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October 13, 2017:

THE MUSICAL MOMENTS OF MIASKOVSKY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear reader, as I’ve been working on things over the last few days I decided to re-listen to the Miaskovsky symphonies. I’d loved them the first time through, but there was a lot to digest there, so needed a second go-through. And I have to say this is one of the most astonishing bodies of work ever – twenty-seven symphonies, not to mention all his other stuff. The symphonies are all wonderful, with some being absolutely brilliant. One wonders how many film composers have heard these symphonies, because I’ve heard a bit of John Williams here, and many other composer styles. The melodies are wonderful and so is the structure, and his orchestrations are divine. Sometimes he has a Vaughan Williams pastoral vibe, sometimes a more Russian feel, sometimes it’s just like a film score, a hint of Rachmaninov – it’s just fantastic and some of the most pleasurable listening I’ve had since going on my classical kick. Mind you, it’s a LOT of listening and I haven’t even finished yet. In any case, the box set of all these is not all that expensive and it is highly recommended by the likes of me.

Yesterday, I got about seven hours of sleep, did the usual morning things, did some banking, picked up no packages or interesting mail, and then put up two more signed copies of A Kiss Goodnight for Indiegogo, both of which were snapped up instantly within two minutes. Otherwise we’ve had no action for two days – not sure what to do about that other than keep being relentless. We still have thirteen days left and I do know that some like to wait till the last two days to see what perks I may come up with, but I would so love to just get to our goal NOW – we’re at 85%, which is great, so it’s just a short puuuuuuuush for the other 15%.

We lost one of our Kritzerland singers, someone new to us, so that singer won’t be asked again – now trying to quickly replace him. And have had multiple conversations with the mom of a boy we hope will do Levi but everyone is just really slow about committing – I’m supposed to get the final word this morning and I sincerely hope it’s yes so I can stop worrying about this stuff. I had some telephonic conversations, including one cherce one when I took a call I shouldn’t have – a spam caller. These people use a Valley prefix and so I sometimes just forget they’re doing that and think it’s someone I know. Well, it’s always some home improvement thing – this time the woman started with “How you doin’, Bruce.” I said, “Who is this?” And she started in with, “Last time we spoke about you needing some home improvement,” and that’s all she got out. I said, “No, we didn’t talk about anything other than me telling you never to call her again, but maybe you weren’t in school long enough to understand plain English.” She countered with, “Are you having a bad day,” and I countered with, “I am now but it will be a wonderful day once I hang you on you.” After which, I said a few more cherce things and hung up. And all during my cherce things she kept cheerily chirping away. These people.

At around three-fifteen I moseyed on over to LACC for a meeting with my set designer. He’d made one adjustment he wanted to show me and we went back and forth about it and in the end decided to use his adjustment on stage right but not on stage left – we both liked that idea. We talked about the projections and he had a great idea about that and so that’s what we’ll do. I think the set is going to be really wonderful. Then I sat with two of my cast members, going through every scene and assigning as many roles and lines as I could but the entire time I knew we had too few men and too many women, so we’ve added two more men (both in the show that closes this Saturday and who aren’t cast in anything else this year) – I spoke to both, and it really helps having them and everything became much easier to assign.

After that, I walked across the street to Café 50s and had a bacon cheeseburger that was merely okay, some good onion rings, and a salad. That was my meal o’ the day. Then I walked back, Doug Haverty arrived, and we saw the currently running show, called Freddy, about real-life choreographer Freddie Herko. I had and frankly have no idea who this person is and after seeing this fifty-four minute play I still have no idea who he was. It’s a very slight evening, with not much character development, a lot of presentational material, some dancing, and a very willing company of players. The LACC kids all do a terrific job – this is an especially good group of students this year, with really good energy, so it was fun to see them up there. There were a few Equity folks in the show, which was a co-production with the Fountain Theater. I found the direction slack and without much purpose and the choreography was oke – if this Herko person was supposed to be some brilliant choreographer, it did not come across here. My usual LACC set designer, Tesshi Nakagawa did a good job with the set, the lighting was nice, and there was a lot of recorded music throughout the show. But really, in the end, a fifty-four minute show – what exactly IS that? Maybe it would work better in a more expanded form where we actually get some storytelling that really gives information and permits character development. Or, shorten it and make it part of an evening with another show in one act of similar duration. But right now it’s neither here nor there – but very proud of the LACC kids, designers, and tech people.

Then I came right home, turned on the Miaskovsky, and relaxed.

Today, I think I get to relax a bit, hopefully I’ll pick up some packages, I’ll have a brief visit with Grant Geissman, eat, and then hopefully replace our singer so I can finish choosing the damn songs for the damn show. No plans for the evening, so I’ll probably watch something.

Tomorrow and Sunday are unknown to me, although I have to do a show order and start writing commentary, and do more prep work for Levi. Then next week is meetings and meals and then we begin our Levi journey on Wednesday. Color me excited or Color me Barbra, but I can’t wait.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, hopefully pick up packages, visit with Grant, eat, replace a singer, choose songs, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – have no idea. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, enjoying the musical moments of Miaskovsky.

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