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June 2, 2017:

FINAL DAYS IN THE REHEARSAL ROOM

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it was another long day of rehearsals, during which we rehearsed, which is what I like to do in rehearsals. I was up at nine-fifteen, got ready, and then moseyed on over to rehearsals. I’d gotten some music notes from our songwriter/co-author – so we dealt with those first. But I’d already responded to him, basically giving him my reasons and logic for the choices we’d made. He was, I must say, great about it – he responded saying he completely understood I had to go with what I felt was right, and he thinks the show is working great. He said if we move on maybe we could try a few of the things but that he also knew you don’t mess with what’s working. I know how hard this is for creative people – handing your hard work to others who then have to realize the show in their own way, but that’s the process and I am very sensitive about it, being a writer myself.

As always, I did try almost all of his notes in the morning, but I truly believe I’m right about the ones we can’t do, and my team completely agrees, as does the cast. We ran a few other things, then at three we began our run-through. I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as the previous run-through the minute the music started, because the opening number was slower than it should have been, which impacted the energy and performance of the two gals who sing it. I felt a few other tempos were slightly off, too, but those are easy fixes and minor things. In fact, our musical director has been so consistent and perfect it surprised me – I’ve worked with some musical directors who literally cannot be consistent twice in a row. We’ll run those few numbers before today’s run, just to lock in the tempos. After that, the cast had some wonderful moments, but it was almost like the whole show was just slightly off the beat – and the cast knew it, too. I think some of that has to do with my sharing the music notes with them, but I feel it’s my obligation to do so. However, from now on I’m not giving any more notes other than whatever Kay and I have – I have a couple of performances that need to be stronger, so I’ll be concentrating on that – we have time to get that right and get it right we shall.

After the rehearsal, a few of us went over to the Coral Café – I had my chicken Caesar wrap and a tiny Caesar salad. Then I put gas in the motor car, and then it was time for the evening rehearsal. We continued assembling the show. I was dismayed that somehow stuff I blocked a mere two days ago wasn’t written down correctly, or, in certain cases, written down at all, either by the actors or assistant director. I warned everyone about this up front, because once I give blocking I then have no memory of it, so it’s up to everyone to get it notated correctly. Most of it was fine, but we reached a part in the beginning of act three where everyone was completely at sea and I got a little testy about it. The assistant director’s blocking made no sense, and the actors didn’t have it in their scripts. So, we did that section over again. There was a section where we all remembered everyone being stage right, but no one knew how they got there. We addressed it, but I’m not happy with the cross to get us over there – it’s arbitrary and doesn’t work, so I’ll look at the scene again and figure out a better way. We didn’t quite finish the assembly, so that will continue on Tuesday next. The actors are swell and I think it’s going to be a really nice production, as long as the set gets done the way it should and presuming the lighting is top-notch.

After that I came directly home, had some Campbell’s soup and a bit of ice cream, and listened to some music. I began with Khachaturian – a lot of very effete and pedantic classical music enthusiasts always deride his music – well, sorry pedantic twits, anyone who could write such glorious melodies is to be praised to the skies, not derided. It’s not kitsch, it’s great music. The piano and violin concertos are just wonderful and exotic and I adore them. The Sabre Dance is amazing, his ballets are so melodic and are great fun to listen to – he’s the real damn deal. Then I listened to my new favorite conductor, Karel Ancerl and his mono version of the Shostakovich seventh – it’s as great as his other Shostakovich CDs. I also listened to him having his way with some Bartok music (great) and with Bedrich Smetana’s Ma Vlast – beautiful recordings all, and all those are in stereo.

Today, I’ll be back at the rehearsal room at eleven. We’ll run a few things and I may try making a blocking change to one scene, although it may be too late in the game to do it – but our stage manager made a suggestion that made sense to me and if the actors are comfortable with it I might just try it. The writer had a completely different thing in his head when he wrote it and he told me what that was yesterday – but it would be very convoluted to make work and impossible at this late date – but a minor change is fine, especially if it helps clarify what the bit is actually about. Then we do our run-through at one-thirty. After, I’ll give notes and run anything that needs running and then the show is locked for tech reasons. Then I’ll either go to the mail place and pick up whatever’s there or I’ll eat first and then go. I’m thinking if it’s early enough it would be nice to just pick up the mail, eat close to me, and have the full evening all to myself.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early. We’re probably going to have one run-through at eleven-thirty, break, and then do a second run at about two or thereabouts. Then I have the evening to myself. Sunday we’ll try to do two runs as well, and then we have our day off (I may try to see Richard Sherman that day). Tuesday we begin tech, which will last until Wednesday, at which point we’ll do our sitzprobe and have our first dress rehearsal. Then we have an invited dress, then we play our two performances. An awful lot of work for just two shows, but I have had an absolutely wonderful time doing the show and have met some really talented folks, a few of whom I hope to bring to Kritzerland.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a rehearsal, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and relax. 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, many things of a classical nature. Blu-ray, lots sitting on the couch. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as we go into our final days in the rehearsal room.

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