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June 1, 2017:

THE BUSTIN’ OUT OF JUNE ALL OVER

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, had a double whammy day of rehearsals, and I mean that in the best way. But before we get to the damn double whammy day of fun rehearsals, may I just point out that it’s June? Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, it is June, a month that is bustin’ out all over. And may I just say that it is my fervent hope and prayer that June will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.

Back to the double whammy day of rehearsals. We began the rehearsal day for the musical with our musical director addressing the twelve notes from the writer. He taught harmonies, and then I listened – after hearing each I made the determination of which would work and which wouldn’t, in terms of our production and storytelling. We ultimately did five of the twelve changes, I believe. The others simply didn’t work for the acting or way we are telling the story. But I felt it important to try each of them. That all took the first three hours of the day. Then our writer arrived and I gave my usual pep talk and then we did our run-through. And I must say, the air was electric and the cast was on their A game and the energy was fantastic, as was the pace. The cast found new things, they got every laugh I’ve tried to put in the show, and the music sounded incredible, including the songs where we made adjustments. Best of all, the writer was absolutely thrilled with it. He had only a few notes, which I haven’t actually seen yet. When I do, as always I will take them under advisement and give them serious thought, then do what I feel is best for the show. He really trusts me and so knows I have the best interests of the show at heart. Plus I know how much new we can do and whether it will actually throw people and cause more harm than good. Just part of the director’s job in balancing all the balls of a new musical.

We didn’t give notes after, although I did let everyone know how pleased I was. There were some unsure bits, fumfers, and we’ll cover all those in the note session and then run each of those problem areas. We let everyone go a half-hour early, and I headed over to the mail place where I picked up some packages, then over to Jerry’s Deli, where I had a Chinese chicken salad and a bagel. Then I moseyed on over to the Group Rep for our second rehearsal.

We had four pages to go to the end of the show, so I blocked those, which took an hour. Then we began at the beginning of the show and started assembling everything, as is my wont. Thankfully, my assistant director had all the blocking correctly notated in her script, so it was easy to fix anything the actors didn’t have right. And of course I occasionally cleaned up things, made slight adjustments, and over the course of two hours we got through all of act one and the first two scenes of act two. So, that was great, and I must say I’m completely happy with the flow of the blocking and it’s really turned out exactly as I wanted – I have a very specific thing in mind in terms of the way the blocking functions – it’s not really anything people will consciously notice, but it kind of informs everything that happens in the play. And it keeps everything moving right along. My goal is to have the play run exactly two hours WITH the two intermissions – we’ll see if we can achieve that, and, of course, some of that will depend on them keeping the intermissions at a tight ten minutes and not fifteen. That means we have to get through act one in about forty minutes, act two in about thirty-five, and act three in about thirty. That would put us at 105 minutes and leave fifteen minutes for intermissions, so maybe we’ll come in at 2:05, although I’ll keep trying for my goal.

After that, I came directly home, had some low-cal low-fat ice cream, relaxed, answered e-mails, listened to music (Smetana, Bartok, and others), and that was the double whammy day and evening.

Today, of course, is June. I’ll be at rehearsal by eleven, we’ll give notes, work through stuff, run choreography, run some music, then at two-thirty we’ll do our run-through and, depending on how it goes, probably release folks early again. Then I’ll hopefully pick up packages and have something light but amusing to eat, then we’ll do our Dial ‘M’ for Murder rehearsal, which will be it for this week, after which we’ll resume next Tuesday and we’ll then be on a normal schedule, as the current show will be closed and we’ll have the stage for everything.

Tomorrow we’ll lock the musical, as the lighting and sound people have to write their cues. I’ll have the evening to myself. I’ll also have a conversation with a producer who’s contacted me about maybe directing a show in July. I’m interested to have the conversation, although truth be told it’s not a musical I care for – but that kind of makes it a challenge so we’ll see if the producer piques my interest and if I pique his, where it will play, and what the particulars are. Saturday and Sunday are both two run-through days, and thankfully I have both evenings free. Monday is our day off for both shows, although I may mosey on over to the El Portal if our tech folks are loading in stuff, just to check it out. We shall see. Then on Tuesday we begin tech.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a rehearsal, hopefully pick up packages, eat, have a rehearsal, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite classical pieces used in films, where you actually thought they worked perfectly? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a double whammy excellent day and night of rehearsals, and happy it is June – and it is my fervent hope and prayer that June will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.

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