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June 20, 2008:

COLONIZING AT THE COLONY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it’s Friday and I’ve survived another week and it wasn’t all that easy of a week to survive, frankly. Those who read the posts know that I have been having difficulty with collecting a way overdue invoice and it’s become pretty clear that the store in question, Colony Records, has no intention of making good. It hasn’t been for want of my trying to get it taken care of. But these people will not answer e-mails, they will not pick up the phone when you call, no matter how many times, and unfortunately the fellow who does the ordering is apparently having his own troubles there and has washed his hands of it. The fact is, when I called last week, the poor employee who I spoke to was relaying information back and forth because these people wouldn’t get on the phone with me. The employee finally relayed to me that they’d gotten my e-mail and that payment would go out the next day. That was one week ago. Needless to say, no check has arrived, and subsequent e-mails and calls have gone unanswered. I don’t have to tell you dear readers how annoying this all is, and how reprehensible and how unprofessional. It’s not the money, which isn’t going to make or break me – it’s the fact that I had a deal with the fellow who ordered, and that deal was that my invoices get turned around quickly. Note to Colony Records: Two months is not quickly. I sent them their Evening Primrose CDs, they, as always, almost doubled the price, and sold out of it in one day. They have their profit, and they have my money. It’s not worth seeking legal action against them, but it’s their obnoxious and smug attitude about this that I loathe. And who wouldn’t? I’m not offering an opinion here, I’m just speaking the truth and saying what’s happened. There is no refuting what I’m saying. The joke is that the fellow who ordered the CD in the first place tried to get me to send another box of them and promised payment would be sent for the first. Thank goodness I didn’t send the second box. Should I be in the New York area soon, I’m quite certain I’ll be colonizing at the Colony so I can speak with the owners about good citizenship. And I’ll speak quite loudly. Then there’s been the endless air conditioning problems – they keep having to come back and they’ve done everything under the sun except the one thing they should have done FIRST – the A/C electrical breaker keeps tripping. Instead of STARTING there, they’ve replaced the thermostat, other items, filters, but the damn breaker KEEPS tripping. When I got home last night to an almost eighty degree house, I flipped out and called the Handy Man – he heard me good and he promised either he or someone will be here first thing in the morning. I know this scenario well enough to know that that means the afternoon, but he’ll be here and this WILL get taken care of. My goodness, an entire page of ranting about Colony Records and air conditioning.

Other than those things, yesterday was just an annoying day all around and I’m quite ready for these odd annoying days to take a hike and I mean a long and winding hike. I did errands, the A/C man came and replaced everything and assured me the breaker would no longer trip (uh huh), and I ate a late lunch. Then I toddled off to Theatre West to see a reading of the “new” old musical, The Times, written by my pal Brad Ross, with a book and lyrics by Joe Keenan. This was written long before Mr. Keenan found success in televisionland. I became aware of the show in the mid-1990s when I recorded one of its songs on my album Broadway Bound. The show has been kicking around and I know there was another workshop recently in New York. This staged reading was done as part of the LA Festival Of New Musicals. There were quite a few people I knew there, and it was presented in conjunction with ASCAP. I do wish that the LA Festival had gotten some of these folks down to the Chance to see our little show, but, you know, they didn’t, Blanche, they didn’t. I saw several friends including musical director Steven Smith, the director of the reading, Gordon Hunt, our very own Mr. Jason Graae, What If’s Paul Haber, and quite a few others. The reading was very well done, with a very good cast, including Jordan Leeds, who’d flown out from New York to do it. I knew Mr. Leeds from I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and he was actually one of the first people we offered the role of Fred in The Brain for the NYMF production. His leading lady was the ubiquitous Michelle Duffy. I didn’t know the other actors, save for Michael G. Hawkins, but they all did an excellent job, and Mr. Hunt kept the whole thing moving right along. I don’t know if the show originally had an intermission, but last night it didn’t and at two hours it should have. Mr. Ross’s music and Mr. Keenan’s lyrics are sometimes very, very good, and the song I recorded, Watching The Show, is a great theater song. The book, at least in style and tone, seems to have been influenced by Merrily We Roll Along – which I don’t think is a good show to be influenced by. We spend a lot of time with characters who are unhappy and who keep having their dreams pass them by. They progress and learn lessons, but it’s hard to get over the fact of the sort of unhappiness that permeates the piece for a lot of its running time. This is, of course, just my opinion – others loved every minute of it. I also wasn’t sold on the basic metaphor of the show – that somehow the New York Times and the times of the characters’ lives somehow have something to do with each other. It’s more confusing than illuminating, at least it was for me, unless I’m completely missing the metaphor and the purpose of calling the show The Times and having all the newspaper stuff. Since I often miss metaphors, I suppose that’s entirely possible. Mr. Keenan certainly knows how to write a funny line, and his lyrics are, for the most part, very good and sometimes a lot better than very good. Mr. Ross is a real theater composer and his music is tuneful and fun. And I reiterate, Watching The Show is a great theater song – in fact, that song, in four minutes, basically encapsulates the entire show. It’s one of my favorite tracks that I’ve recorded, especially the superb orchestration by our very own elmore, and the great performance by Mr. Michael Rupert.

I also began watching a motion picture on DVD entitled Fanny. I’ll have lots to say about the film and its DVD when I finish it sometime today or tomorrow. Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below whilst I dream of colonizing at the Colony and speaking ever so loudly.

Today, I’m sure I’ll be calling Colony Records, and sending another copy of the OVERDUE invoice. I have one annoying errand to do, and I’ll have to be here for the A/C and Handy Man visit, and then this evening I’ll be attending the cast party for The Brain From Planet X, which is far away in the Heim of Ana.

Tomorrow, I’ll be spending quite a few hours with our very own Mr. Kevin Spirtas, as we go through the patter and structure of the Spirtas/Sean McDermott two-person show. And then, I’ll begin staging it. We’ll be working on this for the next few days.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do an annoying errand, try to get an OVERDUE invoice taken care of, and then attend a cast party. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, the soundtrack to Fanny, which I adore. The CD comes with the DVD. DVD, Fanny, and then the final Mannix episodes. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, as I begin to plan my colonizing at the Colony. I’m sure it will be an affair to remember.

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