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November 17, 2018:

OPENING NIGHT

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had our opening night and survived.  A few little technical hiccups and some lyric and line flubs – always baffling when it’s gone perfectly the night before, but opening night nerves are opening night nerves.  We were oversold but of course about ten people didn’t show up – and those were paid tickets.  So, the folks on the waiting list got in, so that was good.  I must say, we started only a minute late, something we really want to stick to, starting right on time.  The audience was VERY friendly and fun, the actors fed on that, which is what should always happen, so a lot of the laughs Doug and I knew were there finally got laughs. As I’ve been drumming into the cast, you have to let the audience know when it’s funny.  It’s a subtle thing, but that’s how comedy works.  The reactions to the number was fantastic and even the lyrics that are supposed to be amusing got laughs.  The cast did great – a couple of performers I’ve been working really hard with stepped up to the plate, so that was really fun. Hartley really carried the show on her sturdy shoulders, the audience LOVED Peyton, but everyone was on their money game, and it’s amazing how empowering it is when you’re getting your laughs and how it makes you a sharper performer. There was much cheering at the end of the show, and thankfully no standing ovation, although I will tell you that I built the curtain call so that it’s almost impossible to have a place to stand. THAT’S comedy, baby.

I’d gotten to the theater at six, got the thank you notes on the dressing room tables, and was thrilled with what Tesshi did for the rear of the panels.  They now get turned around for the final scene change and they’re all filled with Christmas decorations – makes all the difference in the world. Then people began arriving, including the Darling Daughter and her BFF Skye.  I knew a few folks, so that was fun.

After the show, I got lots of wonderful comments about both the production and the pace and swift direction, as well as the songs, all very much appreciated.  We’re all hoping that the word of mouth will be really positive for the show.  There was an after-party upstairs in their black box space and that was fun.  I hadn’t eaten one thing all day, but still I only had a teeny-tiny bite of a chicken tender and a tiny bit of mac-and-cheese. I mingled, introduced the Darling Daughter to everyone, and then finally took my leave.  I stopped at Ralph’s and got one of those ham slider things, came home, and ate it – it wasn’t really all that wonderful, but I had to eat something. I almost went to In N Out but I knew it would be very crowded there.

Prior to all that, I got about six hours of sleep, got up, answered e-mails, then spent two hours writing about twenty-eight thank you notes and putting them in envelopes. Then I shaved and showered, had some telephonic conversations, and then I moseyed on over to the mail place and picked up a little package, and then I moseyed on over to the theater.  The rest you know.

So, all in all, it was a pretty fun night and now we can settle in for our run.  I did give sound a few notes and will get there by six-thirty tonight to give a few more and see why the lighting was off a couple of times.

Today, she of the Evil Eye is coming, so I’ll go have a light breakfast, hopefully pick up some packages, do some errands and whatnot, and then at two-thirty I’ll be at my engineer’s house to hear mixes and finesse them.  I really wanted to start a lot earlier, but he can’t.  So, I don’t know how far we’ll actually get as I’ll have to leave no later than 5:45 to get to the theater by 6:30, what with the usual traffic and all, although I’ll probably take one of the canyons back to the Valley.  Then I’ll see our evening show.  I have no idea how many will be in attendance, but five days ago we already had half a house, so I have to assume that number has gone up considerably, at least that’s the hope.

Tomorrow we have our first matinee, so I’ll see that, and then I’m thinking some of us will go out and have a celebratory meal of some sort.  Then things stay busy – Monday we begin three four-hour rehearsal days for the revue.  I have some minor staging to do on the group numbers, otherwise it’s just placing people. I’m sure three days is plenty to get all that together.  I also have meetings and meals, and then it’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  We don’t play again until the Saturday matinee, and I’m hoping the actors will arrive early and do a line through to get themselves back into the show and performance mode.  It’s the only time we play a matinee and evening in one day.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, eat a light breakfast, hopefully pick up packages, finesse mixes, and see a show. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite musicals of the 1950s? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a really fun opening night.

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