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August 13, 2008:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week is speeding by, like a gazelle wearing a muumuu. It’s also quite late and therefore I will jump right into the notes without my usual drivel and palaver. Speaking of palaver, yesterday was a day of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I got up early and did a four-mile jog, doing a new route, which is always enjoyable. I came home to a mine field and a big one, but I was able to put a thin little Band-Aid on it for the next two or three days and hopefully by then I’ll be able to side-step it. I then had a lot of e-mails to respond to and several telephonic conversations. I did some errands and whatnot, never really had time for lunch or to eat even a little something. I rewrote two lines of a lyric for the show, and made some cuts of interior dialogue in one of the act two songs, just because I felt it would move things along better. I did manage to listen to Randy Newman’s new album, and boy is it a winner. It’s very short, but given its excellence I have no problem with that. It’s very much like his early albums, with most tracks having an orchestra. There’s one very pretty ballad, several songs that made me laugh out loud, and I just loved it and recommend it highly, if you’re a fan. I also packaged up all the books that were preordered and the bonus gift fit perfectly in the packages. They’ll go out this morning, first thing. Then it was time to head down to the theater. The call time was six-thirty. I gave a handful of notes, and we ran a few things, specifically three songs where we notched up the tempo a bit.

And then it was show time. Sadly, it was a very small audience – maybe thirteen people. I think the Olympics is causing all manor of havoc with small theater audiences, and it didn’t help that there was a movie premiere at the El Capitan and streets were blocked off. It was a quiet audience, but they applauded nicely for a few of the numbers, and the cast did well, save for the usual staged reading fumfers that happen occasionally. The ensemble was very sharp on my Kimmelography (with a lot of black notebookography). Mr. Druxman and I will be lunching soon to discuss what’s next. I think this time around has been a big learning experience, which is why we do these sorts of staged readings. They’re not optimal, and people abuse and overdo them like crazy, but you definitely can learn from them if you really use your ears and you know how to take the temperature of the audience. After the show, Mr. Druxman graciously gave the cast a little outing at Mel’s Diner. It was my first food of the day – I had my usual chicken salad sandwich, and I splurged and had onion rings with it, since I didn’t want to only eat the sandwich, which was only about 700 calories. I felt good, anyway, and like I deserved a treat – I’d weighed myself earlier and I am now officially ten pounds thinner and my rather big belly is now not quite so big as it was. Two more pound and I’ll be in a new number, which I really want. Then, twenty pounds after that, I’ll be much closer to where I want to be.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I’ve got to get my beauty sleep so that when I run people will look at me from afar and say, “Wow, who’s that buff and toned sixty-year-old Jew running and going the distance?” And I’m jiggy with that.

As I explained to the audience on both nights in my pre-show speech, doing a staged reading of a musical is insanity and rather large insanity, especially if you’re playing by the rules with only fourteen hours of rehearsal. But I said that the one thing that makes it fun is when you have a really good cast, and that we did. I’d never worked with our leading man Michael G. Hawkins before, even though I’ve known his work since the early 1970s. Well, he’s a great guy, comes in totally prepared, good energy, and just does the job. I’d work with him anytime. And Marlana Filannino, who was our replacement girl, did a fine job with no time to learn anything. Alet is always wonderful, my friend Paul Haber did great, as did everyone else. And Richard Berent, our musical director, did yeoman work in translating very basic lead sheets into what I played on the demo I sent him.

Today, it is my intention to do very little. I have to do some catching up, I have to ship books, I have to jog, and I have some errands and whatnot to do, but basically I’m taking the day off and letting my mind clear. And I’m jiggy with that.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, ship books, do errands and whatnot, and then relax and watch a DVD or three. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you dear readers 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 questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we? And I’m jiggy with that.

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