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July 24, 2017:

THE LIVELY TALKBACK

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had our first of two talkbacks at yesterday’s matinee of Dial ‘M’ for Murder. I’m told that most of the talkbacks it’s like pulling teeth to get them to ask questions, but our group was very lively – there were about ten or twelve who stayed. The show was very good, albeit a little low-energy with two of our cast, so I’ll send out those notes tomorrow. In any case, the questions were fun – some I answered, some the cast answered, and one the costume designer answered. One person who’d already spoken to me in the lobby had wondered what would happen if the strategically placed scissors were to accidentally get pushed off the desk – what was our contingency plan? I wouldn’t tell him at intermission, but he asked at the talkback so I revealed that the scissors accidentally getting pushed off the desk in the struggle is actually impossible. Our little trick? Velcro on the end of the desk and Velcro on the scissors. We were asked about certain bits of business that they’d really liked, especially when the officer puts the purse on his arm. I told them that while some people had told me they’d thought that was a particularly ME moment, it in fact is in the script. We talked about the blocking, performance choices – it was fun and I look forward to next week’s talkback. We had thirty-seven people on the reservation book, but as has happened at every performance this show, unlike 90% of their other shows, has actually been getting significant walk-up traffic – we had over fifty people yesterday.

After the talkback, I moseyed on over to Doug Haverty’s home environment, as did everyone else, for his little partay for us. They’d gotten food from Sharkey’s – it was pretty okay, but I really didn’t eat much of it, and virtually none of what I ate was fattening. I stayed about two and a half hours then came home.

Prior to that I’d gotten almost eight hours of sleep. I didn’t have all that much time to do stuff before having to shave, shower, and be on my way to the theater.

After the partay, I stopped at Gelson’s and got a little food from the hot food bar for a little something else to eat, then came home. Once here, I had to answer e-mails, have a telephonic conversation, and then I ate my food and then sat on the couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched another Hitchcock hour, this one one of the worst of the entire series. It starred Barry Nelson, who I like, and “Dick” Dawson, who was a very young and very bad Richard Dawson. Edward Andrews was in it, too, but none of them could help the awful script and terrible direction of Leo Penn (a director I worked with a mere eleven years later). I then began another episode, this one based on a very excellent novel called Beast in View by Margaret Millar. It stars the wonderful Joan Hackett and Kevin McCarthy, a VERY young George Furth, and Kathleen Nolan. Very enjoyable so far, thanks to good writing from James Bridges and good directing from Joseph Newman – amazing how good people doing those jobs makes for better episodes.

Then it was back to the Boulez Mahler – what a love/hate thing people have with this set. The hater people think Boulez is the devil and that he completely subverts Mahler’s intentions, as if they alone knew Mahler’s intentions. But I am kind of enjoying the set – not all great to my ears – some of it curiously lifeless, but some of it beautifully played and recorded. Then again, I played Herbert Von Karajan’s sixth symphony, another one where all these Mahler “experts” say he’s ham-fisted – only to my ears it’s one of the best sixths out there, especially in the andante movement. But that’s the thing about opinions – opinions are like nostrils – everyone’s got them. Or something like that.

Today, I’ll be up by ten, then I have a noon o’clock lunch meeting with Robert Yacko – we’re starting on his solo cabaret show journey – he debuts his act in October. Then I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, work at the piano, work on the computer, and then relax.

The rest of the week is all meetings and meals. On Wednesday I’m going to a restaurant in West Hollywood that apparently has amazing – well, I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll report back after I’ve tried it. Thursday is a work session, and so it goes.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a meeting, hopefully pick up packages, do work at both piano and computer, and then relax. Todays’ topic of discussion: Favorite Mexican food – where and what. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, having enjoyed the lively talkback.

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