Upcoming Performances:

April 27, 2013;  San Jose

The California Morris Ale is hosted by Mad Molly this year!

The 99 cent S’Ale has performance stops at (times approximate):

10 AM in Maywood Park in Santa Cara

11AM at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose

and at the Saratoga Library in Saratoga

12:15- 2PM we will be at the Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose near the Senter Road parking lot’

2:15 PM at or near San Pedro Market  Square in San Jose,

at the San Jose Museum of Art

and at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose

3:30PM we will be enjoying the following pubs:

Brittannia Arms in San Jose

Original Gravity in San Jose

and Rosie McCann’s Santana Row San Jose

May 1st, 2013, Palo Alto

Dance the Sun Up at the Palo Alto Baylands, dancing starts at 5:30 AM until the sun is up.

May 12th, 2013, Ardenwood Farm, Fremont

at 12 PM and 2PM

May 19th, 2013, Palo Alto

Bol Park May Fete, 1:30

June 2, 2013 at Sebastopol Day of Dance

June 2013, Santa Cruz Day of Dance TBA

More performances TBA

Check our  websites for changes in dates and times http://TheCaliforniaAle.info/2013



email:  squire@madmolly.info

If website not updated call 650-996-3199


We returned in triumph from the 2012 “Too Big to F’Ale”  California Morris Ale in Ventura County holding aloft our prize for winning the “Most Creative Use of Props” award for our skit.  The story is this…

Rising Phoenix Morris, hosts of the ale, had asked everyone to provide dinner entertainment by coming up with a toast, skit, song, etc.  Then, rather than leaving to fate what could possibly be managed, they took things into their own hands by giving each team a briefcase and instructing us to come up with skits using the props found therein.  This was done Saturday morning before boarding the buses for the day’s tours.  The molly foreman didn’t bother to look in the briefcase until well into the afternoon just before our pub stop.  At the pub the team (after many suggestions and much confusion – it was noisy) came up with an idea which the foreman turned into a 1-paged script.  Yes – a script.  For a morris ale skit.  Not unheard of but extremely rare.  She then made six handwritten copies of the script…on the bus…while it was traveling on curvy mountain roads…after drinking lots of beer.  Let’s just say we were all relieved the trip did not turn into strange encounters of the vomitous kind.

There was one quick rehearsal with all the dancers before dinner.  At dinner, when the two musicians joined us, the foreman realized a great blunder had been made by not asking the musicians if they too wanted to be in the skit.  So she asked.  They said yes, (Yikes!) so she wrote a scene entirely unconnected to the rest of the script and made a handwritten copy not 5 minutes before the skits were to start.  (Oh wonderful, brilliant foreman who works best under pressure!)  The skit went surprisingly well, helped by one team’s raucous laughter entirely out of proportion to the feeble comedy of the skit.  Said team shall remain nameless but it’s initials are Wildwood.

Now, Mad Molly, Wildwood, Black Sheep and Rising Phoenix Morris shared a bus.  When Wildwood took its turn to present a skit, they sang a song describing how they, in moments when the briefcases were left unattended on the bus, had added miscellaneous items to each of them.  It turned out that the other three teams used only some of their props while Mad Molly used all of them including the briefcase.  Hence their laughter as each of the added items were presented in our skit.  We were congratulated afterwards by Wildwood for our fine accomplishment in creativity…and no doubt, implicitly, our suckerhood as well.  We brought home a silver-painted, solid wood object d’art which from various angles can be described as a kneeling woman, pelican or stiletto-heeled shoe.  I thought it amazing when I first saw it but I was giddy from excitement at winning an ale prize.  Perhaps we’ll have our team name engraved on it and pass it on at the next ale.  Great fun!

Here’s the list of props (as many as I can remember) and the skit in its entirety (not as it was, but as it should have been):

Original contents of briefcase (assumed):  package of toy cop paraphrenalia (badge, keys, handcuffs, pistol, watch), packet of fake money, home marijuana drug testing kit, toy criminal profiling kit, (do you sense a theme here?), folder with paper and pen, cell phone, a stack of time cards

What we think Wildwood added:  large rock, 2 fake sugar packets, feather, necklace, packet of Ritz crackers


Heroine:  (Enters displaying packet of money)  I work at Bear Sterns.  Look at all the money I got for selling my soul!

Robber:  (Enters with gun)  Stick ’em up, sucker, and give me all your dough.

Hero:  (Enters with rock; fake sugar, handcuffs & necklace in pockets)  Stop right there, you miscreant!  (To Heroine)  I’ll save you, ma’am!  (Hits robber on head with rock.)

(Robber falls on ground.)

Reporter:  (Enters with folder, paper, pen in hands; watch & criminal profiling kit in pocket)  I’m an investigative reporter with the New York Times.  I’m on a deadline.  (Pulls out watch.)  What’s the dope?  (Prepares to write.)

Hero:  (Holds up 2 fake sugar packets)  Here’s the dope.

Reporter:  (Looking at sugar skeptically)  What are you – stoned?

Hero:  (Points to rock and robber)  No, he’s stoned!

Doctor:  (Enters wearing badge and keys; followed by Jack Finney carrying briefcase with rest of props inside)  Hi.  I’m a police forensic doctor specializing in dope victims.  Speaking of dopes, bring me my bag, Jack Finney!

Finney:  My name ain’t Jack Finney!  I’m Mr. John Finney, a man of great strength!

Doctor:  Stand aside!  Let me check this man with my Acme Super-Duper Drug Testing Kit.

(Comic business follows with Finney handing Doctor items from bag, naming each in turn, as doctor becomes progressively more annoyed and frustrated and yelling “No, I want my Acme Super-Duper Drug Testing Kit!” each time in response.  Others look on in interest and/or disdain – if you want to get that detailed.  Doctor gets drug testing kit last.)

Doctor:  (Fumbling with kit a bit)  I don’t know how to use this thing!  (Throws it aside and lays her head on robber’s chest.)  Oh my God, I think he’s dead!  I’m outta here.  (She grabs Finney and they run off.)

Reporter:  (Following them out holding up profiling kit)  Wait!  Let’s profile him!  Let’s see if he shows up in the NSA database!

Hero:  (To Heroine)  Well, it looks like there’s no one left to take into custody but you.  (Dangles handcuffs suggestively.)

Heroine:  What do you have in mind, big boy?

(Hero puts necklace on Heroine and they walk off arm in arm.  Enter Holmes and Watson.)

Watson:  I say, Holmes, look here.  It seems to be a dead body.

Holmes:  Again you totally misconstrue the situation, my dear Watson.  Observe and learn.  The body is caked in sweat, dressed in jeans, and a T-shirt with a bold design.  Note the obscure pattern of face paint clearly indicative of membership in a cult.  And can you not smell the odor of stinky feet and the pervasive and penetrating aroma of beer?  This is not a dead body, but it certainly is a dead drunk.

Watson:  Gasp!  No, Holmes, you cannot mean it!  Why, he must be a – a –

Holmes:  Yes, Watson.  This body is a morris dancer!

Watson:  Holmes, you continue to amaze me.  Brilliant!  Case closed.

(They exit.)

Held on TUESDAY, MAY 1ST, 2012.

OK, all you morris groupies.  Here we are again, this time for the 25th annual dance the sun up event!  25 years!!!  Who’d have thought we’d still be dancing?  Or that our knees would still be intact?  Or that we’re still able to stagger out of bed at 4:30 am to be somewhere shivering in the dark at 5:30 am? Without coffee?!!!  Or…well, you get the idea.

Seriously, I know people who have never missed this event.  Not including my 20-year old daughter who really hasn’t had a choice in the matter.

Here’s the info:

Palo Alto – Baylands Wildlife Refuge with Deer Creek Morris Men & Mad Molly

Dancing starts at 5:30am and includes both morris performances and audience participation dances.  Directions: take Embarcadero East from the US-101 to the end of the road, turn left, go past the airport, bear right, past the Duck Pond and the Ranger Station to the parking lot on the left.  Be prepared to join in, as we’ll be teaching dances to the audience as well – good fun for all.

For more information, especially about other performances these teams may be doing during the day, check the team websites or contact squire Dick of Deer Creek or squire Kaela of Mad Molly.

We hope to see you there!


Come join Mad Molly at the community gardens in Palo Alto on Saturday, April 21.  Start at 2:30 at the gardens in Eleanor Pardee Park at the corner of Channing Avenue and Center Road.  We’ll dance again at 3:30 at the main garden at 1313 Newell Street behind the main library branch.  Come get your garden plot blessed with the warmth of spring and the energy of the mollies!



(See previous post.)
Yes, we are dancing even if it rains.  Bring umbrellas and dress warmly!
11:15 – meet inside at San Pedro Square.  The big hall is at the corner of San Pedro Street and Saint John.
11:30 – 12:45 – all groups dance inside San Pedro Square Market
12:45 – 2:00 – lunch break
2:00 – 2:45 – separate into 2 groups, the 1st group staying inside San Pedro Square Market; 2nd group going to dance inside at Caffe Frascati
3:00 – 3:45 or so –  2nd group returning to inside San Pedro Square Market; 1st group going to dance inside at Caffe Frascati
4:00 or so – early retiring to the Britainnia Arms pub

Now, all together, sing —-

or, if not, then —-
Repeat as needed.

Mad Molly is pleased to host the

2012 Winter Traditions Day of Dance

Saturday, January 21 in downtown San Jose

Featuring dance teams doing English morris, sword and mumming traditions:


Bombastic Border (border morris)

Deer Creek (border morris)

Leap of Faith (longsword)

Mad Molly (border morris & molly)

Norton’s Guard (longsword)

Ring of Cold Steel (longsword)

Rising Phoenix Morris (mummers play)


Day’s Schedule:  (see below for directions)

11:30 – 12:45 – San Pedro Square Market and sidewalk

12:45 – 2:00 – lunch break

2:00 – 3:00 – San Jose Repertory Theatre Plaza on the Paseo de San Antonio

3:15 – 4:45 – San Jose Museum of Art and Caffe Frascati

5:00 – Britannia Arms pub at 173 W. Santa Clara Street


Come join the morris teams and groupies for an enjoyable day of fabulous dance.  Join us for lunch and pubbing afterwards.  Maybe we’ll teach you a dance or two!


What You Need to Know

The dance tour is designed for walking.  There are light rail stops along 1stand 2nd Streets.  The Caltrain terminus is at San Fernando and Cahill with VTA bus connections to further downtown.

Not every venue may have outdoor seating available.  You may want to bring a folding chair if appropriate for your needs.

For more information email Amy Baldwin at ABaldwinBiz@aol.com.



According to the city website, city garages are free on Saturdays until 6:00 pm.  However, street parking meters are in effect; bring quarters if you intend to street park.  If you are coming to the first stop, we recommend parking at the Market and San Pedro Square Garage (see below).  There is also parking under the Fairmont Hotel (pay lot), and city garages in the general vicinity of Saint John and 3rd Street, Market and E. San Salvador, and 3rd Street and E. San Carlos.



First Dance Stop:  San Pedro Square Market, 87 N San Pedro St, 96110

Take 101 or 880 south to Route 87 (Guadalupe Parkway) south.  Take the Julian Street exit, turn left onto Julian, go under the overpass, and proceed straight on Saint James.  Turn right at Market Street, cross Saint John and park in the garage on your right (Market and San Pedro Square Garage).  Walk through the garage to the other side and you will emerge on San Pedro Square facing the market.


Lunch Break:

You are invited to join your favorite team for your own lunch in any of the many restaurants in the San Pedro Street, Santa Clara Street or Paseo area.


Second Dance Stop:  Repertory Theatre Plaza, 101 Paseo De San Antonio, 95113

From the market, walk south to Santa Clara Street, turn left, cross Market Street and turn right.  Stay on Market Street, cross San Fernando, bear left where Market Street splits, pass the Art Museum and Fairmont Hotel, and turn left into the pedestrian-only Paseo de San Antonio.  Cross 1st Street and into the large plaza next to the theater.


Third Dance Stops:  Museum of Art, 110 South Market Street, 95113 and Caffe Frascati, 315 S. 1st St, 95113

We will split into 2 groups and switch sites halfway through the time period.  Retrace your steps down the Paseo.  To hang out in front of the art museum, turn right at Market and pass the Fairmont Hotel to the museum plaza.  To go to the café, turn left at 1st Street, cross E. San Carlos and there you are.


Fourth Dance/Pub Stop:  Britannia Arms Pub, 173 West Santa Clara Street, 95113

Return to Market Street.  Go north past the art museum.  Cross Santa Clara Street and turn left.  Cross N. San Pedro, and continue walking down Santa Clara past the Los Gatos Roasting Company until you get to the Britannia Arms.  There is a red phone box out front.

Mad Molly is pleased to host the 2012 Bay Area Winter Day of (Morris) Dance on January 21 in downtown San Jose.

Teams attending the event are: Mad Molly (border morris and molly), Rising Phoenix (mummers play), Bombastic Border (border morris), Ring of Cold Steel (longsword), Leap of Faith (longsword) and Norton’s Guard (longsword).

Schedule for the day:

11:30 – 12:45ish – San Pedro Square Market and sidewalk
12:45 – 2:00 – food break
2:00 – 3:00 – San Jose Rep Plaza on the Paseo de San Antonio
3:15 – 4:30ish – San Jose Art Museum and Caffe Frascati on S. 1st Street
5:00 – Britannia Arms pub on W. Santa Clara Street
Come join the morris teams and assorted groupies for an enjoyable day of fabulous dance.  Maybe we’ll teach you a dance or two, too!

Mad Molly’s practice season starts in late August 2011.  We welcome potential dancers, singers and musicians. We’re a “mixed” side, open to men and women, and potentially to older children. You don’t need prior dance experience. (You will need to commit to regular rehearsals if you decide to join, though.) Come on down and try it out!

We meet at Fairmeadow School in south Palo Alto, near Mitchell Park.

Open rehearsals are Sunday afternoons from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

August 28, September 11, September 25, October 9

We hope to see you there!


In the meantime, check our Upcoming Events page for performances and events near you.



October 2018
« Aug