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October 17, 2018:

VACUUMING THE STAGING

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, last night’s rehearsal turned out to be a lot of fun.  Our new cast member joined us, getting thrown into the show without any real preparation, since she’d just driven in from Las Vegas.  So, I had my assistant director show her the blocking for the opening number, but it was really hard for her because she simply didn’t know the song at all and therefore where she had to move and when was challenging – but she’ll get it now that she knows how fast everything moves.  Once we’d run that several times, I moved on to the scenes that follow the opening number, doing what I call vacuuming – cleaning up the blocking and making adjustments.  When we got to the anti I Want song I blocked that – keeping it very simple because that’s what it needs to be so the lyrics are hearable and understandable.  There are really only four or five moves in the entire song.

Then we ran the scenes that followed that up until the Christmas past season started. At that point I jumped ahead to the nightmare sequence I’d done the night before.  I knew I wasn’t quite happy with it.  I began by adding one little thing to the first sung part of it and then I asked everyone to try something – singing their bits the normal way, but making all the staging I’d done in slow motion.  We tried that and it really made quite a difference, I must say. Then we tried it with the underscore that Richard Allen had created and suddenly the whole thing took on a rather fun life of its own.  Because there’s so much cacophony it’s really hard for them to hear the end of the track, but we’ll figure out that part of it and how they should count it tonight or tomorrow night.

After that, we continued on from there reviewing the two transitions that happen right after it, and I really like those, and then we ran the final long sequence – that was all fine, so I finished blocking the eleven o’clock number, keeping it simple, too – just some crossing back and forth is what it is and that’s just to cover the four-bar vamp between verses.  I also gave just a tiny bit of group moves, basically turning whichever way the leading lady is going and then moving forward at the end, all very subtle.  And from there it was only four more lines to the finale, so we did that, sang the first verse of the finale where they were and then I staged the second verse to the end, and I think that came out well.  So now I only have one short reprise and transition to do, then one duet, which is very simple, and then our new cast member’s number, which is also basically just stand and deliver.  And then we’ll be ready to assemble the show.  It was very helpful to have the outer walls of the set up and the basic floor plan taped out – and we added numbers to the front of the stage and that’s really helping people know exactly where they are.  All in all, it was the most fun rehearsal we’ve had, I thought.

Prior to that, I’d gotten seven hours of sleep, finally called Apple about the Mac Mail program problems with my main e-mail address, and we tried all sorts of things, then he wanted to wait a day with the activity window open to see if it would complete moving messages and saving drafts – but that seems to be the problem – it’s in some perpetual loop – it appears to complete and then just starts all over again.  I think we’re going to have to nuke it and add it back and see if that fixes it.  It did for a short time when we did that a week ago.  But I also began sending out e-mails to my address book telling folks of the problems and saying to migrate to my gmail account.  I can still check AOL mail on the AOL site so if stuff does come in I’ll see it.  It’s maddening.

I had some chicken tenders and a side Caesar salad for my main meal o’ the day, picked up one package, and then came home.  Then I did some work on the computer whilst listening to music, and then I had to get ready to leave.

After rehearsal, I’d worked so hard that I thought I needed a treat – so I went to In N Out and got two count them two cheeseburgers, came home, and ate them all up and boy were they good.  Then I listened to more music and that was that.

Today, we have a rehearsal for Robert Yacko’s show – just for me to see the changes we made for his two-act version of the show.  He and his pianist will get here at one and work until two, then we’ll run the show, I’ll give whatever notes I may have, and then I’ll get ready for our rehearsal.  My plan is to stage the three things that are left, then go back to the top of the show and begin assembling.  Even though we don’t have the moving panels until the end of the month, I think I’ll start assigning the people who are going to do them so they can begin to see how all that will work.  I’m guessing with the vacuuming, that we’ll get halfway through.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, as will Friday and Saturday – Saturday’s tricky because I have to go directly from rehearsal to downtown to pick up something then bring it back here so someone can pick it up from me.  Then Sunday I think is a day off.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, eat something before noon, have the Yacko rehearsal, and then have our evening rehearsal.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like. So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have started vacuuming the staging.

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