Well, dear readers, it seems that every year the time between Daylight Savings Time grows shorter and shorter. Let me begin by saying I don’t care for Daylight Savings Time and it’s been proven that it doesn’t really do any good. But when it used to happen in April and end in October, then one could live with it. But it’s barely four months now and it’s like the Oscars, which seem to happen earlier and earlier in the year for reasons that no one can really explain, other than stupidity. But, as I write these here notes it will shortly be Daylight Savings Time only eleven days into March. So, we must all set our clocks ahead by an hour, we must all lose an hour of sleep and it will now be insufferably light out until eight at night. Note to time people: Go play in traffic.
Yesterday was an interesting little day. I was up at eight-thirty and immediately was having allergy problems, so I popped a Claritin D. Then I had a ten o’clock production meeting for the musical I’m about to direct. In attendance were the general manager, John Holly, my choreographer, Kay Cole, the musical director, Todd Schroeder, our casting director, Michael Donovan, and our costume and set people whose names I haven’t committed to memory yet. Also our PSM and ASM. John began the meeting and then turned it over to me. I gave a general idea of where I want the show to go, style-wise, how I like to work, and the difficulties I see ahead in trying to make a fairly dark piece not only resonate for an audience but, more importantly, be entertaining. I think I’m probably a good choice for this because I understand what an audience will and won’t go with and I will approach everything in a very positive way and try to find the life and light in the troubled characters and situations. I think there is some work to be done on the show itself, but whether that happens in this incarnation or the next, I know not. We decided we’d have a little private informal reading of the show with some actor friends in a couple of weeks – the designers thought that would be helpful and it will be. I made sure everyone knew that I’m very open to any and all suggestions and that I am a real collaborator. I liked everyone very much, so the next thing that will happen is I’ll have a conversation with the set designer and I’ll tell him exactly how I see the opening number and the long scene that follows it and I think he’ll be able to take off from there. I also told them all I want the band onstage for the entire show, which is something I like. We talked through casting and we’ve got the best casting guy in LA, so that process should go swimmingly. We were there about two hours.
After that, I picked up a couple of packages, including the softcover of Thrill Ride I’d ordered from Amazon, did some banking, and then came home. I answered e-mails, had a few little mini tortillas with cheese and hot sauce, had a few telephonic calls, got word I’d be going to the opening night and then I sat on my couch like so much fish.
Yesterday, I watched a powerful documentary from 2005 entitled After Innocence, about a bunch of folk convicted of crimes they did not commit and who were later freed (some after as much as twenty-two years) based on DNA evidence. It’s a shocking look at a severely broken justice system, filled with prosecutors and district attorneys and judges who should not be doing their jobs because they don’t do them fairly and squarely. And when these people are freed, the city and state put them back on the street without so much as a single penny for the years they lost. It is shameful and infuriating to hear the stories, one of which, at least, had a somewhat happier ending in that the person (after this film came out) received two million dollars for his wrongful incarceration. But others still have not had their records cleared of these mis-convictions and I feel they should all be allowed to bring lawsuits against everyone involved. It’s on the Flix of Net and I recommend it highly.
Then I showered and got ready for the opening night. As always, I got there two hours early so I could find parking, which I did. I then went to the Eclectic Café to kill time and have a salad by myself. But I ran into Kay Cole there – she was meeting two friends and they were very late so she invited me to sit with her, which I did. They finally arrived (I knew one of them), and I had my salad. While I was eating, the gal who’d invited me to the show came in with the people who drove her, so I went and sat with them, as Kay had to get to the theater.
Then we all moseyed on over to the theater, where I was subjected to not one but two plays by an author who I don’t care for very much. Kay’s piece was only fifteen minutes long – she did a good job with it, but it’s just a slight and not that interesting morsel. The other play is fairly well known, but I’d never seen it. It played off-Broadway in the mid-1980s and featured a newcomer named John Turturro. I’m sure it was more interesting with that kind of unpredictable and unique actor. This production was fine, but I suspect with someone like Turturro the first half would have more laughs, where here it was deadly serious. Laughs finally began coming in the second half and that was a bit better. This is a play actors love and directors who love to direct actors love, but, for me, is not all that compelling or even interesting. They had a little reception after, but I didn’t stay very long.
I came home and was hungry so I made a tuna sandwich on an onion roll and that was very good. I caught up with a few things, listened to music (the composer of the day yesterday being Howard Hanson), and relaxed a bit.
Today will be mostly a ME day – Sami’s mom asked if I could do her a favor and pick up something Sami needs for her school show so since it’s pretty close by I said I’d be happy to. Other than that, I’ll eat, choose songs, cast our remaining folks and get all that stuff done. Then I’m sure I’ll watch a motion picture or two.
This week is several dinners, meetings and meals, and continuing to make notes on the musical. It looks like Two for the Road will go to the printers sooner than I’d thought possible, which is great. I have a new CD title to announce this week, too. I’m hoping books will be here by Friday or early the following week, but as soon as they arrive they’ll ship that same day. I’ve pretty much organized the little thing I’m including with all the signed copies, plus there are a couple of other fun items we’ll include.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, pick up something for Sami, eat, choose songs, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a productive production meeting.