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April 23, 2018:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, Kay Cole’s show was a rousing success last night.  Despite going up on lyrics right at the top of the show, she never let on and covered well, and when it happened one other time, she just stopped and began again and was charming and funny about it, which is always the trick.  She had the nice crowd in the palm of her hand right from her entrance.  The opening of the show is something I designed in a certain way to insure they would fall in love with her instantly.  I had an idea she should open with Once in a Lifetime from Stop the World (she was in the show), but I also felt it was important to acknowledge A Chorus Line right from the get go – so John Boswell took my idea of having the famous “One” vamp be the vamp and underscore for Once in a Lifetime, and he made that work brilliantly.  But before she starts singing (everyone is expecting her to sing One – that’s part of the fun), I had her hit the “One” opening pose and it did exactly what you’d expect – got cheers.  Her patter was smoother than the first time she did the show and she had more fun last night, too, which is infectious.  The new numbers worked like gangbusters, too.  The three we replaced weren’t working at all.  From the first time we met about the act I pushed for her to sing Frank Mills because she played that role in Hair – but she just didn’t want to do it, and I pushed as much as I could but saw I was going to lose that battle.  But the song she chose for that important slot, while a good song, had no resonance in her life story, which is what we’re essentially telling – so that first song just laid an egg.  So this time she agreed to sing it and of course fell in love with the song all over again, and the audience adored it because it was part of her story.  And her biggest laugh was in the set-up patter to it – it was not something that was written, but when we did the run-through the other day the set-up wasn’t working at all because it was the old set-up. So I simply moved stuff around to make it work, and while we were running it, she just happened to tell me a story that made me laugh and I told her it had to go in the show – and it just got this HUGE and very long laugh that she timed perfectly.  A glorious moment.

It was a very nice crowd, mostly a full house. Lots of her friends there, and I knew several folks, too.  Leslie Young’s daughter, Alexa, came along as we think it’s important for her to watch seasoned pros strut their considerable stuff – when I was her age that’s all I did – go around town and see great singers doing their thing.  Also at our table, Adyran Russ and her ever-lovin’ Dale, singer Joanne O’Brien and actor/singer Joshua Finkel, both of whom have done Kritzerland shows in the past.  It was a loverly evening in every way, and our wait gal was nice enough to give me something not on the upstairs menu – mac-and-cheese.

After, I came home and relaxed and listened to music, about which more in a moment.

Prior to all that, I got seven-and-a-half hours of sleep, got up, printed out some orders (it was another good order day), had some telephonic calls, got a nice report from Alexa, who’d finished GEE and nicely wrote a review for Barnes & Noble and Goodreads – she couldn’t do an Amazon because Amazon states you have to have purchased fifty dollars’ worth of stuff in a year.  That’s just lame.  But when I got home after the show I was really delighted to read TCB’s beautifully written review on Amazon – I found it very touching.  In fact, I’ve found all the reviews touching.  I could, of course, talk about what I don’t find touching but I’ll leave that for another day (insert smiley face here).

Then I listened to an opera entitled Susannah by Carlisle Floyd.  I’d of course heard good things about it bur for whatever reasons I’d never heard any of Mr. Floyd’s work. Well, it’s great and right up there with my favorite American opera, Robert Ward’s The Crucible.  It has gorgeous music – the tunes are stunning, the orchestration is beautiful, and the whole thing moves right along and never overstays its welcome. It’s a major work.  I cannot say I was thrilled with the recording, the only modern recording of this piece.  It was done by Virgin Records with Cheryl Studer in the lead.  But the sound is so dull and muffled, with no luster or sparkle. I could probably do what we did to The Crucible and improve it majorly but that won’t be happening.  I also didn’t care for Ms. Studer all that much. After I finished that one, I began Mr. Floyd’s opera of Of Mice and Men and that, too, is a wonderful work.  I’m halfway through and it’s just great.  So now I want to hear the live 1962 recording of Susannah, and his opera of All the King’s Men. So, it was a lovely day and evening.

Today, I have to start the commentary, write another set of liner notes, finish three numbers, eat, hopefully pick up packages, prepare a little budget for the Richard Sherman event, and do some banking. At some point I’m sure I’ll relax.

Tomorrow is the same, and then it’s dinner with Muse Margaret and her ever-lovin’ Richard.  Wednesday is a morning meeting about the Sherman event, followed by a tour of the Wallis at the Annenberg Theatre, where we’re doing it.  The rest of the week is more of the same.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write commentary, write liner notes, finish songs, hopefully pick up packages, eat, prepare a budget, bank, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite operas?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have made the acquaintance of Carlisle Floyd, who is alive and kicking and still writing in his 90s.

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