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October 29, 2018:

IN ABSENTIA

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I was a bad boy and stayed up until four in the morning watching part two of Making a Murderer.  I got through episode seven.  It is, despite its faults, compulsively compulsive viewing.  I slept until eleven – seven hours of sleep – and then got up, answered e-mails and then watched the final three episodes.  I’d purposely stayed away from any information regarding the series as I didn’t want to know the outcome.  But the filmmaker’s methodology and storytelling becomes painfully obvious around episode six or seven.  Any time you hear an interviewee say, “He could be released tomorrow,” you know instantly that that will not be the case.  They do this device about twenty times too many and it gets annoying. But then the whole thing is ultimately annoying for the same reasons it’s so compulsively viewable: There’s no relief for any of the participants.  The justice system is horrifying at times.  The original trial’s evidence is so flawed that it’s unbelievable.  And yet, despite two courts ruling that in the case of one defendant’s trial that his confession was coerced (said defendant being sixteen at the time and mentally backwards), the attorney general of that state refuses to stop and keeps appealing to higher courts.  And finally they get what they want, a reversal of the other courts findings.  It’s just disgusting.  And the dogged lawyer of the main fellow, a woman who’s gotten many wrongful verdicts overturned, has so much proof that evidence was mishandled, planted, or withheld, and yet she has, thus far, failed to get a new trial for her client. If you watch this, you will surely have mixed feelings about certain things, but what you can’t have mixed feelings about is the stupidity of how the DA handled both the case and the trial. You want to just hurl your shoe through the TV at the jerk who prosecuted, who has since resigned (he had some controversy of his own) and who’s now written a self-serving book about this case and makes with talk show circuit – he’s just loathsome.  As is the media. And in the end, after over ten hours, we’re basically back where we began.  Will there be a part three?  Who knows?

Otherwise, yesterday was fine, sorta kinda.  I spent the rest of the day relaxing, then I went to K’s Donuts and bought two dozen for our cast and the folks helping with the set.  I moseyed on over to the theater at around 3:45 but all the set helpers had finished and gone home.  So, I had my chocolate peanut butter thing, Doug had something, our lighting gal had one, and then an hour later when our cast showed up, they decimated the rest – they all loved the donuts.  I had quite the potpourri of choices, too.

Then one of our actresses informed me her mom is very ill so she’s flying home and won’t be back with us until Friday.  Add to that another actress who was absent and will be absent until Thursday, and another actress who seems to have lost her voice, and it’s going to be, well, not the week I needed it to be.  We were so ahead, and this will all throw all that away, which is a shame, but what can you do?  I’ll run the show as best as possible, with our swing walking the two gals who are gone and we won’t have a full cast run until Friday.  Normally, to catch up I’d do two full runs on Saturday but it’s a Kritzerland stumble-through day, too, so there’s no way to do that, although if we start at ten we might be able to do it.  And the same goes for Sunday.  Then all we can hope for is that our full cast is with us right through opening because I will not be happy if that isn’t the case – and no one wants me unhappy.

We did run the show straight through, stopping to run scene changes now that we have our moving panels – they work great, and I added a few moves to the last three sequences of the show.  It wasn’t an optimal rehearsal, but at least we got through it and smoothed out all the scene shifts.

Then I stopped at In ‘N’ Out, since all I’d eaten was the donut – I got two cheeseburgers to go, got home, and ate them all up and they were VERY good.  Then I listened to music and relaxed and had a telephonic call at some point.  The musical discovery of the evening was a composer called Michael Conway Baker – a Canadian classical composer who’s also done a lot of film and TV.  This was a ballet based on Washington Square.  I guess I bought it when it came out in 1993 but had no memory of it at all.  Well, it’s fantastic – great melodies, beautiful orchestrations, and a wonderful listen.  I was so entranced by it, in fact, that I did what I have rarely done – I found the composer’s website and wrote him a fan letter.  It was the best kind of musical discovery.

Today, I’ll go eat a little something around noon, hopefully pick up packages, then we have our first Kritzerland rehearsal from three to six.  Our evening rehearsal isn’t until eight because something is in the theater at seven, briefly.  Then we’ll do whatever kind of run-through we can and hope for the best.

Tomorrow we have a music rehearsal for three hours for the revue, then I have to go straight to the theater for our evening rehearsal.  Mercifully we have Wednesday off and that’s a good thing.  I’ll get some Halloween treats for whatever kiddies come by.  Thursday is our second Kritzerland rehearsal followed by a show rehearsal, Friday is a show rehearsal, Saturday morning is show rehearsal followed by the Kritzerland stumble-through.  Then Sunday we show rehearse in the morning, then I go directly to sound check and then we do our show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have a Kritzerland rehearsal, then have a show rehearsal, then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What have been your happiest composer discoveries over the years?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping we can deal with all the in absentia we’re dealing with.

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