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November 4, 2018:

A DAY AND THEN SOME AND THE CHANGING OF THE CLOCKS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it was a day, that much I can tell you.  It was a day and then some.  It couldn’t have been more a day and then some than a day and then some. In short, it was a DAY.  My hair would be turning gray if that hadn’t happened some years ago from other days that were days and then some.  As these things usually go, the day began in the morning, and in this particular case at eight-thirty in the morning after but six hours of sleep and very disturbing dreams based on the previous day and then some.

Once up, I had to get ready right away for our morning rehearsal.  She of the Evil Eye arrived, and I moseyed on over to the theater.  Due to several late arrivals, we didn’t begin until almost ten twenty-five.  We keep asking that when their call time is ten that they are onstage and ready to run AT ten, but that seems very challenging for some people and it’s not to my liking nor the liking of those who do come on time and who are ready to go at the call time.  We did have our full cast, save for the male kid, who has missed many rehearsals due to his recurring illnesses.

The run-through was fairly smooth, there were some nice things going on, but a couple of my most reliable performers were not quite up to their usual energy and sharpness, but they knew it and knowing is always a big plus.  The show has been running eighty-nine minutes like clockwork at every run, so that’s interesting and good.  But I got really cross about the mangling of my lyrics and it will get worse in terms of my crossness if it continues to happen.  I tried to explain that both Doug and I are writers who take time, who care about the craft of what we do, and it’s very painful to not have our work presented as we created it – it is especially egregious for lyrics because audience members, if hearing mangled lyrics, don’t know it’s the performer’s fault and just assume the lyricist doesn’t know how to rhyme or is lazy and sloppy, none of which I am.  After, I ran a few things for clean-up purposes, gave a few notes, and let everyone go ninety minutes early, as we could have worked until two.

I immediately went to the mail place only to find no pension check, and I cannot tell you how infuriating and frustrating that is, although I just did tell you how infuriating and frustrating that is and it makes everything very difficult this weekend, which I frankly did not need.

I came home to an e-mail from our replacement replacement replacement replacement performer saying she was not going to have her lyrics down for her big song and could she have them onstage.  I told her we don’t do that, our audiences expect more from our shows, but to use them at the stumble-through so I could see how she played the song and if I felt we could make it work.  She assured me she knew the other material.

Then I did some proofing work on the computer until everyone arrived for our stumble-through.  During the opening number I knew immediately it wasn’t going to work with the replacement because it was immediately clear she didn’t know it.  And so it went, a very rough stumble-through.  I won’t dwell on any of it other than to say when it was done we talked to the replacement and I told her I was not going to put her in harm’s way like this and that we understood she simply didn’t have the time to get this in her head and bones.  I think she was quite relieved.  So, her two solos had to be cut, and the necessitated making a couple of show order changes, which I did.  I gave my notes and ran a few things and I think without worrying about the replacement it will all run much more smoothly.  We had one performer struggle with some lyrics, but he’s new to this cabaret world and I believe he’ll be fine at the show – as I told him, better at the stumble-through than the show.  The now four-person cast is, in fact, quite strong.  It’s no longer the show we did at PRT, but it’s close enough. I think I’ve got the opening patter pretty down and after that there’s no more patter until the very end.

After rehearsal, Doug and I went over to Corky’s where I had my favorite sandwich and a little salad.  Then I came home, had a little Halloween candy, mostly Tootsie Rolls, and listened to music whilst doing some work on the computer.  At some point I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I attempted to watch a motion picture on the Flix of Net entitled The Other Side of the Wind, the unfinished Orson Welles movie that finally got finished by other hands.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of the first five minutes and promptly fell asleep for forty-five minutes.  I watched a bit more when I awoke, but I’m not sure I need to finish it.  As a curio it’s interesting in certain ways, but it’s just pretty incoherent.

Then I listened to more music – some wonderful Australian light music, my favorite of which was by Arthur Benjamin, a composer I absolutely love, and who dear readers might know (not by name) as the composer of the Storm Clouds Cantata, featured prominently in both versions of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. My other favorite piece in this two-CD compilation is by Peggy Glanville-Hicks, a piece called Three Gymnopedies, very different from Mr. Satie’s but equally beautiful.  I’ve always enjoyed her music, which I knew from my classical LP collecting days from several mono MGM albums conducted by Carlos Surinach.  There’s precious little of her on CD, but I did have two short operas by her and one symphonic piece and they’re all really excellent.  And then it was time to write these here notes, which was annoying as I didn’t want it be that late that fast.  But the good news is, it wasn’t that late that fast.  Because at two o’clock we fall back and gain one hour – so two becomes one and that I like very much.  Maybe the time change will stop this recent onslaught of merde that so many I know have been going through, including the likes of my very own self.

Today I’ll be up by eight-thirty and out the door by nine as I have to stop and put gas in the motor car.  Then we’ll have our run-through, I’ll give notes and run stuff and do fixes, but we have to be through by one-thirty so I have time to get home, shave and shower and get ready for our show.  I’ll mosey on over to Vitello’s for our four o’clock sound check and then we do our show. I will, of course, have a full report, and I’m sure some of us will eat afterwards.

Tomorrow, we begin our final few days before tech.  We’re off on Tuesday, and we’re hoping the actors can begin working in costume by Thursday.  Tuesday, on our day off, sound loads in and that’s going to be a huge help to everyone as they get all that up and working.  Then Friday I dry tech the show with our lighting designer, she writes all the cues, and then the cast arrives at six and we do a full-out run and if there are lighting flubs we don’t stop, we just make notes, and then we stay and fix. Then it’s a longer day on Saturday, with a cue to cue and then a full-out performance mode run with costumes. Sunday we record our cast album and Monday we’re off, although that day is currently a hold day should we need it. Tuesday is invited dress, Wednesday and Thursday are previews, and then we open our little show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up early, put gas in the motor car, do a run-through, have a sound check, do a show, eat, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them.  So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping that the changing of the clocks will bring no more days and then some, but instead bring only wonderful days of ease and comfort and joy.

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