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May 12, 2017:

THE RETROGRADE THAT CAME OUT OF URANUS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, here I sit like so much fish, after a day where Mercury was so far in retrograde it may as well have been coming out of Uranus. Oh, it wasn’t a bad day at all, but insane drivers almost creamed me and others three times, because drivers in this city are so incredibly entitled to do whatever they want whenever they want or they’re just so incredibly stupid – turning left onto Laurel Canyon at Riverside to go to the mail place, I turn and some person with a hole where his brain should be just pulls out of a parking space without even looking – I honked loudly and thankfully was able to avoid the jerk, and then the creep had the temerity to look at me angrily as if I should have just let him hit me or do whatever the HELL he wanted. There are times I just want to drive in front of those people, stop my motor car, drag the driver out of his/her car and hold them until the police can come and perhaps teach them what is legal and what isn’t legal. Then I go into the parking lot of the mail place, and another dipsy-doodle, without looking, just backs out of a parking space and almost into me. I mean, IDIOT, look in your damn mirror before you back out of a space in a busy parking lot. I honked, they stopped, but it was just so irritating.

The other irritating thing was The Federal booking out the room to a big party on our show day, which, of course, leaves us scrambling to find a date that works in a month where I am directing two shows at the same time. I know the change will lose us at least one cast member and perhaps two and I’m truly over this crap and will now actively look for a new home and hopefully if I find said new home, we can begin our seventh year there in a place where the club owners have a little respect for the people who are bringing people into the club. They offered me two dates – one of them is the night the musical I’m directing opens, and the other is Father’s Day – I don’t have a problem doing a show on Father’s Day, but I lose two cast members that way, and I think other singers will probably be busy that day. So, I’ve inquired about two Monday night possibilities. I don’t mind doing it a bit later in the month as we’re not doing a July show.

But enough about Mercury, retrograde, and Uranus. The day wasn’t all like that. I did get over ten hours of sleep – I didn’t set the alarm and I slept until noon – I couldn’t believe it, but I must have needed it. Once up, I answered e-mails, had a lovely conversation with Richard Sherman, had a nice phone message from Larry Cohen, the book writer of the Sherman Brothers musical, who basically said to do whatever I wanted and he was fine with it and if there was anything that didn’t feel right we could discuss after our private reading. That was very sweet of him. Right then and there I dove into act two – I moved up something so that the opening of the act would parallel the opening of act one, which I like, then I moved some stuff around, rejiggered the number that opens the act to make it smoother, so I’m now into what will be a much more difficult act in terms of energy, keeping the storytelling clear, fixing all the unwieldy stuff and getting rid of stuff you just can’t do onstage or that takes us away from the main plot at the point we need to move the story forward.

Then I went and picked up a couple of packages, then came back home in time for the first of my two meetings. The first was with my costume designer for the musical I’m directing. We discussed looks, color, and feel, but she’s tops and I told her I completely trust her judgment, and I believe I clarified things for her that weren’t clear, as well as answering her questions. Then the musical director came and he had a lot of questions and concerns and we went through each of them. There are certain things he feels strongly about in terms of arrangements and charater/emotion, and I pretty much agree with him, but I told him I believe the best way to proceed is, rather than have conversations with the writers about it at this point, is to prepare their version and the musical director’s version and show them both. I believe when I tell them the reasoning behind switching up the feel, they’ll at least see why we wanted both and they can make the final decision on those two numbers, but I believe they’ll end up going with the one that’s going to work for the characters best. We both have other concerns that I also will wait to address until after we begin rehearsals.

After that was over, I finally made some food – Wacky Noodles, about six or seven ounces. It was very good. Whilst eating, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled The Accidental Tourist. I’ve always loved The Accidental Tourist, from the writing, to the simple direction, to the superb acting from everyone involved, but especially Geena Davis. Seeing it again all these years later, it’s still just as wonderful and very moving, and occasionally very amusing. And that score by John Williams – one of his all-time greats. The difference between seeing it in 1988 and now is interesting. William Hurt’s entire family seem to be on the Spectrum in some way, from OCD to what feels like Aspergers. It’s very interesting. The transfer is perfect – great color, great contrast, and just beautiful to look at.

I watched the first ten minutes of the new Blu-ray of The Loved One, which looks fantastic, so I’ll finish that and have more to say when I do. I also checked out the transfer on a German Blu-ray of Mario Bava’s Kill Baby Kill, and even a cursory look tells me it’s 1000% better than any previous home video release. It’s also coming from Arrow in the UK and Kino here in the US, but it will be interesting to see if they’re completely different transfers, and if they are if they’re better than this one.

After that, I had some low-cal low-fat ice cream and that was that.

Today, I have a meeting with Kay Cole at noon o’clock about the musical I’m directing, and which she’s choreographing. Then I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, and wait to hear if we’re having any auditions in the late afternoon. If not, I’ll do prep work on the musical script, and perhaps a bit more work on the Sherman Brothers musical.

Tomorrow I’m seeing the reading of a new musical’s first act, then waiting to hear if we have any auditions. Sunday is a day of rest, prepping, and figuring out the Kritzerland show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, meet, eat, hopefully pick up packages, wait to hear about auditions, prep, and perhaps do some work on the Sherman Brothers script. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start, CD – Shostokovich. Blu-ray – The Loved One and Kill, Baby, Kill. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping the retrograde gets out of Uranus sooner than later.

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