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June 20, 2017:

KRITZERLAND AT STERLING’S 78

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had us a rather splendiferous Kritzerland at Sterling’s 78, oh yes, we had us a rather splendiferous Kritzerland at Sterling’s 78. The 78th Kritzerland show was way too much fun, at least for me it was. We had a great audience and we had a bunch of walk-ups so it was a really good-sized crowd. The cast was the berries – everyone of them – I love working with this calibre of talent, which has made doing these shows every month for the past seven YEARS bearable. They are huge work to put together because I don’t just ask a bunch of singers to sing random songs – I structure the shows and slave over them each and every month – but these singers really do make it all worthwhile. Tonight’s stellar group included Brittney Bertier who, I believe, created a brand new word last night when she went up on a lyric, but she’s just so lovable and adorable and super talented. Kerry O’Malley, who rocked the house with the most incredible rendition of Fifty Percent from Ballroom – so truthful, so emotional and what an ovation she got. Lauren Rubin, back with us after way too long an absence – this was actually her first Kritzerland at The Federal after having done our shows at the Gardenia and Vitelli’s – she did a superb job. Jill Schoelen – I first met her back in 1988 when I was going to cast her in a movie I was going to direct, which never happened, sadly – she hasn’t really been performing for the past five years so I think this was very scary terrain for her, but she did just great. Adrienne Visnic, also back with us after way too long an absence – she had the wordiest songs of the evening and delivered them flawlessly, including the world premiere of the What If song – the song I wrote back in 2000 when I first had the idea to do a revue of my What If parodies. Guy Haines was busy converting to Judaism and was a no-show, so I filled in for him. And Richard Allen was at the keyboard doing a grand job of it. And we had a little surprise at the end – little Hayley Shukiar coming up and telling me she wanted to sing Richard Sherman a song because he’d been laid up for ten weeks – she sang A Spoonful of Sugar. Then she informed me SHE was doing the final number – it was really funny and, of course, completely scripted. She then sang Two Roads, the song I wrote with Richard, and she was fantastic. For our sing-a-long I brought Richard up and we all sang Happy Birthday to him – he turned eighty-nine last week. All in all, what fun!

There won’t be any videos. What we’ve been finding out is people have been getting complacent, thinking they can miss the show because they’ll see all the videos. Well, no more, sorry. It’s a shame because I like sharing them for the people who don’t live here, but the reality is several people who were coming all the time, think they can watch the damn videos and that’s just not working for me. I may have one to share – the Hayley Shukiar bit – her father shot some video with his phone so I’ve asked him to send it to me.  Well, it just arrived in the nick of time.

hayleyvideo

We had a great audience – there were a surprising number of walk-ups so we ended up with about eighty people and a pretty full room. And they were a great audience – so many fun laughs and an endless parade of Bar Mitzvah jokes (our usual first Sunday of the month show was changed because they’d booked out the room for a Bar Mitzvah) – I had a field day, I must say. The patter went over very well. So, on to number 79 in August (we’re taking July off due to the holiday being too close to our Sunday show) and then our seven-year anniversary and eightieth show in September. Whew!

Prior to that I’d only gotten about four hours of sleep – the hills were alive with the sound of music and the windmills of my mind were alive with the sound of too much thinking. I’ve decided that the August show will be a Henry Mancini evening – what a body of work he has – movies, theater, everything – so much great stuff to choose from and everyone seemed jazzed by the idea when I announced it. I tried to relax, did some banking, picked up some packages, and listened to music whilst doing some work on the computer. Then it was time for sound check. I was put in a foul mood when I pulled into the parking lot and all my usual spaces were taken and there were movie trucks everywhere. Some three-hundred pound security guy came up to my car and said we couldn’t park there and I kind of went berserk and I think I actually scared him – he let me park and he took our cast names and they were allowed to park. But our attendees had to park across the street in a city-owned parking structure that was double the cost of the Federal parking lot. I was so irritated, but I let it go pretty quickly, after bitching about it to anyone who’d listen. No one likes when I go to that place, but sorry folks, if you’ve once again sold us down the river have the decency to let us know in advance so we can let the attendees know. Michael Sterling was none too happy about it either.

After the show, for the first time in years we didn’t go out afterwards. So, I hadn’t eaten much of anything – I stopped at Gelson’s and got some of their ribs (very good) and some mac-and-cheese – I came home and ate it all up whilst listening to some marvelously marvelous Prokofiev ballet music.

Today, I’m not sure what’s happening. I’m hoping to sleep in a bit, then I do have to have some telephonic conversations and print out a script for the Sherman Brothers musical so I can give it to Richard this week. Then we’re back to Dial ‘M’ for Murder – we’re in serious run-through land – we actually open in less than two weeks so they really need to get this show in their bodies and minds. I don’t really know why this one’s been such a struggle in terms of knowing lines, but I’m not going to allow any calls for lines as of Wednesday. They can just figure it out or make it up.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals, Dial ‘M’ rehearsals, including evening rehearsals on the weekend, which irritates me no end when we should have all day rehearsals, but they take Saturday and Sunday days to work on the set. Crazy. But I think we’ll go upstairs and at least line-through the show in the afternoon until we can get onstage.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, print out a script, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and rehearse. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite Henry Mancini songs? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a splendiferous Kritzerland at Sterling’s 78.

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