Well, dear readers, yesterday was the longest day. It was really long. Super-duper long. Endlessly and relentlessly long. I got up at seven-thirty in the morning after six-and-a-half hours of sleep. I shaved and showered and got ready to mosey on over to the Autry. I arrived there at about nine-twenty. At ten our band was ready for sound check and running things that needed work. At eleven, Robert Yacko and Maegan McConnell arrived and ran their stuff. And I ran a bit of my song, just so I could hear what the balance was from the stage.
Then we all went to the green room and they opened the theater for the first show. It was completely sold out. Now, I carefully designed my patter to have a couple of foolproof laughs at the top, including the first line. That way I would know what I was in for in terms of reaction. Well, the first line got a big laugh, but I hadn’t quite found my footing yet and a couple of lines didn’t do what I wanted them to – all in the delivery and my fault. But then we did the opening number, which got a great reaction and then came the second foolproof line and it got a HUGE laugh, so I knew we were basically home free with this audience and we were. The musicians did wonderfully as did our vocalists, all held together by musical director Tom Griep. But the first act felt interminable to me – some of which was just pacing and tempos, but I’d warned everyone that it had felt long at rehearsal and I was right. Happily, they were really enjoying it. My little song went over well, too, and the line I’d written about Guy Haines not being there also got a huge laugh and there was a topper to it, too.
Act two played perfectly. I inadvertently skipped over a number and no one called it to my attention. It was the second to last number and it worked fine without it. Anyway, the reaction was great.
We had a eighty-minute break between shows and I strongly recommended cutting one number from act one, which everyone agreed with, so we did that. I had to just rest my voice because it was pretty trashed after all that yakking I’d done.
But the voice was okay for the second show, also a complete sellout. The opening line got a nice laugh, but not as nice as at the first show, so I knew this audience was a bit tougher, but I enjoy that challenge, so I just worked until I had them – the big line in the intro to the second song got them and I would not let them go after that. They seemed to like all my joke translations of the Eyetalian film titles and this “mistake” I make with a person’s name had gotten such a big laugh at the first show, I thought of a topper just as I was saying it for the second show, where it once again got a huge laugh, and then the topper doubled the laugh, which is my favorite thing in comedy. Cutting the song really helped and the pace of act one was much better and it didn’t feel overly long, even though it was.
Act two was also great. There was a moment where two artists who had only one number had to come on and set up their amps and guitar and stuff so I knew I had to kill some time, so I resurrected a joke from a Kritzerland show, one I’d already resurrected for one of these concerts. I said, “Well, I have to kill some time, so I thought I’d do a couple of musical numbers from my new musical based on Vladimir Putin.” That got a big laugh, then came, “It’s called Putin It Together.” That got a huge laugh, and then came, “We’ve got a great opening number – Putin on the Ritz.” That got another big laugh. It was really fun and I did it in the evening show as well.
Later, I found out there were some fun people at the show – had I known I would have given them a shout out but no one told me. Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz was there, as was actor Martin Kove. We all got tons of wonderful comments and the Autry already wants us back next year.
After the show, about fifteen of us went to nearby Mimi’s Café. I had a Caesar salad and a hickory, bacon, cheddar cheeseburger that was very good. We all had fun but I was just so tired from doing the two back-to-back shows that I could stay no more and went home.
Today, I shall sleep in. When I arise, I’ll do the usual things in the usual way, then I’ll go have some lunch and continue proofing the book, which I may even finish proofing if I’m feeling my oats. I’ll also hopefully pick up some packages, and at some point I’ll relax and before I do I hope to have found our final cast member.
The rest of the week is more of the same, plus meetings and meals and choosing songs. I now have the two potential dates for the Nick Redman memorial, so I’ve cleared both of them. And we should have the print for The House that Dripped Blood shortly, so that one will get shipped in the next ten or so days. Then we’ll have two others to announce shortly.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, hopefully pick up packages, eat, proof, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite Ennio Morricone film scores? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy we had two great sold-out shows during the longest day.