carla/Mo             Carmen/No
Mirusia, Norwegian fairytale
What do you mean only 7
dwarfs I thought there were
Rehearsals means lots of waiting.  Franco, Tanja, Kalkie, Frans
Neus, Mirusia, Sanne and in the second picture Kerstin, Marcel,
Manoe, Roger, Arthur, Karin, Ward, Lin and Kremi.    
Mirusia, waiting her turn.
The Efteling Theater looking very nice with
all the lights.  An very open-air stage.  
Teun, very intent on
what comes next.
Arie posted three new videos of the rehearsals in the Efteling to his myspace website.
1 Wonderful world
                                      2 Ki Mo No
                                      3 Second Waltz
Mirusia by magic in the seat of
the old lady.  
Ki/Suzan Mo/Carla and No/Carmen
Does it not look like a fairy tale?
Oh, no!