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December 3, 2017:

THE FINAL TWO

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am not really in a state to write these here notes, but write them I must and write them I shall. We had our final two performances of Levi yesterday – a matinee and evening. My favorite performances this past week were the Thursday matinee and Friday evening shows, but both shows yesterday went very well, there were no technical flubs at all, and the matinee audience was very vocal and wonderful. The evening audience was completely full and they were wonderful, too, just not nearly as vocal – until the end when the joint went wild. It was a very emotional day for me. We all worked so hard on this one and I was and am so proud of the work from everyone involved – certainly this would go down in my book as one of the best things I’ve ever directed – a huge new musical and getting the pacing the way I like, finding the nuances of the story and just giving it a life. My mostly student cast, most of whom were completely out of their comfort zones, did a great job – most of them had never done a musical before and many of them had actually never sung before. That’s one of the most gratifying things for me – watching them grow, become confident, and then just DO it. I could not have asked for a better Levi than Marc Ginsburg and I would not do the show without him, should we get to do this again. So now we’ll edit the three performances we taped, although that won’t happen until mid-January. And I’ll listen to the audio and see if I think it’s worth doing a very limited edition cast album. That will depend on a lot of factors.

I went to the House of Pies both between the two shows and after the final show. Richard Sherman was with us for the evening show, as was Elizabeth. I knew tons of folks at both the matinee and evening. The kids were very emotional during the curtain call – lots of tears. We took a huge group photo with Richard and I think he got to say hello to just about everyone in the cast – this was such a thrill for them in that regard. Finally, to see Richard and Larry Cohen weeping in joy that their baby was up there in front of them was why I did this. And the show was great for LACC – many new people coming to the theater on campus for the first time, and many saying they wanted to see more productions there. Sami and her mom were there and we sat together next to Richard and Elizabeth, and our very own Kay Cole came back to see the final show. I’m feeling very emotional myself right now – it’s just been the most insane three months.

Prior to the matinee, I was up by ten and had to just get ready for the stumble-through so that I could leave right after. I’d actually gotten up at eight-thirty and I e-mailed Marc Ginsburg and told him not to do the stumble-through – for him to have done that AND a two-show day would have been near impossible. He has many of the songs in the show, and he is literally off-stage in this 116-minute show for about two minutes. The stumble-through went well and the pianist got through it almost perfectly – just a few things to fix, which I normally would have done after but I had to leave as soon as we finished. I got to the theater at two, had some conversations with various and sundried people, then we played the matinee. I went to the House of Pies with some folks and had some chicken strips and a salad – I didn’t care for the chicken strips this time around. Then I went back, we played our final show and the thunderous standing ovation went on for quite some time. Then it was back to the House of Pies with Sami and her mom and a few others. This time around I had a piece of pumpkin pie that was very good. Then I finally came home, totally wiped out but still having to catch up on some e-mails and stuff.

Today, I shall hopefully arise after a good night’s beauty sleep. Then I just have to relax and save my voice for the show. Then I’ll mosey on over to The Federal for sound check, then we do our show and I can only hope we have a decent-sized audience for it. Then some of us will go out after for a bite to eat.

This week, other than taking the written driving test at the DMV at some point, will be all relaxing all the time – yes, some unboxing and planning the January all young people Kritzerland show, but I’ve got to now clear my head and make a final decision if I want to do the book I think I want to do.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, relax and rest my voice, do a sound check, and do a show. 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 we went out in a blaze of glory for the final two performances of Levi.

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