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August 20, 2017:

STATELY NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, as I type these here notes I am listening to the stately music of Edward Elgar. Therefore I shall write stately notes. These here notes shall be nothing if not stately. Not cityly, mind you, but stately. I shall be too too and very very in these here notes. I shall wear a waistcoat and a stately suit whilst writing these here notes. I shall speak in the very proper English whilst writing these here notes. I shall sip tea and have a scone and a crumpet, not necessarily in that order. In other words, stately notes a’comin’.

Yesterday wasn’t really stately until the stately Elgar began playing out of the blue because in iTunes the stately Elgar follows the anything but stately Duke of Ellington. I only got about five hours of sleep, due to the arrival of she of the Evil Eye. I went and had a bacon and cheese omelet and a bagel, did some errands and whatnot, picked up a package, did some banking, and then came back home.

I answered e-mails, did some work on the computer, finished the new What If that will open the Kritzerland show, still haven’t figured out my other female performer, and did some work at the piano. I also finished watching Samuel Fuller’s wacky The Crimson Kimono. That film is not stately. It is lurid and classic Fuller, filled with his trademark outré dialogue. There’s wonderful footage of the late 1950s Little Tokyo and downtown LA, and the performances are everything we’ve come to expect from a Fuller film. James Shigeta, Glenn Corbett, Victoria Shaw, Anna Lee, and others do Mr. Fuller proud. And Mr. Fuller also plays two off-camera voices – he’s hilarious. The transfer on this Twilight Time disc is amazingly amazing.

Then I went to the Hamburger Hamlet to meet up with Pete Anthony. He’s a swell guy and he signed all 100 booklets of Betting on Zero – he had a little salad and I had some really good rice pudding. After that, I came home, had the last of this week’s Freshly meals, made some popcorn and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched another Twilight Time disc, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film of Grahame Greene’s The Quiet American. It’s really well done, beautifully photographed, with a GREAT performance by Michael Redgrave. In fact, even though Mr. Mankiewicz completely subverts Mr. Greene’s novel (very anti-American it was and in 1957 no American studio would have done that book and been true to it), it’s quite enjoyable on its own terms. The dialogue is wonderful, the look of the film is wonderful, and to see Vietnam in 1957 is really interesting. And there’s a very “things to come” mood that hangs over the film watching it today. In fact, Greene denounced the film, and it was a total flop anyway. And while I really enjoyed it, there is one huge problem with it and it can be summed up in two words: Audie and Murphy. Oh, Lord, he may have been a war hero and a nice chap, but he is one of the worst actors in the history of cinema – his line readings are so amateurish and his voice is truly irritating. But Michael Redgrave’s performance more than makes up for it. And for an MGM/UA transfer, it’s pretty damn terrific.

After that, I relaxed, listened to the latest great Duke Ellington CD (Piano in the Background), and then stately Elgar popped up and I went and put on my waistcoat and formal attire. I got a telephonic report from Robert Yacko that last night’s show was splendidly splendid – he effected all the notes and both he and Alby said he was totally relaxed, got his patter energy just right, and the audience apparently loved every minute of it.

Today I shall not be stately at all. I shall hopefully arise after a good night’s beauty sleep, I’ll try to jog, I’ll eat, I’ll watch something fun, and cast this last female. If I can’t think of anyone, I’ll use one of our young people, but I already have two in this show, so that won’t be ideal. But I’m running out of ideas.

Tomorrow I meet with the Levi set designer over at LACC. Tuesday I have a work session for the Kritzerland show. The rest of the week is meetings and meals and going and doing and doing and going.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, maybe jog, eat, cast, choose the final songs, and relax. 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 been stately and written stately notes.

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