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June 25, 2017:

HAVING A TECH WITH NO SLEEP

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, our tech rehearsal ran fairly smoothly but we didn’t have everything in place, nor was the set fully finished, which I’m told is pretty much the way things happen at this theater. We all arrived at ten, got a late start, but the cue-to-cue only took about seventy minutes. For much of the show it’s simply lights up, lights down. The murder scene has special lighting, of course, and there are a few scenes with internal cues. Grant’s music is working very well. I staged the curtain call, which, I must say, is laugh out loud funny at one point.

We took a meal break right after the cue-to-cue, then reconvened and began our run-through. Even though I didn’t want to, we did have to stop a couple of times, but that won’t be happening again – if mistakes are made, on we go and we’ll take notes and fix afterwards. But because we were behind a bit and because I really needed to give notes and work a few things, I said we didn’t have to do the second run-through – although we did do act three again in its entirety. The actors are all finding good stuff and the lines are fairly solid now, which is good. So, we wrapped out at around five-thirty.

Prior to that, I’d had a terrible night – only about two or three hours of sleep, due to upper chest congestion and a weird throat. It was so irritating – I didn’t have any Ny-Quil here or I would have downed some. So, I was pretty trashed all day.

After we finished, I stopped at Gelson’s and got some Ny-Quil, dried cranberries, and then came home. I answered e-mails, relaxed, listened to two new sets of Scriabin – same conductor on both sets, but one was from the 60s and one from the late 80s – I love this conductor and these two sets are so worlds apart from the Kitajenko set that I love, that, for me, they’re must-haves, especially the earlier set – the conductor is Evgeny Svetlanov (one of my favorites) and the earlier recordings are on Melodiya – those LPS were notoriously awful, but whoever is doing the remastering is doing an amazing job. For the most part these sound incredible – only when the brass is blaring is the sound a bit shrill. If you’ve never heard a Russian orchestra play Russian music, well, you should. Russian brass playing is completely different and occasionally so wacky but it also feels so right somehow. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the new Blu and Ray of The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Dario Argento’s first film, and a giallo that was quite a game changer. By today’s standards the film seems positively quaint, but I’ve always liked it, especially the style of it. I’m not a huge fan of his later films because they’re hyper violent, but this one and Cat o’ Nine Tails I really enjoy. I had the previous Blu-ray on Blue Underground and thought it was okay. But this new transfer blows it away – perfect color and looking just like a Techniscope film should look. I don’t think it could be better, frankly. Of course the usual Internet twits who can’t wait to be negative about this kind of release, saw some screen captures and pronounced it a disaster, mis-framed, color not like the previous Blu-ray (never judge a release by previous video incarnations) – just the usual idiotic stuff spoken by people who really know nothing about film. They kept talking about how “rough” the opening titles are. They’re not “rough” – they don’t even approach rough. What they are is an optical – oops (spoo, spelled backwards). Of course as soon as the raves started appearing and as soon as others actually, you know, got the disc and watched it, all the usuals suddenly disappeared into the good night. These people are so harmful with their dirty business and then they just slink away rather than just say, “Hey, sorry, I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.” Oh, and they cause people to cancel orders and some even sought out the previous Blu-ray. As soon as the reviews hit, however, they were suddenly scrambling to order it again and were actually upset because some dealers were out of them or behind on shipping. It would be amusing on some level if it wasn’t so pathetic.

After that, I listened to music and took my preventatives and am just trying not to be sick. I will take some Ny-Quil in a bit and try to go to bed by twelve-thirty.

Today, we’re starting our first run-through at eleven. When we’re done, we’ll have a two-hour break – one hour for food, one for the cast to get into costumes and make up for our dress rehearsal, which we’ll begin at three-thirty. So, I’m hoping that with notes and everything we can wrap out by six-thirty at the latest. I’m told the rest of the set will be finished and the lighting will be, too. Hopefully that will be the case because I won’t be happy if I’m not seeing stuff until our final dress on Tuesday, as there’ll be a small audience that night.

Tomorrow is a day off and a day off it shall be. I’m not talkin’ to anyone, I’m not workin’, I’m just relaxing and having a total rest and ME day. Tuesday we play our final dress rehearsal, Wednesday and Thursday are previews, and we open on Friday, play Saturday, and then a Sunday matinee. I will, of course, have a full daily report on all of it.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, hopefully get a good night’s sleep, I must have a run-through, I’ll eat, I must have a dress rehearsal, and then I must 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 gotten through having a tech with no sleep.

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