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October 23, 2008:

LONG PLAY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I must write like the wind because it’s almost midnight and I must get these notes posted and hie myself to bed, for I have an early morning rehearsal to deal with. Let’s get one thing straight right away: I’m finally feeling much better – yes, still coughing and stuff is still breaking up, but it’s just about over and my voice is getting stronger, so that’s good. Speaking of good, yesterday was a day that never stopped from the time I got up to the time I came home at eleven-thirty in the evening. I got up a little before nine, answered e-mails, and then did the long jog, which was very pleasant, as it was a beautiful day. When I got home, I shaved, and then the CDs arrived. I immediately packaged up all the orders, and then affixed postage to the multiple and International orders. I showered, and then had to go directly to rehearsal. This is the first time the boys have been back together in the same room since the show in Great Neck, and naturally, they have to get the show back in their bodies. We started right at the top, and spent a while on the opening number – I changed a little of the staging at the top, which helped their entrance, so that was good. We did a lot of starting and stopping, I rewrote and added a couple of lines of patter, and again I’m dealing with trying to keep the energies of two very different performers on the same playing field. The arrangement fix we’d done with John Boswell for Sean’s act one solo is working wonderfully, and both boys are in excellent voice. So, from now till the show, it’s drilling and focusing and getting everything as perfect as we can. After rehearsal, I came right home, loaded all the packages in my motor car, and drove them to the postal office, where I dropped them off. I then took the big online order of five boxes to the UPS Store and got those shipped. So, all that’s left are two more orders to fill, and about four medium-sized store orders. I’d already boxed up the other big online store order and I will ship all of that today. I’ll also drop off the box of 100 to a local dealer. It’s really fun seeing ten boxes of CDs disappear within hours. I then went and had me a great dinner at Bird’s – hadn’t been there in ages. I had the ΒΌ all-white roast chicken, cole slaw, and a very small Caesar Salad, and I split a small tower of onion rings, having five or six small to medium-sized rings. It was an incredible meal and just what I wanted. Nothing was really that fattening, save for the onion rings, so I felt very good about the meal. I then headed over to LACC, parked, and picked up the tickets to the play, something called The Last Days of Judas Escariot.

Last night, I saw a play, something called The Last Days of Judas Escariot. I’ll accentuate the positives first – an excellent production, with very good performances from the large cast. Really good and strong work from a combo platter of students and alums, and boy was it fun to see the head of the department, Fred Fate, being an actor in a very juicy double role. It’s staged very interestingly, and the lighting and costumes are, as usual, very professional. That really only leaves the play. And because I don’t wish to wax negative, I can only say the long play was not my cup of tea – first of all, with a ten-minute intermission, the show ran three hours and forty five minutes, and I’m just too old and too ornery to sit that long. I’ll do it if it’s O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, or a great production of a Shakespeare play, but I just don’t understand some of today’s nouveau playwrights who can’t edit themselves. For me, this play had no structure, no form, and was basically three and a half hours of the playwright vomiting up every idea he ever had. Yes, there are some funny anachronistic lines, and some dramatic scenes and good roles, but, again for me, it just doesn’t add up to anything other than a lot of sound and fury signifying sound and fury. Others seemed to like the play very much, and it’s gotten great reviews in various productions, but, as most of you know, I’m pretty much a traditionalist and an old fogey in that regard – I like structure, form, pace, and clarity – you know, like Arthur Miller and William Inge and Shakespeare and the good Neil Simon and Tennessee Williams. But congrats to the cast, crew, and creative team on a job really well done.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I must get these notes finished and posted so I can get some semblance of a beauty sleep.

Today, I shall have to be up by eight-forty-five, then prior to our ten o’clock rehearsal, I’ll ship out three big boxes. The rehearsal will last till two, and then I’ll come directly home, do the long jog, box up the last of the orders, and get them shipped. I’ll then drive to Reseda to drop off the box of 100 CDs, and then I’ll come home and rest.

I still haven’t decided about the opening night at the Pasadena Playhouse on Friday night – if it’s not too late to RSVP, I still might try and go. Otherwise, it’s just rehearsing and writing notes for the new CD. I’m supposed to get together with someone who’s lending me a bunch of research on the scores, so that will be very helpful. It’s finding the time to actually meet up.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, ship packages, have a rehearsal, box up and ship more packages, deliver a package, and rest. Today’s topic of discussion: What is the most excruciatingly long play you’ve ever had to sit through – did you make it to the end – and was it the play itself or the production? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I vow to never sit through a long play again.

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