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August 6, 2017:

DIAL ‘M’ FOR MANCINI

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had us our stumble-through – not as smooth as I like mostly due to a schedule misunderstanding so that our brilliant Grant Geissman never opened the e-mail announcing the hour earlier change for the stumble-through. He got to us about twenty minutes late, but there was no time for Richard, our MD, to give some notes that he needed for some of the charts, so Richard kept stopping the show to give the notes so it kept interrupting the flow. Besides that, the performers did very well with only a couple of fumfers, I gave some notes after to clean a few things up and fix some tempo problems, and ran a few transition things in the put-togethers. I just love the songs so much in this one.

Prior to that, I got nine hours of sleep, got up, booked my tables for the show – at that point it showed there were thirty-six seats left – but that’s because he puts up 104 tickets and I feel that’s just too many for the club to deal with. In essence we were at seventy and I predicted we’d end up between seventy-five and eighty. However, three hours later, according to the Brown Paper Tickets pull down menu, there were only eight seats left. We haven’t had that big a crowd in ages, so it’s wonderful IF it’s true. I did some banking, and then relaxed until the stumble-through.

After I gave the notes, Grant and I went and ate. I had the ubiquitous chicken Caesar salad, but knew I’d have to have something else later, as that wasn’t going to be enough food. Then I came home and did the two-and-a-half mile jog. Then I listened to music for a bit, then made a can of tuna, had one small sandwich on a 120-calorie burger bun, and ate the rest sans bread. I hope it wasn’t TOO much on top of the salad, but I have been a very good boy for over two weeks now and I did jog.

I went over the commentary again, found a few things to futz and finesse, and then printed it out and got everything ready for the show. I had a nice telephonic call with Doug Haverty – Friday night we had around fifty people at Dial ‘M’ for Murder, which, according to them, is amazing. And last night? We had five seats shy of a full house at eighty-five. This show has done amazingly well for the theater. They’ve extended shows that haven’t done as well, so I’m surprised they didn’t on this one, but in other ways I’m glad it’s closing next week. I think they probably regret not extending at least a week, given the audiences, but what do I know?

I then listened to yet more music, including an interesting recording of The Planets by Gennady Rozhdestventsky – very odd at times, with some funky playing, and not a brilliant recording (live, from 1980), but it’s certainly a Planets like no other. For me, the finest Planets remains William Steinberg’s – I don’t think I’ll ever hear a finer Planets than that one.

Today, I relax, jog, and then do a sound check and show. I’m sure several of us will go out for a bite after. Now that they no longer have my beloved artichoke, I order a Caesar salad but only have a few bites and give the rest to Sami. I will, of course, have a full report for you.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to go visit Nick Redman around eleven for a couple of hours. Then I have to come home and do some work and other stuff. The rest of the week is meetings and meals, work sessions for Robert Yacko’s cabaret show, some Levi work sessions – we’re trying to get all the music arranged and into the computer so Lanny Meyers can begin thinking about the orchestrations. Normally he wouldn’t begin until we set keys, but we know the range of our leading man and he has many of the songs, and it’s all in the computer anyway so it’s just a push of a button. We’re trying to settle on exactly what our seven instruments will be – the thinking is currently two keyboards, drums/percussion, bass, two reeds, and a violin, but that could change, and if Richard Sherman wants to spring for an eighth band member we could add a trumpet or something I suppose. For me, the solo violin is a color I really want and have always heard in my head for this score. And on Friday we begin the final weekend of Dial ‘M’ for Murder – I’ll probably attend the final two performances.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, relax, do a jog, do a sound check, and do a show. 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 fun stumble-through and having had a Dial ‘M’ for Mancini day.

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