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March 13, 2008:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, are you going to sit there and tell me that we’re almost halfway through March? Are you going to tell me that? That’s just nutty, isn’t it? But, what can you do – time marches on, like a gazelle in an iron lung. I gotta tell you. Well, like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow. We’re one step closer to being fully cast – just added to our female ensemble, our very own Marlana Filannino, who was in our benefit last November, and who, on a moment’s notice, stepped out of the ensemble to wow the audience with I Want To Be A Rockette. So, that only leaves General Mills and the male ensemble member and then we finally have a full company of merry players. Speaking of merry players, yesterday was a day that just was over before it began. I got up early, did some work on the computer, then began recording the three or four songs that I needed to finish from the musical I’m mentoring. One of them I hadn’t even worked on musically, but I used the original composer’s first two notes, then kept the idea of what he’d done, but reharmonized and changed a lot of notes, and came up with one really fun thing for it. Recording that took about four hours, because I’m just hopeless trying to play the piano when I know it’s being recorded. By that time it was already one-thirty, so I took a whole mess o’ clothes to the dry cleaners, picked up mail, got a Subway Club at the Subway (one thing I’ve found is that it’s hard to get a Subway Club at McDonald’s or Jack In The Box), then came home and ate the thing. Then I got the layout for Friday’s shoot, and it looks like it will be fun. My call time is eight in the morning, but it’s very close by. And unless things get way behind, right now it looks like we’ll be through by five, which will be a good thing. I made a couple of important telephonic calls, did some more work on the computer, and the next thing I knew it was six-thirty. And at six-thirty I had an appointment with the couch, where I sat like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture I’d TIVOd entitled The Caretakers. I talk about seeing The Caretakers in one of the Kritzer books (or maybe it’s in the story Maddie) – I went to a sneak preview of it at the Bruin Theater in Westwood several months before the film came out. It was very amusing seeing this film previewed in the Bruin because the opening of the film has Polly Bergin, crazy as a bedbug, walking in Westwood and going in to the Bruin to see a film (on the marquee – West Side Story). So, there I was sitting in the theater where the scene was shot and it was all very odd. As was the film. It was one of those women in the insane asylum films, this one very earnest but loaded with corn and kitsch nonetheless. The brainchild of director Hall Bartlett (who would go on to make the very bad Jonathan Livingston Seagull) and Jerry Paris (who would go on to helm almost the entirety of Happy Days), The Caretakers has two great things going for it – Elmer Bernstein’s propulsive and haunting score, and Lucien Ballard’s great photography (Oscar-nominated). Miss Bergen has to scream and sweat and spout a lot of really risible dialogue, as do poor Janis Paige (as an apparently mental prostitute), Barbara Barrie, Susan Oliver, Constance Ford (as a mean ol’ head nurse), Van Williams, Robert Vaughn and others. The film’s stars are Robert Stack as the forward-thinking doctor who wants things to change as to how mental patients are treated, and Joan Crawford (as “Lucretia”) the head of the hospital, who opposes him at every turn. And a very frail Herbert Marshall (who can barely get his lines out) makes a brief appearance in a few scenes. Interestingly, the complete soundtrack has just been released on a limited edition CD.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because if we don’t then March will be over and I don’t want to think about that until tomorrow.

Today I have very little planned, which is good. I need to relax and finally have a sort of day off before I shoot tomorrow. I think Mr. Kevin Spirtas is coming over at some point to run some ideas by me. He called the other day to say that the two numbers for which I’d provided charts and then helped he and Linda Purl stage, went over like gangbusters, so that was nice to hear. We’re still hoping and hoping and hoping that good news will come our way sooner than later.

Tomorrow, of course, I’ll be shooting all day, and then I’ll treat myself to a nice dinner afterwards. Saturday, we have a three-hour blocking rehearsal in the morning – I plan on doing the first family scene (and Here On Earth), and then I plan on doing the first half of the second family scene (including The World Of Tomorrow). If I have time, I’ll also begin on the first Rod and Donna scene. On Sunday, we have a music rehearsal for The Brain, Zubrick, and Yoni, and then we’ll begin to block the first of their scenes.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, relax, hope for good news, eat something fun but not too fattening, and perhaps watch a motion picture or two. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite crazy people films – where people are insane or go insane or get cured of insanity – it’s quite a fun genre – and what are your favorite prison films – women or men in prison? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst March keeps marching on, which I’m not thinking about until tomorrow.

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