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May 7, 2008:

THE ENJOYABLE WEEK

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I most assuredly am enjoying my week. It’s so nice not making that long drive every day and being stuck in maddening traffic. Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing the show and the cast come Friday, but I really needed this time to play catch up or, at the very least, to play ketchup. Speaking of ketchup, yesterday was a perfectly lovely day in which I did perfectly lovely things. For example, I got up. That was perfectly lovely. I then began the work of conforming the Brain script and implementing all the changes we’ve done, most of which involves rewriting a lot of the stage direction, lots of which doesn’t reflect at all what we’ve done with the show. I then met our very own Mr. Jason Graae at my storage facility and we found the music he needed for a gig in a few days. I then came home and had a telephonic conversation with muse Margaret about the fixes I wasn’t sure about. We went over all twenty-three of them and decided which we’d do and which we wouldn’t. She’s maniacal about the voice of the book not being compromised, even if it means there’s a participle or two that dangles like so much fish. I then did those fixes, then went back to the Brain and, over the next few hours, got almost two-thirds of the way through. Once I finish, I’ll have to go through it again a couple of times, just to make sure it’s exactly what it’s supposed to be, then I have to print out four copies and send them and a copy on CD to the folks who are licensing the show for stock and amateur. I don’t think it’s any secret to say that it’s the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization – we’re pretty thrilled about it. I ate some lunch, did some work at the piano, shipped a few packages, did some errands, printed out a new copy of the novel manuscript, and that was my day. After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Papa’s Delicate Condition, starring Mr. Jackie Gleason, Miss Glynis Johns, and Mr. Charlie Ruggles. I’d never seen it before. No, it’s not a film masterpiece, but it has its charms and I enjoyed it very much. Mr. Gleason was, of course, the real deal, and I just love watching him. He’s completely charming in the film, as is Miss Johns and Mr. Ruggles. The film introduced the world to Cahn and Van Heusen’s beautiful song, Call Me Irresponsible – it works perfectly in the film as sung by a quite drunk Gleason. To say they don’t make ’em like this anymore would be the understatement of the decade. To say they don’t make ’em like Gleason anymore would be even more of an understatement. The transfer is quite brown and has none of the IB Technicolor sparkle it should have – the trailer has better color. But, the transfer is, at least, very sharp.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because it’s been a full day and I need my beauty sleep so that dogs will not shy away from me in the street.

I’m hoping for another nice day today. I’ve got a few packages to ship, I’ll finish conforming the Brain, I’ll deliver the manuscript to proofer number two, and I’ll do errands and whatnot.

Tomorrow I’m meeting with the author of the musical I’m mentoring and we’ll talk through the final scene and song of the show. Then he’ll do whatever work needs to be done, and we’ll schedule an informal reading again. Then it’s on to Nudie Musical.

I’m also arranging the program for this charity event – the talent is booked, the band is booked, and we’ll have a little get-together to figure everything out. They only have to do about fifteen to twenty minutes, so it will most likely just be four songs, all from Wicked, and performed by two former cast members from the Pantages production.

We received our first review of The Brain From Planet X – I have no idea what it was written for – a paper, online site, blog, whatever, but since it’s such a nice one, I thought I’d share it right this very minute.

The Brain From Planet X
by James Scarborough, What The Butler Saw

May 5, 2008

I used to wonder whether intergalactic visitors would have libidos and the ability to make us laugh for hours on end.

And now, having seen David Wechter and Bruce Kimmel’s exquisite retro-futuristic sci-fi musical The Brain From Planet X, directed by Kimmel for The Chance Theater, I know.

They do and they can!

This show makes the solar system just a little bit smaller. We find that our visitors are just as goofy and hapless as the rest of us. They may think big, with grand plans to enthrall the Earth, but they prove that even aliens subscribe to Murphy’s Law: if things can go wrong, they will.

It’s 1958. Housewife Joyce (Allison Appleby), Engineer/Inventor husband Fred (Bob Simpson) and daughter Donna (Shannon Cudd), the composite of every do-good television family from the golden age of television, live that non-existent life invented by advertising executives and insurance actuaries.

Soon, though, they must fend off the attack of a trio of aliens: The Brain (Mark Rothman), Yoni (Emily Clark), and Zubrick (Daniel Berlin). They are aided, if that’s the right word, by – nice names! – careerist General Mills (Warren Draper) and factotum Private Parts (Dan Flapper).

A funnier script and premise you’ll never see. The songs rock, especially Yoni’s “I Need An Earthman” and “The Plan,” sung by The Brain, Yoni, and Zubrick, and the dancing, which also doubles as mass hysteria, is out of this world. The story takes place in the San Fernando Valley. Nice locale. Frank Zappa would have said that the invasion indeed did take place and the results continue to the present day, but that’s another story.

The production brims with the pitter-patter of puns, double entendres, and Boomer references (Rice-A-Roni, fake trips to the library so to watch submarine races…the only thing missing was Fred’s pocket protector and a slide rule). The show puts the complex back into military industrial.

You won’t find a better ensemble performance. Michael Irish’s Narrator notched up the hysteria like Joel Gray in Cabaret. Appleby’s Joyce put the tonic in catatonic. Clark’s Yoni begins with a Marge Simpson hairdo. Then she marvels at the terrestrial technology behind and the human statuary encased within zippers on men’s trousers. I kept expecting Rothman’s The Brain to pull out a cigar and start doing a Sands Hotel in Vegas stand-up routine.

Masako Tobaru’s set projections, and deb Millison’s costumes made me wonder if I was on the Set of “The Donna Reed Show” or “Lost in Space”.

See this for the sheer visual lunacy, the non-stop laughs, and the buffet line of preposterous situations. See it because it’s live (and kicking), analog not digital. See it because you won’t believe how something so clever could come from the simple convocation of words on paper and people on stage.
Performances are 8PM, Friday & Saturday, 2PM, Saturday & Sunday. The show runs until June 8. Tickets are $27-30. The Theater is located at 5552 E. La Palma Avenue, Anaheim Hills. For more information call (714) 777-3033 or visit www.chancetheater.com.

And there you have it. Now wait just a darned minute. Let’s all put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, let’s all break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, let’s all dance the Hora and the Continental because today is the birthday of our lovely dear reader Danise. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to our lovely dear reader Danise. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OUR LOVELY DEAR READER DANISE!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, deliver a manuscript, conform the Brain, do errands, ship packages and whatnot. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like. So, let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we hope for the enjoyable week to continue.

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