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October 4, 2018:

THE NEW BRIDGE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am very tired due to a night of little sleep.  I didn’t get to bed until four for reasons I’ll explain. The telephonic device rang at eight, so I got up, answered e-mails, and began doing what I was doing prior to going to bed at four in the morning.  And what exactly WAS I doing at four in the morning and then resuming at eight in the morning.  Well, listening to everyone sing together at our first music rehearsal made me think I wanted perhaps to hear a bit more group singing, since the full company only sings twice – the opening number and the finale, which is a reprise of the opening number’s final two choruses.

So, I had this party song in the Christmas Past sequence, sung by two business owners where our heroine is an intern, the business owners being an older husband and wife.  So they each had a chorus and then it becomes a sixteen-bar dance thing and leads us into a meet cute.  As I listened to it last night, I kept thinking it didn’t feel complete, so I began to think about adding a bridge and final chorus that everyone could sing.  I began thinking about that after I posted yesterday’s notes.  I pondered and pondered and finally I sat down at the piano and began to tinker. Nothing was coming to me so I got ready for bed, then went back to the piano.  No lyrics were coming to me at all, but I kept playing around with various ideas for the bridge and finally hit on something the intrigued me.  I played that a few times and then figured out two a few bars that could follow it.  I wrote down the basic idea, notes, and chords and went to bed.  Nothing about it was fully formed but I knew it was a good start.

Once up, I came up with a rough lyric but couldn’t figure out how to finish it – it was just awkwardly structured.  Then I got an idea and I took the fourth line and made it the second line and that worked perfectly, then I cut the second line and wrote a new fourth, fifth, and sixth line with a funky, fun rhythm.  I played through it and it all kind of worked really well, I thought.  Then I took the lyrics for the first verse and used those as the basis for the final chorus, but with several words changed throughout to make it work for a group singing it.  Once I had that right, I recorded it and sent it to our musical director, asking him to at least try to have a lead sheet for the new bridge so we could teach it and hear it.  He called, we went over it, and he managed to get that done before he had to leave at one. I was really tired by that point so I got back in bed, fell right asleep and slept until two for another two hours of sleep.  Of course I was really groggy and hoarse by that point.  Then I had a telephonic conversation with the actress I want to use to replace our dropout and she said she’d love to and she didn’t seem to have any conflicts at all, and she was thrilled she didn’t even have to audition, which she was ready to do.  I didn’t fully commit, as I wanted to make sure Doug was fine with it – he was, and so I left her a phone message after rehearsal.  So, if all is well she’ll join us this evening.

I had a couple of bagels to tide me over until after rehearsal.  Then I got ready.  I’ve noticed in the last few days that the hot water in the shower wasn’t quite as hot as it should be and yesterday in order to get any heat out of it I had to turn the faucet all the way up, whereas normally it’s really hot just under two-thirds of the way up.  I informed Grant about it – he didn’t respond, but someone’s going to have to come scope it out and get it fixed and hopefully sooner than later. Then I moseyed on over to the Group Rep for our second music rehearsal.

We had one actor out sick, and of course the actress who dropped out wasn’t with us. But everyone was there to work and we dove right in with the group stuff.  We began with our opening number, which sounds better and better each time we run it.  The kids chorus is so cute (there are five of them), and the adults are sounding great. It’s a long, involved number and I’m really proud of it as it sets up everything that we’re going to see in the evening.  I knew what I wanted the opening to be from the second Doug Haverty mentioned the idea to me – I even had the title long before I had any music or lyrics.  It too a bit of time to focus it and get it right, but when you hear the company do it, it just really feels like it does the trick.  Very gratifying.  Then we ran the two numbers we hadn’t done at our first rehearsal, then ran all the numbers top to bottom, and ended the evening running the group stuff again.

Then I stopped at In ‘N’ Out and got a cheeseburger and fries, came home, and ate them all up in one fell swoop, just because I could. It hit the spot.  Then I answered e-mails and began writing these here notes.

Today, I’ll try to get as much sleep as possible, get up, do whatever needs doing, hopefully pick up mail, eat something to tide me over until after rehearsal, and then we have our second Kritzerland rehearsal with the full cast. After that’s done, I have to instantly get to the theater for our third music rehearsal.  Hopefully our new actress will be with us and our sick actor will be back.  For this rehearsal we’ll be working with our tracks, so that will be illuminating for people, I think, especially where there is interior dialogue that must be timed perfectly.  Luckily, we’ll be using these tracks for every rehearsal so they’ll get used to all that pretty quickly.

Tomorrow I really need a ME day to rest my voice and gather my energy.  Saturday, she of the Evil Eye is coming (I hate when that times out to a Kritzerland stumble-through day, but there’s nothing to be done about it and it happens more often than not), then we have our stumble-through at four, then I’m relaxing and resting my voice.  Sunday I rest and relax until it’s time to mosey on over to Vitello’s for 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, get as much sleep as possible, do whatever needs doing, hopefully pick up mail, eat, have our second Kritzerland rehearsal, followed immediately by our third music rehearsal.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite movies, musicals, and plays with a Christmas theme?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have written the new bridge.

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