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July 27, 2008:

LA, LA

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it is quite late here in New York, New York and I must get up fairly early to get ready to come home to LA, LA, so I shall write short notes and not tarry nor dally. However, if I were to dally I would just embrace it and say Hello, Dally. Where was I? Oh, yes, short notes. Yesterday, I got up at nine and was out of the house at nine-thirty, jogging from 75th up to 95th and then back again – two-miles. However, jogging north like that is all slightly uphill and boy was that hard – it was much easier coming back. I then showered and headed over to Mr. Michael Lavine’s apartment to work with Crista Moore. She has to do a thirty minute show next Saturday, and so I spent most of our time fixing her first two numbers which, for me, didn’t work at all. I totally redid her patter from song one to song two, focusing it and making it more her. I changed the arrangement of her opening number, and reconceived her second number. When she first ran those two numbers and the original patter I could just tell she was completely at sea and that it just wasn’t her at all. Since I’ve worked with her so many times, I just made it about her personality, and she was instantly more comfortable and at ease, so she’s feeling much better now. We won’t change anything else at this point, but we’ll work on the phone a few hours and I’ll redo the patter that needs help. After that, Mr. Lavine and I took a cab to Penn Station and met up with Kevin and Sean and a nice fellow named Jason, who was helping us, plus a friend of Mr. McDermott. We took the train to Great Neck and were picked up there and driven directly to the venue and its stage. The first thing we did was set the piano position and then tape out the stage, spiking all the mic and stool positions. Then the band got there and we began getting sound. There were a lot of monitor problems (I really am not a fan of using stage monitors, but singers have become dependent on them. We finally got it so they were comfortable, and then we attended to the house sound – we got that where it was okay, and then the band played through each number, while Kevin and Sean sort of walked everything. By the time we finished that, it was seven, and the boys went to the dressing room to get ready. I gave my usual pep talk just prior to the show. I also met some of Sean’s family, very nice folks who’d come out for the show. Then it was time to begin.

The boys came out, grabbed the audience, and the mostly elderly crowd just ate them up, right from the get-go. Because the show is specifically designed to have well-known songs, it was so much fun to watch the audience light up as the songs came up, with lots of them mouthing the words. Only a few times did the energy flag, some of which had to do with doing a two-act show without the break, something I won’t allow again. This show has too much singing for them not to have their ten or fifteen-minute break. But, for me, about eighty percent of it worked just wonderfully, and the twenty percent that didn’t is just them needing more rehearsal with the choreography and patter (we never have had more than two or three days in a row, and I don’t think we’ve had more than five days total, so the show is really in pretty amazing shape). Before the next performances, we’re going to have a full week of everyday rehearsals, and that will be just what is needed to get everything perfect. There’s one song for which I don’t love the arrangement – I mean, it’s a nice arrangement, but it’s not doing what it needs to do for where it’s positioned in the show – so, I’m either going to do a completely new arrangement, as I did for Bridge Over Troubled Water (which worked like gangbusters) or we’ll choose another song. The opening of what would normall be our second act also worked like gangbusters – I’ve mentioned it before – it’s Me and My Shadow and it contains maybe my favorite musical staging I’ve ever done, and the boys do it superbly. It’s a number where every move has to be locked between the two of them, and it’s so much fun to watch.

The show ran about eighty minutes and change, and then we managed to get back to the train station and on a train (very crowded) at 10:25, and we were at Joe Allen at about 11:15. I was so hungry I thought I would faint – I had their yummilicious small Caesar salad, and their even more yummilicious pulled pork sandwich. I skipped the fries and had some sautéed spinach instead. We had a lot of fun there and I think we were all really pleased for our first time out with this show. The boys knew exactly where the problems were, and that’s half the battle, frankly. I then went to Mr. Spirtas’ apartment, printed out my boarding pass, and then I took a cab back uptown.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I must pack and get to bed. I may or may not try to jog before I leave – if not, I’ll jog when I get home, or I’ll just take the day off, which I deserve after four weeks of never missing a day.

Today, I shall be getting up around nine, maybe jogging, and then getting ready to leave. I’ll grab a cab around eleven and that should get me to JFK around 11:40. Then I shall fly home to LA, Burbank to be exact, and I’m hoping to be home by five, at which point I’ll be back online.

I shan’t be eating on the plane, but will be supping when I’m back home. I’ll then probably fall asleep like so much fish, as I doubt I’ll sleep on the plane.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, maybe jog, take a cab to the airport, fly home, sup, and then catch up with whatever’s gone on whilst I’ve been gone. 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 postings, shall we, and send lots of excellent vibes and xylophones for a safe and timely flight back to LA.

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