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September 2, 2008:

BACK IN THE WORK MODE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, September is already flying by, like a gazelle in a bi-plane. I didn’t know that planes could be bi – one learns something every day. In any case, the long Labor Day weekend is a thing of the past, and now we must labor once again. Of course, today seems like Monday even though it is Tuesday, and even though it is Tuesday today seems like Monday. However, it is Tuesday, not Monday, which means there isn’t much of this week left. Hopefully, what is left of this week will be cherce. Speaking of cherce, yesterday was a nice, relaxing day. I got up and did the long jog (well, that wasn’t too relaxing), and then played on the computer for a while. I listened to CDs, played The Initials Gameā„¢, and sat on my couch like so much fish. I watched a motion picture that I TIVOd (about which more in the next paragraph), and then I shaved and showered and toddled off to the Labor Day partay at Tony Slide and Bob Gitt’s home environment. As always, it was a charmingly charming affair, frequented by the usual suspects. Cousin Alan and his ever-lovin’ Dee Dee were there, as was the ubiquitous Norman Lloyd and other regulars. I sat with my pal John Scott, the film composer, and we had a lot of fun. We were joined in conversation by Ian Whitcomb, the delightfully delightful late 60s singer/songwriter. He’s a very interesting fellow, and we put out a few CDs of his stuff at Varese. He was fascinated by John Scott; Mr. Scott is very self-effacing, but I chimed in with his accomplishments and the conversation was really fun and quite sparkling. What some don’t know is that prior to becoming a film composer, Mr. Scott was a very sought-after reed player, mostly alto saxophone. When I say sought-after, I mean he played the sax solos on Goldfinger’s soundtrack for John Barry, he played on the Beatles’ albums, and he was a member of many English dance bands, such as Ted Heath. I hadn’t intended eating but the food looked so good and I figured out what was okay to eat and what wasn’t and I ended up having two nice helpings of Chinese chicken salad (very light dressing), and Jambalaya. The latter was absolutely fantastic, made by guest Bealeen (I hope I’m spelling that correctly). It was a nice amount of food, but I don’t think any of it was too too damaging, diet-wise. I stayed longer than I ever have, and upon leaving, I exchanged info with Mr. Whitcomb, and he gave me a couple of CDs. I then walked home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched two count them two motion pictures I’d TIVOd. The first motion picture was entitled They Only Kill Their Masters, starring James Garner, Hal Holbrook, the wonderful Christopher Connelly, Katherine Ross (so cute), a very heavy and almost unrecognizable Tom Ewell, and a whole slew of other well-known character actors doing one-scene roles, like Arthur O’Connell, Harry Guardino, June Allyson (as a Lesbian!), Edmond O’Brien, Peter Lawford, and Ann Rutherford. I’d barely heard of the film, but with such a cast I knew it would at least have some good acting, which it did. The movie starts out well and then quickly peters out, with a bad script and characters who go nowhere. The ultimate revelation of the mystery is predictable, and the whole thing is ploddingly directed by James Goldstone. There is a fine performance by Murphy the dog, a beautiful Doberman. It was okay at best and bad at worst, and no great undiscovered gem here. It does have the distinction of being the last film shot on the MGM backlot, before they sold it off. I then watched the second motion picture I’d TIVOd (ages ago), which was entitled The Naked Street, a low-budget noir that doesn’t quite make it, despite an interesting cast. The writer/director, Maxwell Shane, has no style and is merely competent, which doesn’t serve film noir well at all. Actually, its noir pretenses are few – it’s more of a gangster drama, but not really. The film stars Anthony Quinn, Farley Granger, a very young Anne Bancroft, Peter Graves, and such 1950s stalwarts as Whit Bissell, Lee Van Cleef, Jerry Paris, Joe Turkel, Sid Melton, Mort Mills and others. The film seems endless at eighty-two minutes.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because it is a Tuesday that feels like a Monday and we must get back in the work mode, for there is work to be done and by gum and by golly and buy bonds, I’m the one who’s going to do it.

Today, I shall be getting back in the work mode. I shall do the long jog, I shall do a whole slew of errands and whatnot, I shall hopefully have a long telephonic conversation with Mr. David Wechter, and then I shall be supping with Mr. Barry Pearl and attending a show at Reprise! He told me what the show was, but I can’t remember. I haven’t been to a Reprise show in years. I will, of course, have a full report.

I’d given Mr. David Wechter the script of Nudie Musical for I wanted his comments. He sent me his notes last night, and they were very interesting. He hasn’t seen the film in ages, so a few things he had comments on he might not if he watched the film again. But he had some very good suggestions, several of which I can implement immediately, and several of which I have to think about. What I appreciated most about the comments was that he’s looking at this just as a reader/audience member, not as someone who wrote and co-directed the film. That’s really helpful to me, and I know he’s on my wavelength. He really loved most of it and thought it was really funny and really liked the new material and thought it would really work on the stage. He was very specific, right down to rewording certain stage directions to make them clearer. So, I’m hoping we can both have a telephonic conversation and a meeting so I can clarify certain things and talk through other things. After that meeting, I’ll probably do another pass on the script, putting in what I’m comfortable putting in. Other stuff I’ll probably write but not put in yet – just have it ready should it become apparent that that material is needed and necessary. He had a good idea for a potential new number, too, which I’ll also think about. All in all, it was very helpful.

Tomorrow, I’m having a late-afternoon rehearsal with Sean McDermott and John Boswell – Sean’s first act solo isn’t working for me, arrangement-wise, and we’re coming up with something completely different in feel. The rest of the week is busy with various and sundried other things to do. And then Saturday is our LACCTAA event. For information on that, see yesterday’s notes.

Quick, 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 Boogaloo, for today is the actual birthday of our very own actual dear reader, Ron Pulliam. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to our very own actual dear reader, Ron Pulliam. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OUR VERY OWN ACTUAL DEAR READER, RON PULLIAM!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, do a lot of errands and whatnot, sup, and then see a show at Reprise. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s pet day – tell us all about the pets you’ve had over the years, from childhood right through to now – pets that have met their maker, and current pets. Share the pet love today. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all get back in the work mode.

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