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July 12, 2008:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I must write these here notes in a hurry because a) it is late, and b) she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early, plus I also have a notes session at ten o’clock. I mustn’t go off on tangents or diatribes. I must be focused and alert, not necessarily in that order. I must not suddenly begin ranting about things that are superfluous, like frozen hashbrown potatoes. In other words, I must write these here notes without further ado (oda, spelled backwards.) Speaking of ado, yesterday was a very long day that went right into evening without so much as a by-your-leave. You know, I must really be tired because my fingers and my brain are not correlating. It just took me five times to type by-your-leave correctly. It kept coming out as by-ruty,lavi, which is something wholly other. And type came out tpey. I gotta tell you. And it isn’t THAT late but it was a long and exhausting day. For example, I got up early in the morning. That was exhausting. I then jogged. That was even more exhausting. Then I shaved and showered and headed over to rehearsal. I got there just before noon. Sean and Kevin had been going over patter and staging (without singing) since ten. We ran a few random things, I changed a couple of lines of patter, adjusted some staging, and then we took a break so they could eat something. We reconvened at two and began a run-through at two-twenty. It was very interesting seeing a non-stop run-through for a whole slew of reasons. I felt that the pace of the show worked, that the staging worked, and that the guys were really good together. But, there was a lot stuff that needed cleaning up, one number that I felt wasn’t working at all, and some more patter to adjust. So, I gave my notes, which were many but all of which had to do with the same two or three things, most important of which was energy on the patter, and that they have to be the motor of the show and they can never let the motor idle. They have to drive it, not be too casual on the patter, because then I just start tuning out. I was very specific, and after the session the first thing I attended to was the number that just wasn’t working at all. I added a couple of new lines of patter, changed the staging and the whole intention of the performance and then we ran it and it was like a breath of fresh air. We then cleaned up more staging, and I addressed what I perceived to be the second big problem. I won’t go into detail because I’d have to waste too much time explaining the show, but unlike all the other shows I’ve helped create, this one is more of a tribute show, and I just kept feeling we were lacking a little heart and a personal connection from the guys to the material. I really don’t like when people just sing songs and there’s no context or connection. So, we hastily added three little things to the patter, which really helped. I’ll now rewrite those things and smooth them out, and find another couple of places to do the same. We adjusted some chords in certain charts that I wasn’t thrilled with, and then it was time to take a one-hour break before the show.

We set up the room quickly, and by seven there were about thirty to forty people there. I made a little speech and we began the show. It was a very good first time through and shakedown. They got lots of the laughs, and the laughs that weren’t gotten were because they’re just not secure enough on the newer patter. In fact, most of my notes were the same as they were in the afternoon – patter energy, beginning of song energy, not letting the audience go by wandering around, etc. All the stuff that will get better the more we run the show. The one thing that was really clear was that the structure was really sound, and the pace is going to work just fine. I have nitpicky performance notes for individual songs, but basically I felt everything worked. I was really gratified by the reaction to Me And My Shadow – it’s just become my favorite thing I’ve ever staged. It’s really typical Kimmelography, and they do it wonderfully (the number requires exact precision every step of the way). It was surprising the guys had as much energy as they did, coming off an eight-hour rehearsal. And it’s an exhausting show with a lot of singing and talking and some really high belting. By the encore, they were pretty tired, and that number is going to require some work – it really has to top what’s gone before it, and the ography has to be much cleaner.

Of course, Kevin goes back to New York on Sunday, and then Sean meets him there in about a week. But by the end of this evening, I think we all felt that it was going to be important that they fly me in for four days to do the rehearsals, make sure we’re really strong, and to be at the show. So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, it looks like I’ll be in New York the week of July 26th. If anyone knows of a reasonable sublet for three nights, please let me know immediately. They can’t afford to put me up in an expensive hotel or anything, so I’m trying to help them out by finding something reasonable. I may call the guy who’s place I stayed in during the Brain and see what kind of a three-night rate he’d give me. But, keep your ears open and let me know if you know of anything. We will, of course, have to have a get-together if I’m there.

After the run-through, I stopped at Gelson’s and got two little things to nibble on (a little Chinese Chicken salad and a little lobster salad – I’d only eaten a BLTA earlier and I was really hungry). That hit the spot, and then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I have ended up being very long-winded and I must get my beauty sleep so I can be coherent in the morning. Coherent In The Morning – that’s the title of my next novel.

And without further ado, this section of the notes. Today, as mentioned, I’m having a notes session with Kevin and Sean over at Panera, so as not to disturb she of the Evil Eye. My plan is to get up early and jog at nine, prior to the notes session. After that, I shall go directly to the Hollywood Collector’s Show to hang out with my pals. I’m really looking forward to it.

At our show last night, we had some terrific folks, including Sean’s mother, and his gorgeous sister and her two adorable kids. Kevin had people there, and our beloved Allison Boris was there, as were the Druxmans, who brought along the always-lovely Bridget Hanley. Michael Lavine had a friend there, someone I remembered by name from the old rec.arts.theatre.musicals days – David Zack. Cousins Alan and Dee Dee were there too, as was the Kritzerland art director, Doug Haverty. It was such a nice and supportive crowd. And I’ll say also that both Kevin and Sean covered the few fumfers really well.

Tomorrow, I have to make some mp3s of some very old music that I barely remember – from an LACC production of The Hostage that was done somewhere either in the late 60s or the early 70s. Someone who was there at that time is now the head of a famous college theater department and he’s doing the show and asked if he could use the music. At that time, I only could remember two little things (those were the days in which I didn’t write things down). He hummed some things that he remembered, and some of that jogged my memory, and I probably can now remember half the songs.

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 cha-cha-cha, because today is the birthday of our beloved Cillaliz. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to our beloved Cillaliz. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OUR BELOVED CILLALIZ!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get up, jog, have a notes session, attend the Hollywood Collectors Show, do something fun for dinner, and perhaps watch a motion picture. Today’s topic of discussion: What was the best hotel or bed and breakfast you ever stayed in – the one where everything was perfectly perfect and you were treated beautifully and you loved your room and the entire environment. Where was it, when was it, and provide lots of detail. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and let’s have some ado while we’re at it.

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