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July 30, 2019:

A DELIGHTFULLY DELIGHTFUL FIRST REHEARSAL

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had a really fun first rehearsal for next Sunday’s Kritzerland at 100 show.  It seems like we’ve been off forever, but it was fun to get all the material to the cast so early.  First to arrive was Adrienne Stiefel, and we ran her two solos, Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair by Billy Barnes, and So Many Empty Rooms, the song Richard Sherman and I wrote for Levi, which she performed at his ninetieth birthday concert.  Then Daniel Bellusci arrived and they did their duet – the devilishly naughty Let’s Make it a Night, a cut song from Silk Stockings by Cole Porter that I recorded for Lost in Boston – it’s really fun and they are already doing it great.  Then Daniel ran his solos – a song by me called Sing a New Song – which was a lyric I found when I was going through the garage stuff – I had no memory of writing it or whether I’d even written a tune for it – but I liked its sentiment, so I went right to the piano and set it and I think it came out really well and Daniel does a bang-up job of it.  Then he ran his second solo, The Good Time Ladies Rag, a cut song from Pippin, whose music is used in The Manson Trio dance.

After Daniel left, Sami Staitman arrived.  First she ran a song of mine called Whatever’s Good for You from my first musical, Start at the Top.  I’d gotten so many nice comments in the last show about my song You Said from the same show, and some wanted to know what the rest of the score was like, so I thought we’d do this up-tempo number – one that we performed on The Merv Griffin Show.  She does it great.  Richard Allen wasn’t that comfortable playing it – the feel and accompaniment is VERY specific, so I said I’d play it for her, even though I’d much rather just sit and enjoy her performance.  Then she ran her other solo, Fly Into the Future from the musical of Vanities.  She does that great, too.  Then Chloe Haven arrived and they did their duet, a cut song from Chicago called Loopin’ the Loop – the music remains in the overture, but the lyric is quite the tongue-twister and really fun to hear.  They sound great together, too.  We assigned the few solo lines, and then they got a recording of the track.  On Thursday, we’ll add a few staging bits to it.

Then Sami left, and Chloe, who was the winner of the recent L.A.’s Next Great Stage Star contest, did her two solos.  She’s also doing a song of mine called A Slight Neurotic, from my show Together Again and she’s so quirky and terrific and really “gets” the song. I gave her a few notes and I think she’ll be splendid.  Then she did her other solo, Doin’ What Comes Naturally from Annie Get Your Gun.  I love the song, and I knew it would be perfect for her and it is.  After Chloe, Peyton Kirkner and mom arrived.  She’s only doing one number in this show, but it’s great – Show Off from The Drowsy Chaperone.  And she has very funny stuff to do all during the song.  We didn’t have the right chart for it, though, so Richard got it on his phone and played from that, just to make sure we were doing the right layout. Then I got the music and e-mailed it to him so he can print it out.  We have some big plans for little Peyton for next year.

After Peyton, Kim Huber arrived.  We began with It’s a Terrific Band in a Real Nice Place from Ballroom.  I really love the song and she’s great doing it. After that, we ran Since You Stayed Here from the musical Brownstone – beautiful song.  Finally, it was So Many People by my close personal friend, Mr. Stephen Sondheim.  Then Kim’s hubby, Roger Befeler, arrived.  He began with my arrangement of You Make Me Feel So Young that I’d come up with for someone at the Group Rep.  It’s really fun and very funny – I wrote specialty lyrics for it and both Peyton and li’l ol’ me take part.  Then he ran the song Winners by Joe Raposo – it’s from the movie Maurie and it’s a – winner.  Finally, it was Did I Ever Really Live from The Fig Leaves Are Falling, a very touching song written by Allan Sherman.

Then Marshall Harvey came over with the hard drive and our final version of The Creature Wasn’t Nice.  I began the six-hour upload to Dropbox and then we went to Marie Callender’s for food. For lunch, Grant and I had gone to El Torito, where I’d had a chicken taco and a cheese enchilada, for a calorie count of about 550.  At Marie Callender’s, Marshall had my favorite thing there – the bacon cheeseburger with fries and a piece of pie – he had the razzleberry.  I, on the other hand, had the salad bar – I had two helpings of salad – one with ranch, one with 1000-Island dressing – no meat or anything fattening.  They had little cold pasta things and cole slaw things, so I literally had one bite of those.  Hopefully, it didn’t bring the calorie count too much higher than around 1200 for the day. I had no dessert.

Prior to all that, I hadn’t heard from the car service people, so I called.  The lady told me who my guy was and that he’d call me back.  He did, about twenty minutes later, and it was very clear that the car had been sitting there since they opened at five-thirty and no one had even looked at it.  So, right before he called they’d tried to start it, to no avail.  He asked if the battery was dead and I told him I didn’t think so, but that he was in a better position to answer that.  He then said it would be $175 to do the diagnostic, and I kind of went off and gave him some strong verbiage about the horrid experience I’d had there twenty years ago, that I didn’t want to be lied to, that I didn’t want to be overcharged, and that if I felt any of that was happening I would have the car out of there so fast it would make his head spin.  He apologized for the bad experience – it’s under new ownership and has been for years – and he promised he would be forthright and honest – we shall see about that, but I’m ever hopeful.  But please send your strongest most excellent vibes and xylophones for not too big of a problem and one that I can actually afford.

Then Grant and I had our food, I did my brief banking, and then it was time for rehearsal.  After the meal with Marshall, I came home and did some work on the computer, and then relaxed a bit by watching The Creature Wasn’t Nice from start to finish – I thought it played very well.

Today, I’ll hopefully hear from the service guy and hopefully the news won’t be horrifying.  I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, although how is another story, as I don’t want to walk a total of five miles and carry stuff home, nor do I want to Uber there and back, which seems the height of something or other.  So, we’ll see what happens.  Otherwise, I have to finish choosing the songs for next month’s show, and at some point, I’ll relax.

The rest of the week is dependent on the car situation, but we have our second Kritzerland rehearsal on Thursday, our stumble-through on Saturday, and our sound check and show on Sunday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, hopefully hear from the service guy with not too horrifying news, I’ll eat, hopefully figure out how to pick up packages and mail, choose songs, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your absolute favorite salad dressings and what are your absolute favorite kinds of salads?  And what dressings can you not stomach?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a delightfully delightful first rehearsal.

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