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August 22, 2017:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish having spent the entire evening dealing with the Kritzerland show, which is finally fully cast, with all songs chosen and all singers having received their music. And now it is five minutes before these here notes are supposed to be posted, but I have just had forty minutes of telephonic calls and e-mails about the show and its details. And so now I am sitting here like so much late fish trying to write these here notes in hurry despite nausea from eating walnuts – I don’t like them but it’s all that was here. I hate when that happens. And so, the cast of the Kritzerland show is Roger Befeler, Kerry O’Malley, Jenna Lea Rosen, Hayley Shukiar, Sami Staitman and special guest Jason Graae, and perhaps a surprise or two that we won’t know about until days before the show. Musical director is Alby Potts, and the song choices are pretty great for this one and include some real rarities that few have ever heard before.

Interestingly, one song we’re doing is If You Leave Me Now, cut from The Happy Time, and which I recorded on the very first Lost in Boston album with Michael Rupert singing it – which was fun because that was his first Broadway show when he was a kid. So, I didn’t feel like uploading the song into iTunes so I found a performance on YouTube and sent that instead. And then I watched said performance. In the set-up to the song the singer told the story of being contacted by the guy who ran Sondheim and Kander and Ebb’s publishing company – yet the name was not the person who actually runs it, and he ONLY runs the Kander and Ebb and used to run the Sondheim. He says they loved some CD he made and raved to him and sent him out of the meeting with a folder filled with rare never before done songs, one of which was If You Leave Me Now – he then brags that he’s going to be the first person to ever sing the song in public. This was in 2013. We recorded the album in – oh – 1994. And we’ve performed it at Kritzerland years ago in our Kander & Ebb show and it’s been performed elsewhere, too. I had to write him a little note on the video’s page, but I was nice about it – insert smiley face here.

Prior to my crazy evening, I’d only gotten six hours of sleep, got up, and then had to get ready for my eleven-thirty meeting at LACC with Tesshi, my set designer for Levi. I got there right on time and we went into the big theater to discuss the set and the space. We’d already had a brief conversation about my usual stuff of wanting an open playing space with things that move in and out and turn and do. We looked at the set for Newsies, but frankly even as I looked at it I knew it wasn’t what I wanted – way too busy with all that steel and stuff – but it did have an open playing space. But as it turns out, Tesshi had already done a rough design and while it took me a few mintues to get used to it and begin to understand how it would function, in the end I really liked it. He’s using wood rather than steel, and frankly that feels more right, given the story begins in the mid 1840s and the entire second act takes place in San Francisco and includes miners and prospecting and such. So, there’s a bit unit that acts as a bridge – with the band up on that on either side of center, so that center up there can be used for scenes. Then two moving stair units that can go anywhere and do anything – from becoming a gangplank to stairs in a mansion, to coming together to form a playing area at the top. I really liked that a lot. Lots of entrances, too, and we’ll be having projections on a bit cyclorama as well as the side panels that frame the set. I think it’s going to work really well.

After that meeting, which lasted exactly an hour, I then came back to the Valley and went and had a side Caesar salad and a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, both excellent. Then I came home, did some work on the computer, caught up on e-mails, and even sat on my couch like so much fish and checked out some transfers. Then I buckled down, Winsocki and did the Kritzerland show stuff, which, as I already mentioned, took all evening, but it’s done, thankfully. I wrote the flyer blurb, all the while listening to various and sundried music.

Today, I have several things to do, I’ll eat, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, then I have a work session with Alby and there’s the possibility of a meeting with Kay Cole after that.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals and going and doing and doing and going. And I suppose I’ll have to have a conversation and/or meeting with someone I used to work with who’s interested in writing a memoir. He had a co-writer who was essentially going to write it, but I think they had a rift or a split and he’s asked me if I’d do it. It seems weird to me, but I’m happy to hear what he has in mind.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do things, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have a work session, maybe have a meeting, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite songs from the Lost in Boston albums? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have enlightened someone that they did not, in fact, premiere a song that was premiered twenty years previously. But I was nice about it – insert smiley face here.

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