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November 3, 2017:

THE DESIGNER RUN

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had our second Kritzerland rehearsal and it was pretty damn smooth if you ask me. We were joined by Keri Safran, who ran her duet with Nick Tubbs – Strange Duet from Subways are for Sleeping. Her two solos are A Ride on a Rainbow and Is it a Crime (from Bells Are Ringing), which she is absolutely fall out of your chair funny on. Prior to that I was up at ten and thought rehearsal was at eleven-thirty but I was off by an hour so I could have slept another hour rather than the almost eight I slept. Once up it was the usual things in the usual way.

After the Kritzerland rehearsal, I had to get right over to LACC for our Levi rehearsal. The kids met with the set designer and ASM to go over each and every set change. The units themselves can be confusing as to which end goes where for which scene, but they at least talked through and diagrammed everything. That took about an hour and then I had a chat with the cast and apparently my little blowing my top was helpful in that the cast was much more present and in the moment, which is what we need from now on. They really are a good group. The designers arrived and we began our crazy designer run-through. I warned everyone in advance that we’ve only had nine days of mostly four-hour rehearsals, which is really like having four days of eight-hour rehearsals, so things would be very rough and that I hadn’t worked on performances at all.

So, taking all that into consideration the cast actually got through it all pretty unscathed. Of course there were forgotten lyrics and steps and staging, people were still tied to their scripts, energy was too low many times, but we really only had to stop two or three times to get a set change right and of course the set changes were all rough since it was the first time doing them straight through. And the amazing thing was – the show ran exactly two hours, even with the problems. When we tighten everything and get the set changes fluid my hope is that it will then run exactly two hours WITH the intermission rather than two hours without it. And sitting there with Kay you could just see there’s a wonderful show here, with big heart, lots of laughs, and some rousing Sherman Brothers songs as well as some very poignant Sherman Brothers songs. Our Levi, Marc Ginsburg, is playing a role that fits him like a glove and he gets better with every time through. Now my job is to get the acting where it needs to be and to make sure that the entire company knows how to take and own the stage when they have dialogue or a scene. I always explain that someone in every scene is always the driver of the scene – sometimes that switches off like a relay race, but the driver of the scene must drive the scene and be in control of its pace and energy and everyone else has to come up to that.

We gave out a few notes, and tried to clean up one especially sloppy number but everyone was tired so we let everyone go just before our stop time of nine. Afterwards I went directly to Gelson’s as I’d never had time to eat anything and I was starving. I got a bunch of crap to eat – two turkey meatballs that were fairly horrid, a little potato salad, a little mac-and-cheese, a pinwheel sandwich, and a little candy bar. I ate it all, but it was kind of a complete waste as an actual meal. But I just couldn’t go sit at Jerry’s and eat a good meal – too tired and too late. I maybe should have just gone to the Subway but I wasn’t in the mood, frankly. After eating, I finally finished the commentary.

Today, I’ll be up by nine-thirty and the helper’s husband will be here at ten to get the rest of the bookcases out of here and over to the new house. Once that’s done, then on Monday we’ll start taking over the boxes of books and getting them back on the shelves so we can then recycle those boxes and get the rest of the CDs packed, along with all the other stuff that still needs to be boxed up. Then I’ll mosey on over to LACC at eleven-thirty for our noon o’clock rehearsal. I’d originally planned to work a bit and then run the show, but instead we’re going to vacuum the show instead – start with scene one and work for five hours cleaning things up and getting them solid – that’s what we really need and as we go I’ll work on the acting stuff a bit, too. Hopefully it will be a very productive five hours. Then I have to decide whether to eat and delay my journey home (rush hour and all) or to just brave the traffic and eat once I’m back in the Valley. We shall see. Once home I will keep my trap shut and relax and rest my weary voice and bones.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye will be here and I’m not sure I’ll actually go anywhere – I think I may just stick around and organize things for the move and get the room ready for our eleven-thirty stumble-through. Once the stumble-through is through I’ll give whatever notes I have, run whatever we need to run, and then I go directly to LACC for our two to six rehearsal, which will definitely include a complete run-through. Then I’ll eat and hopefully have a completely restful and relaxing Saturday evening. Sunday I’ll sleep in, at least until eleven I hope – it’s Fall Back time so we gain an hour, too. Then I’ll relax until it’s time for sound check and then show. Then we begin our intensive week of whipping this show into shape. Also, on Monday we move the piano to the new house and I’m hoping that in the mornings of each day we can move more stuff so that on moving day it’s really only the biggest stuff that remains.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have bookcases moved to the new house, and then vacuum the play from start to finish. I’ll eat, then spend a restful evening at home. 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 – CD, various potential Kritzerland projects. Blu and Ray, can’t even see the TV screen let alone the Blu players, so nothing. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have not had a terrible designer run.

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