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February 14, 2017:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, last night I had quite a lot of fun seeing Miss Andrea McArdle at the Catalina Bar and Grill. I sat with our very own Rob Stevens. I knew only a handful of folks there – Sally Struthers, David Galligan, and Bruce Vilanch. The only time I’ve ever actually seen Andrea live was when she played Miss Hannigan in Annie here back in 2010, I believe. So it was lovely to see her in a solo setting, just her and pianist Steve Marzullo, who I’ve known for a bunch of years. The odd part was that there was a second keyboard, drums, and places for other musicians – not sure why they’d have all that stuff on the stage for a headliner. She had an opening act that I didn’t care for at all – one of those “now” guy singers who are all breathy and then loud, singing the highest notes possible (think Rent) and making like singing is so angst ridden and difficult – I just don’t get it. And let me tell you, if a singer begins the first song with their eyes closed and they keep their eyes closed for the first two lines, I’m done. Either let me in or I’m not coming in later. For me, a singer closing their eyes means they are being self indulgent, going to some place in their psyches but not allowing the listener to go with them – it’s just a bad, bad habit.

But it was Ms. McArdle’s show and a long one at that. Some of you may remember that for a short time she was going to be in The Brain from Planet X in New York, but that didn’t work out. Her voice is in very good shape, and she’s a complete pro and really knows how to sell a song. She’s also very funny in her patter, which is much appreciated by the likes of me. I don’t like many club acts, but this one was very enjoyable.

Prior to that, I’d gotten eight hours of sleep, maybe a bit less. Once up, I had many e-mails to answer, we chose the final two songs and I began getting the singers their music. Then I had a couple of sandwiches for my main meal o’ the day. After that, I had a few other things to do, picked up no packages, but had several long telephonic calls. Actually I’m not sure where the afternoon went, although I did do quite a few little tasks, but all of a sudden it was time to get ready to go see the show.

I went down there and got there right at seven, the perfect time to grab a parking spot for free right in front of the club (there’s no parking there from four to seven). Since I had an hour to kill I walked over to Amoeba. There I found two interesting Sibelius CDs, both under three dollars, so I bought them. One was a disc of symphonies tw and five by a conductor who Sibelius was very fond of – in fact, this conductor conducted the band at Sibelius’ funeral. In doing research on these recordings, they were very well thought of when they came out in the late 1950s in early stereo. The band, the Sinfonia of London, seems not as big as other bands but boy are the performances interesting – I listened to both symphonies as soon as I got home. The fifth is certainly the most unemotional performance I’ve heard, almost without a point of view – but there’s something about it I found interesting – it’s so very different from any other performance, so I’ll give it a few more listens. I felt the same about the second symphony – very strange sounding and odd performance that’s somehow still interesting.

The other disc is for something called The Wood-Nymph – music I don’t know at all – in fact, this CD was the world premiere recording. I’m looking forward to hearing it as soon as I finish up these here notes. I did have a couple of snacks when I got home, since I was quite hungry in the tummy.

Today, I’m not sure what all is going on, but I’m sure I’ll find out. I’ll get the gals their music today (the guys got theirs yesterday and the gals got their duet), and then I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, and do whatever work needs doing, including making a show order, getting ready for announcement our new CD release, and maybe even beginning the show commentary.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals, I think I may not be seeing anything else (the other thing I thought I was seeing is the following week), but there is the belated Sami birthday dinner, and then Sunday I judge the finals for the Sterling’s LA’s Next Great Stage Star contest.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get the rest of the music out, eat, hopefully pick up packages, make a show order, prep a CD release, and maybe begin the show commentary. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite songs of Charles Strouse? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a good time seeing Andrea McArdle.

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