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November 16, 2018:

FINAL PREVIEW

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had over two-thirds of the house filled last night for our final preview, and boy were they a great audience.  The reaction was terrific and the cast found out there are actual laughs in the show, many of which were stepped on because they weren’t expecting them. So, now they now and can feed off of that.  The sound was better, but still imperfect a few times, but the designer sat right behind me so I kept shooting him looks.  And I gave him specifics after the show.  It’s very close, though and mostly sounds great.  I will say about the show itself, whether one thinks it’s great or not I have no idea, but I do know it makes people happy – and that was one of our primary goals, to get people in the Christmas spirit and to show that positive will always out rule negative. That feeling is in 98% of the score (not the ballad, of course), and the book is loaded with it.  The cast did really well, although I did have notes, which I sent via e-mail and if they’re addressed it will be really helpful.  I must tell you that little Peyton Kirkner was incredible. I have never not had notes for her, sometimes significant notes, but after the show I went to her and said, “Let me give you your notes now.”  She said, “Great.”  I made a zero with my finger and said, “No notes.  Play that performance every night and I will be very happy.”  She was thrilled.  She told me she’d eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just before the show.  I said she had to do that before every performance.  The audience ate her up.  Our leading lady, Hartley, did a great job – just a few nitpicks to clean up, but her curtain call got a huge ovation.  The role is not for the faint of heart – she is literally off stage ONCE in the entire show, and that’s in the first ten minutes.  After that, she is in every scene, she is the engine of the show, and it is really hard for anyone to have to keep up that kind of energy when you have every other line of dialogue.  But everyone did well.  The songs all got terrific applause, and this particular audience LOVED This Christmas, the only song in the show that was not actually written for it.  The audience was very vocal and it was great for the cast to hear that, to know that all that hard work is paying off. We had the same light that went out at the first preview, go out again, so our designer knows she has to get that fixed and working properly, as it is absolutely needed and without it things in a section of the stage where three hugely important scenes take place, is just not bright enough.  Have to solve that before tonight’s opening.

Here’s a little trailer Hartley put together (her day job is working in a post-production house).

Prior to the show, I got close to eight hours of sleep, although I was up at seven-thirty with an allergy attack – took a pill and fell right back asleep.  Once up, I answered e-mails, did some work on the computer, had a little snack to tide me over until I could have a proper meal, and then I had a haircut.  After that, I got ready and then decided I didn’t have time for a proper meal.  So, instead I went to the mail place and picked up some screeners, well two, both from Amazon movies I’ve never heard of.  Then I moseyed on over to the theater and just hung out until show time.  At first I didn’t think many people were going to show up, but it was a steady stream and I was surprised to find we probably had close to seventy people there, which is rare for a preview night.

The show started right on time (we’re being VERY proactive about telling people to use the loo before the show, since there’s no intermission), and it ran its usual ninety minutes.  We all hung out and there were so many lovely comments and compliments about the show itself and the songs, which people really seem to like.  Several folks went on at length to me about how much they liked the lyrics.  Since it was still pretty early and I hadn’t eaten a real meal, Doug, his wife Dorathy, and I went to the Coral Café.  I had a chicken Caesar wrap and a few fries, all good. Then I came home.

Today, I’ll get up and write all the thank you notes for cast and creatives and tech crew and that will probably take more than an hour.  While I found the note cards, I didn’t find the envelopes.  The note cards were in the trunk of the motor car and I have to assume the envelopes are buried there, too, but there’s so much junk in the trunk that I’m not sure I’ll be able to find it – if not, I’ll have to find a store that has that size envelope.  Once that’s done, I may have a snack to tide me over until after the show.  Then I’ll mosey on over to the theater at six, to see what Tesshi has done for the final scene of the show.  I’ll be there if they need to test out anything, sound-wise and I’ll hand out the cards.  At seven, my Darling Daughter and her best friend arrive.  I wasn’t told the best friend was coming and we’re completely sold out, but we’ll figure out something.  Then we play our opening night performance, and there’s an after-party in the green room directly afterwards.  I will, of course, have a complete report for you.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye comes, so no rest for the weary.  I’ll eat a light breakfast and do some stuff, then come home, write liner notes, finish choosing the Kritzerland songs and get them to the cast, and then I’ll attend our evening performance and the after-party. Sunday we play our matinee and there’s another after-party to attend.  Then on Monday I start three days of intense rehearsals for the musical revue, noon to four for three days, after which I’ll finally have a day off. Otherwise, it’s the usual meetings and meals, and hopefully the pension check will show up today or tomorrow, although if it’s not there today I will call again.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write thank you notes, find envelopes or purchase same, have a snack, hopefully pick up packages, then mosey on over to the theater and attend our opening night.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, too many things to name.  DVD, screeners whenever I get around to them.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, so happy we had such a nice final preview.

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