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September 27, 2008:

THE BROKEN RECORD REDUX

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I hate to be a broken record, but is this month really going to be over in a few days? I’d say this month has actually gone faster than any other month this year, and that’s saying something. In fact, I have no idea what happened to this month. All I know is a few minutes ago it was September 1st and now it’s September 27th. And next week will be October. Now, not only has the time flown by, like a gazelle with a heat rash, but the last couple of days have seen temperatures in the 100s. Note to summer: You’re done. Get over it. Amscray. Hit the road, Jack. I know – I sound like a broken record. And I’m jiggy with that. Speaking of jiggy, yesterday was actually a very nice day, which was very nice. I got up early and intended to be out of the house doing the long jog by ten. But the telephonic device kept ringing and I kept having conversations, and by the time I got to Phoenix she was rising. Oh, a Jimmy Webb reference. Where was I? Oh, yes, by the time I got out of the house it was eleven. After the long jog I had to get ready quickly for the three-hour work session. That ended up being very stimulating, creativity-wise. We started at the top of the show, and just went through each number, and I sketched out the through-line for the act, rearranged the order completely, made everything work in service of the through-line, totally revamped and reinvented one number that I thought just wouldn’t work at all, but now it’s going to be a highlight of the show. I gave ideas for the patter, which will then be written by the singer and finessed by me later, and we futzed with various intros and rideouts and feels of the songs. Sometimes these things don’t come to me quite as easily, but everything was just coming to me really easily, and that’s always invigorating and fun. The musical director was totally on my wavelength, and he had some very good suggestions, too, plus he’s a really nice guy. After the session, I came back to the Valley, did some errands, got an unexpected and nice piece of mail, did some more errands, got a foot-long turkey sandwich from Subway, and finally came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled The New Centurions, yet another film from the early 1970s that I’d somehow missed. So, I was glad to finally see it. The film is adapted from the book by Joseph Wambaugh by Stirling Silliphant, a very good screenwriter. The director was Richard Fleischer, and the stars were George C. Scott, Stacey Keach, Ed Lauter, Erik Estrada, William Atherton, Rosalind Cash, Scott Wilson, and a lot of very good supporting actors. It’s an interesting film – totally episodic, like an Adam 12 episode, but much more gritty and real. The timeline of the film is a bit hard to follow at times – it just will suddenly jump ahead by weeks or months and you sort of have to figure it out, because it’s a little weird that Stacey Keach has no moustache in one scene and in the next he does. Then you realize that a year has passed. But mostly it’s just scenes of the cops doing what cops do. Most of the sequences are really well done, and you get to know the characters pretty well. The film is a total downer, however, which was very characteristic of early 1970s films of this ilk. George C. Scott gives what I feel is one of his finest performances ever – he’s just incredible in this, and to watch him is to get a lesson in great screen acting. And unlike today’s “actors,” no whispering, not by anyone in the film. Yes, these actors actually have voices that are interesting and don’t just drone. Voices with colors and modulation – what a notion! Stacey Keach is equally as good, and Miss Cash’s performance is terrific. Fleischer, coming off the disaster that was Dr. Dolittle, does a good job here, and there’s another quirky Quincy Jones score. The transfer is great – perfect color, and really looking like what these early 70s films should look like.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I’ve got to get my beauty sleep and besides I sound like a broken record.

Today, I’ll be getting up early and doing the long jog, after which I shall shave and shower, and then I’ll figure out an order for the people who’ll be singing at the Karen Morrow workshop. I’ve already figured out my questions for the Q&A, and I’m really hoping we don’t have too many no-shows. I’ll head down to LACC around noon – we start at one. After the event, I’ll come back home as well as do a couple of errands. And, if I can get ready in time, prior to going to LACC I’ll probably ship a bunch of orders that came in yesterday.

Tonight, I have a dinner party at which I’ll eat dinner. I have no idea who the other invitees are, but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.

Tomorrow, I plan on doing a big load of nothing, save for watching DVDs and eating something fun. Then Monday I have a lunch meeting, and the rest of the week will be filled with meetings, telephonic conversations, errands and whatnot, and then my book signing/reading on Saturday next.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, do a LACCTAA event, do errands and whatnot, and then attend a dinner partay. Today’s topic of discussion: I really do feel that George C. Scott was a brilliant actor – what are your all-time favorite George C. Scott performances? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and I shall try not to sound like a broken record and I shall try not to sound like a broken record.

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