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December 3, 2018:

KRITZERLAND AT VITELLO’S 94

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had us a festively festive Kritzerland at Vitello’s 94 show last night, maybe my favorite of all our holiday shows.   We had a very full house and they were great, which makes everything easier.  The patter went well and I was pretty free with it, too, which I always enjoy.  The cast was fantastic all the way through.  And the much-maligned (recently) Baby, It’s Cold Outside played great – funny how that happens.  So, a big phut to the PC police and people who simply don’t understand Frank Loesser’s lyric and what it’s saying.  In response to one specious Facebook post, I actually went through the song and explained it, point by point.  They either ignore it or go away – funny how that works.  Keri Safran brought the house down with her brilliant impressions of Julie Andrews, Brittney Spears, Billie Holliday, Barbara Streisand, Cher, Idina Menzel, and Liza, one after another, all singing Christmas ditties.  She also did really well with my song, This Christmas, which is now in A Carol Christmas. Adam Wylie’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was great, his wife Sophie Ullet delivered a powerhouse Let It Go, Peyton Kirkner and Autumn Jessel did a great opener with Be a Santa, then Peyton did her Carol Christmas song, Spelling Backwards.  They were also in the variation on the What If parodies. This one got a HUGE laugh – I kept it very short, and the audience howled.  It was, briefly, what if Bye Bye Birdie, instead of being written in 1960 were written in 2018.  How would The Telephone Hour go?  Then Richard Allen began playing The Telephone Hour while Peyton and Autumn came on and texted each other – no singing at all, just aiming their phones at each other and texting and doing a little dance movement in the second chorus.  That was it.  It was really funny.

Robert Yacko did as beautiful a version of my A Carol Christmas ballad, Separate Ways, as there will ever be.  Several audience members were very weepy.  Hartley did her I Want (or anti-I Want song) from A Carol Christmas and did great. And Adrienne Stiefel simply has one of the most beautiful voices ever – she got stuck with most of the ballads and they were all beautifully done.  The Shermans were there, and Disney’s Howard Green brought fifteen fun folks with him. He gave me an early birthday gift – the new coffee table book on Mary Poppins called Practically Poppins in Every Way by Jeff Kurtti.  Richard Sherman had already signed it to me with a lovely inscription.  I’m looking forward to diving into it.

Our very own new dear reader jan was there – I really hadn’t seen her since early LACC days, and she looked exactly as I remembered her.  She sat with Alexa and I can’t remember who else.  Former neighbors Tony Slide and Bob Gitt were there, as were dear readers Amy and Mark, Cindy Pearl and her friend Michele, Adryan Russ, a lot of Doug Haverty’s family, and lots of other nice folks.  Here is a photograph of our merry troupe from last night – and we all have Village of the Damned eyes.

Prior to that, I almost got eight hours of sleep.  Ordinarily, I would have just relaxed but nooooooo, I had to go see our matinee, which was not as sharp or good as the other two performances this weekend, both of which were excellent.  The matinee was too low energy, too many flubbed lines and lyrics, and I really don’t get it.  I sent a group e-mail reminding everyone that the energy of this show is key and that it must start being consistent.  It was a very quiet audience, but that just happens – they were certainly enjoying the show, that was clear at the end, but I’m not sure the quietness didn’t affect the company, which, of course, it shouldn’t.  We need to play the same show all the time.  And I am a tough task master in that regard.

After the show, I had to hie myself to Vitello’s for our sound check.  I could see that on the books we had about sixty-five people for the show, but it was much higher than that, so we must have had walk-ins.  The show you know about it.

After the show. Robert Yacko, Alexa, Alexa’s mom, and I went downstairs, as I needed to eat. I had a really good pasta Bolognese with mushrooms – I thought it was meat sauce but it wasn’t – it was a vegetarian version and it was quite good and I ate it all up along with a small Caesar salad.  Alexa had three mini donuts with whipped cream and ice cream.  When she got to the third one, she looked at the bottom of it and it had little green dots of mold.  We showed it to the waiter who, at first, was disbelieving, but after taking it into the kitchen had to admit that’s exactly what it was.  They were mortified, actually, and gave Alexa the pasta dish I had as a replacement.  But after a few minutes, our head gal who handles our shows upstairs came, apologized, and comped the entire meal.  That is how to have good customer relations.  Then I came home and was surprised to find that the reviewer who saw the show at the matinee was very kind to us – we got a WOW and he said with a little tweaking the show could become a much-performed show.  Had he seen a different performance I don’t think he would have had all the nitpicks he did – they were VERY minor, but if the show had played as it had the two nights prior, I think they would have gone away.  But one tweak he mentioned is something too many have mentioned, and I tried to get it fixed for this past weekend, but it didn’t happen. But I’m insisting the change go in for next weekend.  Doug did write it, it didn’t quite work, I did a version that HE didn’t think quite worked, so I told him to just get it done and we can finesse it, but that it has to go to our leading lady early in the week so she can learn it and so I have time to direct her in it.  It’s not that big a thing but it will really help a moment that’s just too facile in the show – it needs a proper speech to get us from point A to B to C and on and on and then everything after it will finally play as it should.  I listened to some music and relaxed.

Today, I must sleep in, then I suppose I’m going to have to deal with a huge amount of poop and stress I could really live without – there are days, dear readers, when I truly think I’m not sure if I’ll actually achieve my next age.  We’ll see how it all plays out.  It’s so hard to go from the high of A Carol Christmas and Kritzerland to dealing with merde, and it’s happened a little too much this year. I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, but mostly relax.  I’ll start planning the all young people Kritzerland show for Januray, and I need to start making notes for the 2019 book, which, as it looks as of now, will be non-fiction, unless some brilliant idea comes to me in the next two weeks, which is what happened last year with GEE.  We shall see.  I’ll also probably watch a screener.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals, and then it’s weekend four of our seven-week run.  Not sure if I’ll see all the shows, but I’ll probably go for my birthday on Saturday.  And then I’ll be a new age.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, deal with merde, plan the next Kritzerland, make book notes, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: Have you ever had a restaurant experience where you’ve found something terribly wrong with your food, and, if so, how did the restaurant deal with it.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had such a fun Kritzerland at Vitello’s 94.

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