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August 23, 2008:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I must write these here notes in a hurry for she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early and I will be jogging even brighter and earlier. Therefore, I will jump right into these here notes with no preamble or even postamble. I shan’t engage in trivialities or drivelalities. I shall, in short, begin the beguine. Speaking of the beguine, yesterday was an odd but all right day. For example, I got up quite early. That was both odd and all right. I then did my long jog, which took an hour. I then took seven packages to the post office and dropped them off (they already had postage on them). I then did a couple of errands and then came home. I did some cleaning up around the home environment. Now that I’m completely caught up on all shipping, my dining room actually resembles a dining room once again. Not that I actually dine in there. I’ll have to try that someday. I got very few telephonic calls and not too many e-mails, other than a humungous amount of spam, which really seems to be on the upswing these days. An online dealer dropped by and picked up his Scent Of Mystery CDs, and brought me a couple of new soundtrack CDs, like Blazing Saddles. Finally, Kevin Spirtas arrived and we went over to the California Pizza Kitchen to both sup and have a work session. I was concerned about eating too much, but I think I did okay – we split a half Caesar salad (so I had half of a half), and I had the penne with grilled sausage and peppers. The waiter told me they put cheese in their marinara sauce for this dish, so I asked him to leave it out, which they did. I was quite full, but I don’t think it was harmful, calorie-wise, especially given the long jog. We did some work on the Bacharach concert, organizing the names of people we’re asking, and even figuring out some song choices. Then we spent the rest of the time talking about the new show with Kevin and Linda Purl. It’s going to be a nice one, I think – lots to do, but the initial song list is pretty good. I’ve already removed a couple of numbers, and suggested others, and now we’re going to start building the structure. The music in this particular show is all from the classic guys – the Gershwins, Kern, Porter, Berlin, Loesser, etc. I then came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the first half of Blake Edwards’ The Great Race. I saw the film several times during it’s initial road show run at the Pantages Theater and while I enjoyed it enough to see it several times, I remember thinking it was too long and occasionally too forced, and that was pretty much how the audience reacted, too. In the intervening years, the film has become a classic in the minds of those who grew up with it. I know several on this here site really love it. And I want to love it, because I really admire and like Blake Edwards and the cast is marvelously marvelous, as is the score by Henry Mancini. But, at 160 minutes long, it just feels bloated, and, for me, too many of the bits fall flat. When Blake does slapstick and is on, nobody does it better. When he’s off, it still might produce a smile, but never the huge belly laughs that his classic bits always get. Tony Curtis is terrific, as is Natalie Wood. And Dorothy Provine is just swell, especially in her song. Peter Falk is very funny, and the large supporting cast, including Arthur O’Connell and Vivian Vance, all do well. This was the first film where I felt Jack Lemmon didn’t deliver the goods – I was a huge fan and I remember what a letdown his performance was for me back when I first saw it. And I still find it forced and not that funny. All that said, there are a few bits that are laugh out loud funny and the film looks great and sounds great. The transfer is okay for when it was done, the colors are pretty accurate, and it’s reasonably sharp.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because we must continue to begin the beguine before she of the Evil Eye gets here.

After I return from jogging, I shall drive about in my motor car for a couple of hours. I have several places to go, and by the time I’ve gone to them, she of the Evil Eye will be gone and I can return home. I have some writing to do, then I’ll probably watch a DVD or three. Then I’ll be toddling off to dinner, which I’m looking forward to. After that, who knows what will happen. Perhaps the Shadow knows.

Tomorrow, I shall relax and smell the roses or the coffee or the filet of sole, and then I’ll be toddling off to another dinner, this one at my beloved Genghis Cohen. As you can imagine, I’m looking forward to their yummilicious food and some interesting company.

Next week’s dance card is filling up. I’ll be having a meeting with the LA Festival Of New Musicals folks, I’ll be having a couple of other meetings, I’ll be having a lunch or two and a dinner or two, and then I’ll be going to the opening night of the new tuner Vanities at the Pasadena Playhouse on Friday night and supping prior to the show.

Hold the phone – 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 Swim, for today is the birthday of our very own dear reader, TCB. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to our very own TCB. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OUR VERY OWN TCB!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, drive about in my motor car, do errands and whatnot, write, watch a DVD or two, and then have a nice dinner. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your all-time favorite performances of Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, and Jack Lemmon? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we continue to begin the beguine.

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