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March 17, 2019:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it is not enough to think you’re the bees knees and clever, it is not enough to just put on a show, it is not enough to invite your nearest and dearest friends who’ve either seen it before or are there to woo-hoo you from here to eternity – none of that is enough when putting on a show.  I have been putting on shows for many, many years, beginning with what I called my one person show with six people, An Evening with Bruce Kimmel (Who?) back in 1971.  I suspect it was a cute evening and I also suspect it could have used structure and another pair of eyes, some shears, and some songs cut and songs added. I did variations on it throughout the 1970s, including a few nights of it at the Matrix Theater.  In the mid-1980s I did my first club act – it wasn’t good enough, but my friends came and woo-hooed anyway.  But I knew it wasn’t good enough, new there were things that weren’t landing and I took a long, hard look at it and revamped it and kept revamping it until it was right – and when it was right, it didn’t matter whether it was my friends or a room filled with strangers – it worked because it had structure, a point and a point of view.  And with the many acts I’ve created and directed for performers, my mantra is always about that: what’s it about, what’s the point, how do we get the audience to fall in love with you, what’s the structure, how does every song move us forward, all of it.  And while no two acts are obviously the same, the ideas that go into creating them are.

I say this, because last night I saw a two-act show that had no real point, no real structure, was performed in a kind of cocky and off-putting way, by two people who, at least in appearance, thought they were the berries.  They may well be the berries, but in this show they are anything but.  With the exception of two numbers, all the songs are original.  But they lack focus, they wouldn’t know a musical button if it hit them in the face, and I knew nothing of the two performers going in and nothing coming out.  That is a real problem.  And until that basic problem is addressed there will never be a show.  It’s really that simple.  But they had an audience filled with people they know or enablers of one sort or another – many, it seemed, had seen it or some iteration of it before.  So, there was much woo-hooing, much cheering, two standing ovations.  But I would wager a large amount of money that if you put this exact same thing in front of strangers, there would be no reaction at all. It was a fascinating evening on many levels, and I did know some folks and met some nice folks, which I always enjoy.

Prior to the show, I’d gotten ten hours of glorious sleep, so that was just what I needed.  Once up, I answered e-mails and did stuff on the computer, went and picked up a package, looked at more newspapers – going through 1963 now – what a year that was for me – so many great movies, but more importantly, incredible theater experiences – Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Stop the World, Beyond the Fringe and I’m only through July. Then I got ready and Grant and I went to Barone’s for a meal – I had shrimp scampi and a salad – very good and calorie friendly.  Then off we went to the show.

After the show, we went to the Coral Café and split some wings (all drumettes) that were especially tasty, and we both had a hot fudge sundae, simply because we really needed the sugar.  Then I came right home to write these here notes.

Today, I can sleep in again, then I have to make a show order and maybe even begin writing the commentary, but mostly I just want to relax.  And I have to make a decision about the Flix of Net. I’ve been trying watch something for over a week and there isn’t a damn thing I’m interesting.  On top of that, they’re raising their price again and I’m thinking I’d be better off just doing Amazon Prime, which is free for me, or getting a different service that gets me regular TV, too.  We shall see.  I’ll eat something light at some point.

Tomorrow, I must be up early to make sure everything is proceeding apace with the book fix and getting the files to the printer ASAP.  Hopefully, my gal will be back because if she’s not this is not going to go smoothly.  The rest of the week is meetings and meals, trying to set a date for the next performance of the musical revue, getting ready for a book show and signing and announcing a new CD release at some point in the next couple of weeks.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, make a show order, write commentary, eat, and 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, happy to have slept in.

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