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August 1, 2017:

REHEARSING THAT GLORIOUS MANCINI MUSIC ON THE FIRST DAY OF AUGUST

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, may I just say it is August?  Yes, we have us a brand new month, and it is my fervent hope and prayer that August will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, and all things bright and beautiful.  But before we welcome August, we must talk about the final day of July.  On that final day of July we had our first Kritzerland rehearsal, albeit a shorter than usual one due to the fact that two of our singers are out of town and will be coming for their first rehearsal on Wednesday. First to arrive was Daniel Bellusci, winner of Michael Sterling’s LA’s Next Great Stage Star competition and co-star of my production of Hit Song. We began with Moon Talk, which is on the High Time re-recording album from the film. This music slayed me when I was a kid – I thought it the most romantic thing ever. Now, I believe Mr. Mancini wrote it for the film, of course, but it never appears because all the scenes where it would appear are underscored with the Cahn and Van Heusen song, The Second Time Around. But this tune still gets to me in a way that The Second Time Around never has. Of course, it was just a tune, so I took the bull by the horns and wrote a lyric for it, and it kind of works rather splendidly, I think. And Daniel is doing it very dreamily. Then we did Send a Little Love My Way, a song from Oklahoma Crude that became a bit for Anne Murray. It’s a really fun song. Then we did the a put-together of two Mancini songs that are pretty much never done – Natalie, from Me, Natalie and Tomorrow Is My Friend from Gaily, Gaily, but they’re both haunting and lovely.

Next up was Robert Yacko. We began with main title music for High Time – yes, the same film that the unused Moon Talk was written for. And like Moon Talk this theme never had lyrics, but I used to march around my house singing the tune at the top of my lungs, and always wished it had a lyric. And now it does, since I also wrote one for this song. In both cases I kept the titles. Robert is delightful on it – it’s a lot of words and a classic, perky Mancini tune, so a bit tricky to navigate, but it’s going to work just great. Then we did a put-together (there are a LOT of put-togethers in this show) of Dear Heart and Charade – we did a nice arrangement of it. Finally, he sang the lovely It’s Easy to Say from 10.

Finally, we had a new-to-Kritzerland person, Wendy Rosoff, who came highly recommended by the likes of Alet Taylor. And she’s already got the Kritzerland vibe and will be a lot of fun. We began with a put-together of Mancini’s two classic TV themes, Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky, both of which have lyrics by Livingston and Evans. Then she did Paris Makes Me Horny, from the stage version of Victor/Victoria – I have absolutely no memory of it from seeing the show, but I have to say it’s pretty funny at times and Wendy is already doing it to a “T”. Then it was on to her third number, a put-together of Too Little Time (written for The Glenn Miller Story) and The Sweetheart Tree. All in all, a lovely first rehearsal.

Prior to that, I got seven hours of sleep, got up, answered e-mails and did some work on the computer, then went and had the ubiquitous chicken Caesar salad, after which I picked up an envelope and no packages. I did some banking, then came home, and did more work until it was time to begin rehearsals.

After rehearsal I did a two-and-a-half mile jog, then went to Gelson’s to get my evening snack. I had a couple of drumettes, one small chicken tender, and a no-calorie salad from the salad bar. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched two more episodes of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour, going back to the beginning of the first season, which aired in 1962 and into 1963. The first episode was a terrific one but not exactly the kind of story the show is known for. In fact, it was rather like a trial run for The Cincinnati Kid. That novel was published the year after this show aired. This one had terrific direction by Bernard Girard, and I’m a sucker for any story about poker, and the poker games do garner quite a bit of suspense. And quite a bit of star power on display – Gig Young, Robert Redford, Martha Hyer, and Gene Evans. And while almost all of the season two episodes I watched were decent-only transfers, this one looked spectacular. Then I watched the second episode, Don’t Look Behind You (kind of a classic Hitchock Hour title if ever there was one). This starred Vera Miles and Jeffrey Hunter, as well as Dick Sargent and the man who would go on to direct some of the worst episodes, Alf Kjellin. It was directed by the brilliant John Brahm. The direction is great, but the story is, sadly, ludicrous from start to finish with bad writing on top of it. What a disappointment.

Today, I may or may not have a meeting with Kay Cole around noon, and the sandwich thing I ordered from Goldbely should arrive in the morning so I’ll pick that up. Then at two o’clock we have a two-hour work session for Robert Yacko’s cabaret show, I’ll hopefully pick up packages, I’ll sample the sandwich thing and have a full report – if it’s deelish then as much as I eat of that will be my meal o’ the day.

Tomorrow our errant and truant two singers have their first rehearsal, Thursday everyone has their second rehearsal, Friday I have a ton o’ stuff to do, Saturday is our stumble-through, and Sunday is sound check and show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, maybe have a meeting with Kay, pick up the sandwich thing, have a work session, hopefully pick up packages, eat, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films of Robert Redford. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a fun rehearsal bathing in all that glorious Mancini music on the first day of August – and it is my fervent hope and prayer that August will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.

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