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August 12, 2008:

IS A PUZZLEMENT II

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we did our first performance of the staged reading. I spent most of my day putting in our new actress, and the walk-through I was hoping to have at five never happened because we had to run her scenes. So, we never had a full run-through at any point – in fact, we never even came close. Given that fact, the performance was pretty good and reasonably smooth. There were three or four scenes I really needed to clean up, but we never had the chance. We had a small but nice crowd. Watching this new version of the show was fascinating. Some of it obviously worked better than last year – a LOT better. It did feel more like a real musical. A few of the numbers landed really well, while others didn’t land as well as they should. But certain things I’ve harped on from the beginning that never got changed still need to be discussed and then changed. We did help the problems quite a bit, but several remain and something has to be done about them. Of course, everyone has a different opinion – the composer (and author’s son) felt we should cut the second number in the show. I would have no problem with that, other than it’s perky and sets up plot issues. The author’s wife thought we needed to cut a song from the second act. I would have no problem with that, either, although that’s a song that I know would play better if I had some time with it. I thought we should definitely cut a number from late in the first act, a number which, for me, conveys no new information and which stops the show for three minutes instead of letting us get to the end of the act. Some of the problems last night were energy related, and I’ve spoken to the people who need to boost the energy level by a lot. Our new cast member got through the show just fine. A couple of actors just completely forgot their blocking and where they were supposed to go when, even though I know all of that was written in their scripts. Again, if we’d had time for a proper run-through, I think some of that stuff wouldn’t have happened, but that sort of thing is always a puzzlement. Yes, Virginia, that sort of thing is a puzzlement. What am I, the King of Siam all of a sudden? I don’t think I’ll ever do this sort of staged reading again – when we do the Nudie Musical reading, I’m going to have at least three eight-hour rehearsal days, with all cast members required to be present, and, additionally, two or three separate music rehearsal days. I want at least three complete run-throughs, otherwise everyone is just trying to remember what’s next instead of being able to “do” the show. All in all, it really was a decent run, and I’m hoping tonight’s run will be even better, now that the actors have all had a chance to play it straight through. I’m also notching up the tempos of three numbers, because they were just too lethargic. All that said (and it’s just me being me), I was very proud of the cast, who really had a lot to digest in just a few hours, and I think Mr. Druxman’s hard work over the past year has certainly yielded some dividends.

Other than that, I did a four-and-a-half mile jog – at the four-mile point I decided to just keep going, which I did. Up until then, it was a much easier jog than yesterday. The books arrived, as did an errant and truant package from amazon. I had no time to return telephonic calls or answer e-mails – hopefully, once the books are shipped today, I’ll have a chance to catch up.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I’m very tired and must get some semblance of my beauty sleep.

Today, I shall be shipping books to all who ordered them, along with the nifty bonus gift. Then I’ll have some errands and whatnot to do, mine fields and pot holes to avoid like the plague (please keep sending all excellent vibes and xylophones), and then I’ll head over to the theater to do as much fixing as I can between six-thirty and seven. We’ll at least adjust the song tempos, and also clean up the staging on the couple of scenes that are sloppy due to lack of any sort of rehearsal time.

Can someone please explain to me how this month is almost half over? Is a puzzlement.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably take as much of a day off as I possibly can. I think there are things happening at the end of the week, but I can’t remember what they are.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, ship books, avoid mine fields and pot holes, and then do our second performance. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your all-time favorite westerns and which westerns do you feel have the best musical scores? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all say “Is a puzzlement.”

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