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Column Archive
July 27, 2018:

BREATHING MADE EASY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, thanks to all the strong most excellent vibes and xylophones we had news of a major miracle coming shortly that will be very helpful.  That was the good news of yesterday.  And the further good news yesterday was that there was no real bad news.  That’s the way I’ve always heard it should be.  What am I, Carly Simon all of a sudden?  I’m sitting here like so much full fish listening to Peggy Lee’s very strange album of Leiber and Stoller songs called Mirrors.  It’s kind of a concept album that begins with their big hit, Is That All There Is – the original recording sounding terrible – for the CD release it’s a shame they didn’t go back and get the remastered version, which sounds great.  While none of the songs here are quite the equal of Is That All There Is, what’s great here are the orchestrations and arrangements of Johnny Mandel – amazing work, really. Peggy Lee sounds great.  Can’t say it’s wholly successful, but it’s very weird and interesting.  One wonders if they were on hallucinogens when they wrote it.

Yesterday, I got the good news, I did get eight hours of sleep, I did have a fun rehearsal with Kay Cole – she’s finally started to get reservations for 54 Below – I cannot say I care for their manner there, but such is the way of things.  She ran the entire show and then I made one little addition to another thing that’s bothered me for a long time, but I’d never been able to put my finger on why – yesterday I put my finger on it, and it was just a couple of lines to fix it and make it work. 

After that, I went directly to Jerry’s Deli for a lunch with the fellow who stage managed the Sherman event – my thank you to him.  We both had the same thing almost – a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich – he had fries as his side, I had my little side Caesar salad.  But here’s the part you won’t believe – they obviously don’t charge for the sides – but the cost for this little grilled cheese and bacon sandwich for two (and I do mean little) was forty-eight bucks with tip. I think I’m done with that stuff. How ridiculous is that?  That sandwich probably costs all of under a dollar to make.  There is really no excuse for those kinds of prices but people pay them day in and day out. 

After that, I picked up a couple of packages, then came home.  I wrote the first half of the commentary, which took about ninety minutes, had some telephonic calls, then uploaded the remainder of the videos – there’s only one I’m not uploading and that’s for a variety of reasons.  Then I listened to more music – Nilsson Sings Newman (very good), Billie Holiday (I enjoy it for a while but cannot listen to too much at once), a great Dizzy Gillespie album of music by J.J. Johnson, conducted by Gunther Schuller – great sound, too, some Anita Kerr, and more.

Then I wrote more commentary and only have a couple of songs left, so I’ll do that at some point today.  Then I made the remainder of the pasta and ground beef – it was more than I needed to eat, but eat it I did.  I have to stop eating like this – it’s ridiculous, but I only had that tiny sandwich earlier.  And I had no dessert, so that was good.  Then it was more music – the Phase 4 recording of Annie Get Your Gun with Merman and Stanley Black conducting – I’ve always loved this recording so it was really fun, and it’s a two-fer that also includes Georgia Brown’s Kurt Weill album, which is fantastic.

Before we get to today, here are the remaining videos – I also was sent my introductory remarks – if anyone is interested I can upload and post at some point.  Meanwhile, here’s Adrienne Stiefel singing So Many Empty Rooms from Levi, the song Richard Sherman and I wrote for the show.  She does have a tiny lyric flub in the second verse, which causes a line to not rhyme, but boy did she sing it beautifully. 

Here’s Daniel Bellusci and James Singleton singing a medley from Richard and Milt Larsen’s Smash Flops – songs you’ve never heard from musicals that shouldn’t have been written.  I did the minor staging for it.

Here’s Brent Barrett and Darcie Roberts doing a beautiful duet from Busker Alley, the show they starred in.

Here’s Keala Settle’s other number – it lasts 1:40 and what she does in that amount of time is rather astonishing.

Here’s Shannon Warne singing the song Richard wrote for the Disneyland park a couple of years ago.

Finally, here’s Richard’s granddaughter Mandy Wolf doing It’s a Small World, which leads into our finale and the city presentations to Richard.

Today, I have an early work session, then I’m supposed to lunch with Nick Redman, although I haven’t heard from him so we’ll have to play that by ear.  Then I have to finish the little bit of the commentary, hopefully pick up some packages, prep for the Group Rep musical theatre workshop tomorrow morning, and then I can relax.

Tomorrow morning I do the last of our three musical theatre workshops.  I’ve enjoyed doing them and it’s given me an idea of who does what, which was the purpose.  We’ll begin auditions in two weeks.  After that, I’ll eat and relax. 

Sunday I have a little quick meeting at one, otherwise the day will be mine all mine. Then we have our very busy Kritzerland rehearsal week, I attend the dedication of the Sherman Brothers Stage at Disney, and there are meetings and meals aplenty.  Then we have our stumble-through, then our sound check and show. 

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have an early work session, perhaps have a lunch, hopefully pick up packages, finish the commentary, and prepare for the workshop.  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, many CDs.  Blu-ray, I have no idea.  Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy and grateful that a major miracle is coming that will allow easier breathing.

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