Well, dear readers, we had our final preview last night and it was a really good show straight down the line. The cast has been finding the joy level over the last few days and it’s really fun to watch them start loosening up and just going with the show we’ve created. We had about thirty-two people (almost a sellout – the theater only seats forty) and they were a very appreciative audience, which was great for the cast as it fed them and they responded in kind. And now it’s on to opening night. Our cast is comprised of Shaun Baker, Dana Dewes, Robert Jacobs, Jane Noseworthy and Sami Staitman and our wonderful musical director is Lloyd Cooper. We are at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice and I hope those who are on the West Coast will come and see the show at some point in the next couple of months.
After the preview, I hung out for a little, talked to a few folks, but then had to leave to go have a little meeting, which I did at Jerry’s Deli – I was a good boy and had a chopped salad with vegetables, avocado and a tiny bit of salami, in a half-teaspoon of oil and a lot of vinegar dressing of my own concocting. It was very good and very filling.
Prior to all that, I got up around ten-thirty, which would have been good had I not fallen asleep until two-thirty, due to the site being down and my wanting to stay up until we were back, which took about forty minutes. Once up, I answered e-mails, printed orders, and then I went and had some chicken tenders, picked up some packages, including a nice birthday present from Jenna Rosen and family, and then I just sat on my couch like so much fish.
Yesterday, I finished watching a motion picture entitled Gun Crazy. Is it coincidence or just serendipity that the two latest Wild Side releases from France, Curse of the Demon and Gun Crazy, two completely different kinds of films, both star the wonderful Peggy Cummins?
Gun Crazy, the little Blu-ray, is inside of a great big box that houses a gorgeous hardcover book by American noir expert, Eddie Muller, which is in French. However, it is loaded with script excerpts, incredible photos and a poster gallery so it’s fun to look at and it’s just a shame that the text couldn’t be in English and French, although the actual photocopied script excerpts and the various production letters are in English.
I first saw Gun Crazy at some point in the mid-1970s when I got a 16mm print of it and I instantly fell in love with everything about the film – the brilliant direction, script, photography and the performances. I watched it quite often. At either the first or second Telluride Film Festival I went because Joseph H. Lewis was there to talk about Gun Crazy, which they were showing. That was an amazing experience, because at that festival was the first time I ever saw Sunrise by Murnau, which they showed outdoors. I remember being huddled under a blanket with some young woman I’d just met – believe me, it was fun.
I can’t find my DVD of Gun Crazy at the moment. But watching the new Blu-ray from Wild Side I was immediately struck by how many opticals are in the film. Of course, watching for that sort of thing is a by-product of the Blu-ray age and discussion boards – certainly it would never have occurred to us to watch that sort of thing in the old days when we just watched movies. It is wall-to-wall opticals, rather like Giant in that regard – one after another, with very long scenes playing completely as optical dupes. When you finally cut out of those shots to the few non-optical shots in the film, then you get wonderful clarity, that looks quite fetching in this transfer. The detail is really nice as is the contrast in all those shots. The opticals, of course, don’t look as good. If I could find the DVD I could tell you better whether there’s been an attempt to clean up the grain in the opticals – with the exception of a few of them, they don’t have much grain, but that wasn’t bothersome to me, and that may just be the way they look. I’ll keep trying to find the DVD which is here somewhere and then I can compare.
But I’m happy to have this and watching it again was very pleasurable and Miss Cummins is absolutely brilliant. There are some extras, and since most of the participants in them are American (or English in the case of Miss Cummins, who I was rather surprised to see is still with is, as her segment was taped at the Castro Theater in San Francisco this past summer – she’s still beautiful and still feisty), you can watch and enjoy them. The film has removable English subtitles (via remote) and despite the Region B listing, it plays fine in my region A player, just as Curse of the Demon did. Again, some of the detail in this transfer is rather breathtaking, but the many opticals are not as sharp, which is as it should be. If you love the film, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be pleased with this package.
After I finished the movie, I did my afternoon ablutions and then headed to the theater.
Today, I shall hopefully arise after a good night’s beauty sleep, then I’ll do a jog of some sort, I’ll eat something light, I’ll relax, and then I shall be on my way to the theater for our opening night. There having a little partay for us, although they do something a week from tonight that they call their “Gala” opening, for their bigger donors. But tonight is the official opening so send lots of excellent vibes and xylophones for a great show. After we stop in at the partay, a few of us will go out and have a fun meal.
Tomorrow I’ll attend the matinee of our little revue and then will hopefully go do something fun for my natal day, and I’ll also stop in at Doug Haverty’s annual holiday partay. Beginning on Monday, I will devote most of my time to planning the benefit show and structure. Tuesday night we have a brief put-in rehearsal for Jane’s cover, Christanna Rowader, who’ll be playing the four shows that weekend. I’ll also have meetings and meals and lots o’ other stuff to attend to.
Let’s all put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, let’s all break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, let’s all dance the Hora or the One Grecian Urn, because today is the birthday of our beloved dear reader Jane. I’ve known our beloved dear reader Jane since she was a teen and we spent a lot of time together back in high school. I don’t think it’s much of a secret that one of the characters in the second half of Kritzer Time is mostly based on dear reader Jane (with a little of dear reader Jeanne thrown in). So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to our very own beloved dear reader Jane. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OUR VERY OWN BELOVED DEAR READER JANE!!!
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do a jog, eat, hopefully pick up some packages, relax, and attend the opening night of the new revue I’ve just created and directed, Pure Imagination – The Musical World of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.