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May 16, 2008:

BEING FRIDAY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it is Friday. I ask you, where else on all the Internet can you find such information? Nowhere, that’s where. Being Friday, The Brain From Planet X enters its third week of performances. Being Friday, I shall have the weekend pretty much to myself. Being Friday, I shall romp about in open-toed sandals whilst eating grapes and doing my impression of One Grecian Urn. Being Friday, I’d best get on with these here notes. Speaking of being Friday, yesterday was Thursday. I was awakened by a call from Pitney-Bowes, who’d noticed I was paying a rather inane fee for downloading postage a little at a time. That was certainly the first I’d heard of the inane fee, so the nice man credited back most of the fees, put me on the correct plan so that there would never be an inane fee again, and gave the thirty dollars in free postage that I was supposed to have been given when I signed up. After that call, I had two other long telephonic calls, and then I had to go pick up the manuscript from proofer number two. I was pleased to see that her fixes were not nearly as many as in previous books, so maybe I’m getting better at this – it also helps that I’d already implemented proofer number one’s fixes. Most of her stuff were very good catches – an extra word here, a missing word there, a hyphen or two, a simpler way of saying a convoluted sentence – that sort of thing. There were only a handful of things I wasn’t sure about, and those I ran by muse Margaret and we decided which to do and which not to do. I then entered everything into the manuscript and this puppy has been put to bed. I then did a couple of errands, got a couple of hot dogs for luncheon, and then dove into the Nudie Musical script. I started at the beginning and three hours later I reached the end. In that three hours I cut a few lines, rewrote a few others, added a few, shifted stuff, clarified stage direction, and decided I did not like the ending (basically the film ending) – it’s fine to a point, but then it needs to have a musical comedy finish, rather than the end credits of the film. I also realized that a couple of characters are given very short shrift in the show, and I’m going to add stuff throughout for them – just little things to keep them alive. In the film, we ended up cutting stuff because we found the audiences really wanted to concentrate on the three leads and a couple of the subsidiary characters, and that anything else slowed it down. Therefore, characters like Susie, the ingĂ©nue, has her big song and then basically disappears for the rest of the film, save for one or two minor sequences. In the film, she originally had quite a long scene with the George Brenner character – almost ten minutes, and we cut that early on because no one cared about those characters. But for the show, we can’t have a character sing a solo like that and then not have some sort of payoff for it – so I’ll just sprinkle them through both acts and it should help. Some of the new material made me laugh out loud, so that’s a good sign. And I’ve definitely improved upon the film in a few areas. So, I’ll do another pass shortly, rewrite the ending, and then set an informal reading at my home environment. I have two people already in mind for the Harry and Rosie roles, and I hope they’ll be able to do it, and I also have someone in mind for the John Smithee role, and I hope he’ll be able to do it. My choice for Susie is on the East Coast, so I’ll find someone here, and I’m at a loss for Juanita, George, Eunice, and most importantly Mary La Rue (although I know who I’d like to play it – even though she may be a bit too old for it now – but she, too, is in New York). I’m probably going to find a pianist to play the reading so I don’t have to do it. I think hearing it aloud and read by good actors will tell me lots more. After doing that three hours, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled The Gunfight At Dodge City, starring Mr. Joel McCrea, Miss Julie Adams, Mr. John McIntyre and, as usual, a whole slew of terrific character actors. The film doesn’t work dramatically – it’s just a series of sequences without a strong villain or through-line. But, it’s only eighty-one minutes long, and Mr. McCrea is so good, that I enjoyed it thoroughly. To my mind, Mr. McCrea was one of the greatest screen actors of all time and I’ve never seen him give a bum performance. Like the film he made before this, Wichita, this film sports a very good score by Hans J. Salter. Joseph M. Newman directed it in workman-like fashion (pedal-pushers and a peek-a-boo blouse). The transfer, while a little bit on the dark side, has perfect color. It is funny that for films of this era that receive faded or ugly brown transfers the excuse is always about film stocks, which is utter horse manure. This was a very low budget affair, and yet the color is absolutely perfect. So, how come other films from that year, including another in this particular series, Man Of The West, have such mediocre color? It is to wonder.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because being Friday it’s just the thing to do. Besides, she of the Evil Eye is coming today instead of tomorrow, so I really must get my beauty rest.

Today, she of the Evil Eye will arrive around eleven. I have a noon meeting of the LACCTAA board, which is being held at Louise’s down by Vermont and Loz Feliz Blvd. After that, the day and evening are mine all mine.

Tomorrow, I’ll be doing work on the computer, then attending the evening performance of The Brain so I can see the Rod cover’s performance. Sunday I have no real plans, but I do have some fake plans, so there’s that.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, ship a few packages, have a board meeting, do errands and whatnot, and then watch a DVD or three. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, a Peggy Lee two-fer of two of her fun 70s albums. DVD, next up another western from the MGM collection that just came out, this one starring Robert Ryan and Burl Ives. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, because being Friday we just should.

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