Well, dear readers, we played the second of our two-performance presentation of Hit Song yesterday – a two o’clock matinee. We had about 160 people – there would have been 200 but the Gay Pride Day parade literally blocked every street in Hollywood and West Hollywood and all the people who lived in those neighborhoods simply couldn’t get there. But it was a lively group and the show went really well and the little sound issue was fixed and sound was perfect. As I’ve said, I’m very proud of what we all were able to accomplish with this iteration of the show – we have come so far from what we read at my house, and while there is still a ways to go, we couldn’t go there without having gotten here first. My beautiful cast – I would work with any of them anytime, anywhere, and the fact is I’ll be working with two of them (three, really) in the August Kritzerland show – Adrienne Stiefel and Daniel Bellusci will be with us, along with Robert Yacko. And all the creatives, from sets, costumes, lighting, sound, stage management, musical direction, band, straight down the line – there is nothing like working with top pros. It just makes my job so much easier and gives me the ease and freedom to concentrate on what I need to concentrate on. No babysitting necessary. And so, the set and costumes have gone into storage and we await the next step in the journey and we all pretty much think there will be a next step and perhaps sooner than later.
Prior to the performance, I’d had seven hours of sleep. I caught up on e-mails and such before getting ready. I got to the theater early to chat with our sound folks. Then the audience began arriving. Again, I knew several people in attendance, including our very own Sami Staitman and mom. I’m always fascinated by who doesn’t show up at these things, but that just seems to be the way it is. I work with a lot of people and have given a lot of people opportunities, especially at Kritzerland, and so I should think they’d just come to be supportive, as I always try to be. That’s a lesson everyone should learn at some point.
We hung out a bit after the show – some of the cast went over to The Federal for some food, but both Kay and I were pretty exhausted so we both went to our home environments. There were a lot of those pinwheel sandwich things leftover, so Kay and I each took some and that was my meal o’ the day – that and a couple of celebratory donuts. I thought I deserved them. Once home, I ate, I did a first pass show order for the Kritzerland show, which I think is pretty good – I assigned an opening number but I’m waiting to hear how things go tomorrow before finalizing – it’s a toss-up between two songs. But I think I got it right and the other song will close the show, which I think will probably be more fun anyway. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it because I can’t remember much of anything from the past couple of weeks, but back in 2000 after I’d been writing my What If parodies for about three years I was thinking about doing a revue of them even back then (we eventually did it in 2004). To that end, I wrote a lyric to a What If song, explaining the concept – you know, an opening number for the revue that had some built-in actual What Ifs within the song as illustrations. It was a really cute lyric. Normally I would have written the music myself, but I’d become super friendly with composer Claibe Richardson while we’d been developing the Night of the Hunter musical and doing that concept album (I seem to have been forgotten when the surviving author talks about the show and how it came to be – sorry, I spent three YEARS with them getting it to where I felt it was ready to record – that’s being part of a team, but what do I know). In any case, Claibe was, at that point, not well, and I thought it might cheer him up to write something, so I asked him to set the lyric to his music – he began in revues so I knew he’d know exactly what to do with it. And he did – he wrote a really cute tune for it. I do believe it was the last piece of original music he wrote before he passed away.
When we did the What If revue I never remembered that we had that song – I opened that show with a song called We’ll Do a Revue, which I wrote specifically for the show. And over the years I never gave it any thought – I simply had no memory of it until about two months ago when I found the sheet music in a box. I read and played through it and thought it was so much fun that I decided to put it in the Kritzerland show – I updated a few lyrics, put a few new What Ifs within the song – just snippets – and so we’re doing that. I know it would make Claibe very happy. He was the sweetest man.
After that, I watched the Tony Awards – don’t need to dwell on them other than to say it was an interminable three-plus hours, and I thought Kevin Spacey was about the worst host in the history of the Tonys. But we had a lively Annual Tony Awards Bash right here at haineshisway.com and we had a healthy count of over 500 postings – kind of like the old days. And somehow I had a new posting plateau myself last evening – 90,000 postings. Can you believe it?
Today I’ll try to finish more of the commentary, I’ll eat, I’ll hopefully pick up packages, I’ll have a quick work session for the Kritzerland show and then we have our first rehearsal, which I’m looking forward to. After that, I relax.
Tomorrow it’s back to Dial ‘M’ for Murder, which I’m also looking forward to. I’ve missed our cast and I’m hoping they can just run the show top to bottom for me without stops, and then I’ll clean up stuff afterwards, presuming anything needs cleaning up. I also have a one-off rehearsal for one Kritzerland performer prior to that. The rest of the week is more of the same – Dial ‘M’ every night, our second Kritzerland rehearsal on Thursday, stumble-through in the late afternoon on Saturday, Dial ‘M’ Sunday, and then our sound check and show on Monday.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, finish more commentary, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have a work session, and have a Kritzerland rehearsal. Today’s topic of discussion: What were your favorite and least favorite moments from last night’s Tony Awards broadcast. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a nice second and last performance of this iteration of Hit Song.