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August 10, 2008:

AND THEY’RE OFF AND RUNNING

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this is the first sentence of today’s notes. There. The first sentence is always the hardest and I just decided to get it the HELL out of the way. Now I’m in the mode, now I’m writing, now my fingers are making their merry way around the keyboard and we’re off and running. Actually, as soon as the new day is dawning and I finish yawning I’ll bet off and running. Speaking of running, yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn, and managed to be on the road jogging by 7:15. I quite liked running at that hour – not so many cars out and nice and quiet. The first two miles of the jog were actually the easiest they’ve been in ages – the second two miles were much more difficult, but I did them. I was rather surprised I could do four miles. I walked the last half-mile home, shaved and showered, and then headed over to the postal office, where I shipped a few packages. I then was on my way to the Wood of Holly and the Stella Adler Theater for our first rehearsal. We got started about thirty minutes late, which wasn’t good. I moved it along as fast as I could, but there is just a lot of material in this show and it takes the time it takes. I began with Alet’s scenes, as we only had her for a few hours. We got all of that done. Then we had a short lunch break, and then I began at the beginning of the show and plowed through as much as I possibly could. Luckily, the cast is wonderful and they pick up things very quickly. The opening number has a lot of components and that took a while to get right. Then we just went through the scenes and I kept things as simple as possible. I had some crazy idea that we could finish blocking today, but that, of course, didn’t happen. We did get through almost all of act one (seven pages to go – it’s a seventy-three page act), and we’d already done two big sequences in act two in which Alet appears. Happily, the ensemble stayed for an extra forty-five minutes, and I staged the opening of act two, so that’s now done. It was a long and tiring day. Afterwards, I came home, grabbed a bite to eat, and then sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched two count them two motion pictures, one I’d TIVOd and one on DVD. The motion picture I’d TIVOd was entitled Mr. Buddwing, a motion picture entertainment starring James Garner, Jean Simmons, Suzanne Pleshette, Angela Lansbury, and Katherine Ross. It’s one of those amnesia pictures, but unfortunately it came along a year after the much superior Mirage, also an amnesia picture. Mr. Buddwing is based on the novel by Evan Hunter, which I suspect works a lot better as a novel than as a film written by Dale Wasserman (whose next assignment was Man Of La Mancha) – the script just doesn’t work at all, even though the idea of the film is very compelling. Mr. Garner is, as always, excellent, and his female co-stars all turn in nice performances. The film also has a good score by Kenyon Hopkins, and okay direction by Delbert Mann. But, it’s the script that finally does the film in. I then watched a motion picture on DVD entitled World Without End, in Cinemascope and color. The ads touted World Without End as the first Cinemascope science-fiction picture – not exactly true since Forbidden Planet, which was in Cinemascope, opened a week before. It’s directed by Edward Bernds who, two years later, would give us the much more fun Queen Of Outer Space. World Without End has a certain kitschy charm, but it’s really not very good and isn’t bad enough to be campy. Its eighty minutes seem interminable. Hugh Marlowe stars, along with a very young Rod Taylor, and a very pretty Nancy Gates. The transfer looks good in its scope aspect ratio, and because it was probably not a transfer Warners spent a lot of time on, the color is excellent (they always seem to brown up the color on the films that deserve better). This is part of a double bill (the other half is Satellite In The Sky) – there are three double bill sci-fi DVDs from Warners and they are Best Buy exclusives. Try finding them – you won’t. Why? Because eBay and amazon seller freaks have bought them all up – they go from store to store and buy all the stock and then sell them for almost triple the price. Wunderbar.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because all too soon I shall be off and running.

As I did yesterday, today I shall be getting up at the crack of dawn and jogging. Then I’ll shower, and then I’ll be on my way to our second rehearsal. I’ll start the day with the end of act one, then go back and run all of Alet’s scenes (we only have her for a few hours again), and then move on to the unfinished stuff in act two. Once again, there is one incredibly long scene and that’s going to be the one to get through – many people on stage, lots of action going on, which is very hard to do when you’re trying to do it quickly. Fortunately, the cast has agreed to stay until six, giving us two more hours. After rehearsal, I’ll be going to Genghis Cohen with Mr. Barry Pearl and his ever-lovin’ Cindy.

Tomorrow, I will need all the excellent vibes and xylophones you can throw my way, because all those mine fields and potholes I’ve been desperately trying to avoid, are going to be there in abundance. Pray for Rosemary’s Baby. If the books get here at a reasonable hour, I’ll try to get them all packaged (along with the bonus gift) and, if at all possible, shipped. If I can’t ship them, I’ll definitely get them out first thing Tuesday morning. I have errands to do and whatnot, and then we’ll do a walk-through of the show at five, then we play our first of two performances at 8:00. If any of our West Coasters would like to come and see it, please drop me an e-mail and we’ll put you on the list. It’s Monday and Tuesday evening at eight. I hope to see a couple of West Coasters there.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, have a full day’s rehearsal, eat a fun meal at Genghis Cohen (but not overdo), and then come home and perhaps watch a DVD. 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 topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, and do remember – they’re off and running.

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