Well, dear readers, it wasn’t exactly a day of rest yesterday – in fact, I ended up doing non-stop work. I got only six hours of sleep, but the alarm, for whatever reason, actually worked. I answered e-mails and stuff, then went to Staples with the script file and had fifteen copies printed, double-sided so it was half the number of pages. While they were printing away, I went and had an omelet and a bagel, after which I picked up one tiny package.
Then Kay and John Boswell arrived at two and they ran the act for me – patter was rough, but I could see the structure (they’d changed one number, which was fine) and see where the patter was doing its job and where it wasn’t. There was too much stopping and starting for me to know how long it runs – won’t know that until Tuesday. I think the structure is pretty sound. After they finished, I gave one general note, and then had them go back to the top of the show. I began adjusting certain things – and also revising the patter where it needed revising and also having John create underscore for about eighty-percent of the patter, which really helps things seem cohesive. So, we went through it all, futzing and finessing. She then went home and typed up the revised patter and sent it to me, and now I’ll make sure it’s smooth and lay it out properly so it’s easy for her to learn from.
With nary a moment to relax, Richard Allen, the MD of Levi, came over. The music is in total disarray and that’s a real problem for this reading. We have the original demos, but they don’t reflect all the changes I’ve done with the script and how I’ve rethought things in the routining of the songs. Richard had given all the chicken scratch lead sheets to someone and they were supposed to redo them and get it in the computer for Richard to work from. And whoever this nincompoop was, he did nothing at all, didn’t even start on it. So, when Richard got back to town, we pulled it from the nincompoop and gave it to the guy who it should have been given to all along, but it was too late for him to do anything by Monday. So, Richard is doing as much as he can and what he can’t get to he’ll play off the lead sheets but with the arrangements I’m doing, so I can at least croak through the songs on Monday night and have them function the way they do in the script. We got through all of act one’s arrangements – as we did, I realized there’s one reprise that needs to be added to one sequence and the reprise that happens at the end of act one with the prospectors on their way to strike gold is bothering me just as it’s bothered me every time I look at it. My problem is the song they’re reprising is Levi’s opening song. And it doesn’t feel right for them to be singing something that’s so identified with Levi – I’m probably going to cut it, but we’ll keep it as is for the reading.
Then that was done and I went and put gas in the motor car and then picked up the fifteen scripts. I came home and put brads in all of them. Then I shaved and showered and moseyed on over to the theater. We had about forty people in attendance, not enough. So, I’m trying to tell them that if the cast and I can get a box-office report the morning of every performance, then I can see where we are and put the word out that people should come. I’m hoping that plan can begin happening next week.
The performance was fine, mostly – a little sloppy here and there, which I hope will be cleaned up for the matinee, and a couple of wonky sound cues. I talked to everyone who needed to be aware of what needs adjusting. I also felt the murder was way too slow and “careful” – I designed it to be fast, shocking, violent, and full of sound and fury signifying everything. That it wasn’t, so I’m going in at one to get it back to where it needs to be – after that, I probably won’t go back to see the show for two weeks, so the stage manager will now let everyone know if something isn’t working as it should. It was kind of a weird audience, but I know they enjoyed it. After the show, I said hi to everyone, sang happy birthday to one of our actors, and then stopped at Gelson’s for a small amount of mac-and-cheese for a snack, then came home. I ate it all up, and then it was time to write these here notes.
Today, I’ll be up by eleven and to the theater at one to run the murder scene. I may then leave for a while and return for act three – we shall see. After the show we have a talk-back – I have no idea how many people are coming to the show or how many will stay for the talk-back. Then I’ll eat, then come home and I have to start highlighting all fifteen scripts, save for the three or four folks who only play one part. That’s going to take most of the evening and a good part of tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I’ll continue highlighting, and then Richard Allen comes and we do the act two arrangements, or as much as we can do. Thankfully, the big eleven o’clock number is already routined and arranged so that’s one less thing we’ll have to do. Then everyone arrives and we do our private reading. I will, of course, have a full report. The rest of the week is Kritzerland stuff – finding our final performer, assigning the rest of the songs, and getting everyone their music, making a show order and writing the commentary. We also have a daily run-through for Kay’s show, which is a week from today.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, run the murder scene, do a talk-back, eat, and highlight scripts and assign roles. 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 had a productively productive non-stop work day.