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May 25, 2008:

A SUNDAY KIND OF NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I must write these notes in a hurry because I must leave quite early to attend a put-in rehearsal that’s going to last at least two-and-a-half hours, and then I must attend the matinee showing of The Brain From Planet X. Last night, our very own Miss Alet Taylor, our original Yoni, attended the show and she called me directly after to tell me how much she loved it – she loved the cast’s energy and she said the audience was nice and vocal and it was a full house, if I understood her correctly. All that was very nice to hear after a somewhat frustrating day of being frustrated. For example, I got up at five-thirty in the morning because of allergy problems. That was frustrating. I did manage to get another three hours of sleep eventually. I then did a bit of proofing and whatnot, and then I went to Staples and printed out a Nudie Musical script, which I’ll proof soon and also start getting used to playing the score. The reading is definitely set for the 9th of June, and we definitely have our two leads – Mr. Patrick Cassidy and Miss Beth Malone. I’ll be casting the other roles this week, including the six ensemble people, who all play a variety of different roles throughout the show. I then delivered a Nudie DVD to Miss Malone, and then came back to the home environment. The Handy Man came and began to troubleshoot the electrical problem in the den – that was, of course, the cause of the frustration, as I’m not going to have power in the den until Tuesday. I then left and decided to go to Costco – I’ve been having people tell me I had to go and sign up, and so I finally did. The minute I arrived I knew that Saturday was not a good day to do it, but since I was there, I did it anyway. So, I am now a Costco member. Mr. Mark Rothman loves Costco and was a prime mover in getting me to go there. They serve all manner of little snacks, they have a food court with cheap eats, and then there’s just this humungous store with really large sizes of everything. If you like teeny-tiny sizes, Costco (octsoc, spelled backwards) is not the place for you. If you like Big Boy Sizes, Costco IS the place for you. You do get really good savings on certain items, but you really have to want these huge amounts of whatever it is. I bought two 32-can packs of Diet Coke for $8.85 each, I bought three large 42oz things of Heinz 57 ketchup for like seven bucks (that was a really good deal – I was out, and the medium-sized ones I get at Gelson’s cost about three bucks – these three ought to last me a year), and I bought a big box o’ Reese’s Snack Bars – 42 of ’em in a box for $4.99, which is about ten cents a bar, which is, of course, the sequel to ten cents a dance. The Reese’s Snack Bars are very tasty and have only 110 calories. That’s all I bought, but I will eventually get the two huge jugs of Prego spaghetti sauce for six or seven bucks – I mean they are HUGE and I do like to just whip up pasta every now and then and I always have to go buy sauce and two teeny-tiny jars cost as much as these vats. They have meats and fish, but I don’t know that I’d buy such items there. They have TVs and DVDs (not that great, price-wise, although there were a couple of steals), lots of cheeses, crackers, wines, beers, even office supplies. I’ll go back mid-week when it’s not so crowded and really take my time going through there. After that, I decided to eat some dinner, and after that, I finally came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I couldn’t watch a motion picture on DVD in the den, since there is no power in there (the verdict was they have to come back on Tuesday and locate the point where the problem is and most likely do some rewiring), so I watched two count them two motion pictures on DVD in the bedroom. The first motion picture on DVD in the bedroom was entitled Marriage On The Rocks, a rather tepid comedy starring Mr. Frank Sinatra, Mr. Dean Martin, Miss Deborah Kerr, and others. I found it tedious, with an occasional amusing bit or two, but at close to 110 minutes, it was twenty minutes too long. The transfer was nice, with fairly accurate colors, and reasonable, if unexceptional, sharpness. I then watched The Man With The Golden Arm, again starring Mr. Sinatra, Miss Kim Novak, Miss Eleanor Parker, Mr. Darren McGavin, and Mr. Arnold Stang, along with strong support from some wonderful character actors. The film was masterfully directed by Mr. Otto Preminger, and well-written by Walter Newman, from the novel by Nelson Algren. I wrote about the film when I ran one of those public domain DVDs about a year ago. Those transfers are from 16mm prints, slightly zoomed in on an open matte transfer – by zooming in they remove some of the unseemly headroom but in so doing they also cut off the sides of the film. However, the correct ratio for the film has always been 1:85 and this new transfer from Warner Bros. is the first time it’s ever appeared on home video properly. Not only that, for those who’ve only seen the PD copies, this transfer will be a complete revelation. Due to the muddy, awful PD copies, I’ve always thought this film was the ugliest Preminger picture ever made – dark, dingy, and grimy-looking. Wherever Warners got their element from, it’s fantastic looking. Suddenly, Mr. Sam Leavitt’s photography looks amazing – with rich blacks, great contrast, and it’s sharp as a tack. Of course, some have complained about a small white emulsion scratch that runs down the center of the film for a couple of minutes tops, and an occasional black scratch that also lasts less than a minute. There’s no reason to complain at all – it’s a great transfer which finally does this film a great service, and a couple of imperfections are not worth mentioning. We just ought to thank the classic movie gods that The Man With The Golden Arm is finally here in a splendidly splendid transfer. Mr. Sinatra’s performance is really good, as are all the performances. The few Eleanor Parker films I’ve seen, she really had a knack for creating characters you love to loathe. Miss Novak is lovely, and Arnold Stang is surprisingly effective as Mr. Sinatra’s friend who doesn’t quite play with a full deck. And the Elmer Bernstein score remains a wonder. Highly recommended by the likes of me.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I really must get my beauty rest as I have to get up really early and shave and shower and be alert and twitchy and bitchy and manic – but alive, but alive, but alive.

As mentioned, this morning I shall toddle down to the Heim of Ana for a put-in rehearsal for the General Mills cover (he’s quite different than the fellow who plays the role, so my job will be to get him up to the other fellow’s energy level – the guy’s a good actor and I’m sure it will be no trouble at all). We’re also putting in a person who won a contest to play a cameo role in the show – in this case, the three-line role of the Farmer. It’s a simple bit, and I’ve already figured out how I’ll get him on and off without him killing himself in the dark or bumping into people. After that, I’ll be attending the matinee performance, as my pal and co-writer David Wechter will be there to see the show with his family. Afterwards, we’ll grab a bite to eat, maybe at the nearby Knowlwood CafĂ©, which I like a lot.

Tomorrow, I finish proofing everything, and I must also set up several meetings for the week – this week is either going to be completely hellish or, God-willing, I’ll get through it without too much fuss and bother.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do a put-in rehearsal, see a matinee, sup, and then perhaps watch a motion picture on DVD in the bedroom. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, as our long weekend continues.

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