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March 3, 2008:

ALMOST LIKE WRITING THE NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, what a day this has been, what a rare mood I’m in, why it’s almost like writing the notes. I think I shall breeze through the notes breezily and keep them short and sweet, as I do not feel like writing long and sour notes. This was the day that we were supposed to go into rehearsal for The Brain From Planet X, but since we still lack two cast members and since the musical director isn’t available at all this week, we will, in fact, be starting a week from today. Hopefully, by then we’ll be fully cast and frankly I’m rarin’ to go to see what this all-new company of players will bring to the piece. Speaking of the piece, yesterday was a day that went by. I slept rather late, got up, got dressed, did some work on Ye Olde Computer, then toddled off to the Hamburger Hamlet for some luncheon – Mr. Grant Geissman joined me and while the food really wasn’t up to snuff a good time was had by all and by all was had a good time. After that, I came home, shaved and showered, did some more work on the computer, had a couple of telephonic calls (including one with the always delightful FJL), and then it was time to be on my way to the Beach of Long to see All Shook Up at the Karen and Richard Carpenter Center For The Performing Arts.

Last night, I saw a musical entitled All Shook Up. For those that don’t remember, this musical had a brief run on Broadway, yet another in the cycle of jukebox musicals, this one with a bunch of Elvis songs shoehorned into a book by I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’s Joe De Pietro. Certainly the production at Musical Theatre West was fine and professional, so I won’t really talk about that aspect of my seeing it, other than to say that our very own Mr. Barry Pearl was excellent. But the show – well, I’m sure for totally non-discerning people who don’t care about theater it’s probably wonderful, and there were plenty of those there last night, including one middle-aged lady in the row behind me who was either completely off her rocker or the mother of someone. If I were her husband (who was patiently sitting next to her) I would have hit her with a frying pan. The book is a little of Twelfth Night spread out over a very, very long evening. It would be better cut by about twenty minutes, although that would not solve the shows’ multiple problems – i.e. a mostly unfunny act one that is mostly a very overlong setup to the occasionally funnier shenanigans of act two. The characters are cardboard thin, as you might imagine, and the songs obviously don’t propel us forward or illuminate character (always the problems with these types of shows), so we just sit there and don’t really care about anything. I gather that at least some of the sets were from the Broadway production since the set designer is the same – same with the costumes. I will say, that the most annoying thing about this show were the musical arrangements, which all ended the same way, in the now-cliched final word being held one beat followed by a loud button from the trumpets. Every song. And every show I see now seems to do that – does no one know how to write a proper show-stopping rideout anymore? The orchestrations are good as is the vocal harmonies, yet curiously neither are credited in the program, a serious and bad oversight that should be corrected immediately. For the record, it’s Michael Gibson and Stephen Oremus and they deserve to be credited and somehow I’m sure it’s in their contract that if their work is used that they need to be in the credit block. The theater is nice, with about 1000 seats. Sound was loud. No orchestra members received program credit so I have no idea if any of our folks were down there in the pit. I knew quite a few people in the audience, including my neighbors Stan Chandler and his lovely wife Kirsten Chandler and their adorable young son, Kim Huber, and a few others. And it was nice to chat with Barry after the show.

After that, I came right home and had some chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups or some such thing, which I needed to cleanse Ye Olde Palate.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because today will be a busy little day and I need my beauty rest so I can sing what a day this has been, what a rare mood I’m in, why it’s almost like writing the notes.

Today, I must do a lot of work at the piano and on the computer, I must begin having the new book properly proofed by my proper proofers, I must do a couple of very important errands, and I must hopefully pick up a package or two, and continue trying to find people to audition tomorrow night.

Tomorrow night, of course, will hopefully be our final auditions and we will be all set, cast-wise. I also have a breakfast meeting tomorrow morning at Du-Par’s – this was set before my recent vowing to never return to the Studio City Du-Par’s.

Now wait just a darned minute – perhaps we’d all better put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, perhaps we’d better break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, perhaps we’d better dance the Hora and the Frug, because today is the birthday of dear reader Miss Adriana Patti, and it’s a big one for Miss Patti turns twenty today and is no longer a teenager. So, let us give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to dear reader Miss Adriana Patti on the occasion of her no longer being a teenager. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO DEAR READER MISS ADRIANA PATTI ON THE OCCASION OF HER NO LONGER BEING A TEENAGER!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do work at the piano, do work on the computer, make telephonic calls, do errands and whatnot and then perhaps eat some foodstuffs. Today’s topic of discussion: So, of all these jukebox musicals, which do you think have come closest to actually functioning successfully in terms of artistic merit. And do you think there’s a song catalogue that could actually be interpolated into a book show where it would actually work. If so, what catalogue would that be and what type of show would it be? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, because what a day this has been, what a rare mood I’m in, why it’s almost like writing the notes.

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