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May 20, 2017:

THE REHEARSAL ROOM

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I do believe that all but the final two short scenes of the musical are staged – both my stuff and Kay’s couple of choreographed things (she has one big one to do in the upcoming scene). If you add up the actual hours I’ve been staging, it’s really only fifteen hours, and a good deal of that time has been spent talking through scenes to get everything to make absolute sense. So, I’m very pleased with the progress. The cast is very focused, we’re laughing a lot, they pick up things very fast, and they’re all finding their way through their roles (I really don’t do any performance direction when I’m blocking – just a few things here and there as well as there and here). So, onward we go.

I was up at nine-thirty and to the rehearsal hall by 10:45. We don’t take lunch breaks on the schedule we’re on, which is a six-hour day – they get tens and one twenty-minute break. The cast seems to be bonding and we kind of have to have everyone there most of the time, save for one character who doesn’t appear after scene five. I do have to figure out some transition stuff, because the last third of the show keeps flipping back and forth between two locations, each of which requires stuff to be moved around. After I see how long the show runs when we put it together, then I can figure out what kind of time I might have to come up with transitions that can help with costume changes and the set change.

After we wrapped, I went and picked up one package, then went and had my meal o’ the day: A Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and a tiny Caesar salad. Then I came directly home, caught up on and answered many e-mails. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched about forty minutes of a motion picture entitled Marjorie Morningstar, starring Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly. I saw it back when it came out and even then, at a time when I liked mostly everything, I wasn’t crazy about it. I haven’t really seen it since then. It’s a pretty cornball affair but everyone looks good and it’s always fun to see Mr. Kelly dance, even though he doesn’t do much of it in this film. I’m not really a fan of the director, Irving Rapper. The transfer occasionally looks very nice, and occasionally doesn’t. I’ll have more to say after I’ve finished and after I’ve finished I’ll have more to say, not necessarily in that order.

Then I relaxed and listened to more Shostakovich as I did work on the computer.

Today, she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early, so I have to get up at eight so I can shower before her arrival. I’ll stick around here until at least ten, and then I’ll mosey on over to the rehearsal room. I’ll have nice clothing on as I have to go straight from there to Ruth’s Chris in Woodland Hills. We’ll finish up the two remaining scenes and Kay will choreograph the big number in one of them – I’ve allotted four hours for that. Then in the remaining two hours we’ll drill a few scenes and musical numbers. Then I have my Ruth’s Chris dinner.

Tomorrow the first hour of rehearsal will be music. Then I’ll begin assembling the show or connecting the dots. We start at the top and go from scene to scene – as I watch what we’ve done I’ll clean up stuff and revise whatever staging doesn’t feel right to me. We’ll set scene changes as we go (some we’ve already assigned – the actors do all the scene changes), and I’ll note where I think we may need a little transition device. I’m hoping to be done with that by two-thirty, and if I am we will then run the show start to finish, no matter how rough. Monday is our day off, but I have to meet two actors at LACC, then have a two-hour work session with Kay Cole and John Boswell for Kay’s act. Outside of that, I’m not doing much of anything other than a little prep work for Dial ‘M’ for Murder. Tuesday we’re back rehearsing – always some music review, some detail work and drilling, and then a run-through. Tuesday will be the day I begin working on performances with the actors, which I’m really looking forward to. Then at seven we begin our rehearsals for Dial ‘M’ – I’ll always have my meal o’ the day between the finish of the day rehearsal and the start of the night rehearsal. And that continues all the way until the next day off the following Monday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a rehearsal, have a Ruth’s Chris dinner, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films of Mr. Gene Kelly and Miss Natalie Wood? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to be having so much fun with this wonderful cast in our fun rehearsal room.

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