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July 31, 2019:

THE VIENNESE WALTZING NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to Antal Dorati conduct Viennese waltzes and so I’ve been waltzing around the home environment, waltzing with no partner, which looks rather inane.  But then again, I was coming off a rather inane day, so there’s that.  I wonder if Laraine Day ever had an Inane Day?  I wonder that very thing as I’m waltzing sans Matilda or anyone else.  I must say that after an hour of these Viennese pastries you want to become a serial killer.  But before I go on, has anyone noticed that it’s the last day of July?  How did THAT happen?  And tomorrow is August, and it is my fervent hope and prayer that August will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.

I did get almost eight hours of sleep.  Once up, there was a text from the car service guy saying they were working on it and he’d get back to me.  So, I was either stuck here all day and night, or I’d have to do some fancy walking.  I ascertained that there were packages, several of which had arrived the day before. This being without transportation in this particular city is a pain in the ASS, I must say.  So, it was either what I’ve been calling a four-mile walk – two miles there, two back, with a stop for food, or stay home.  I began the walk, got about 100 feet from my front door and for the first time ever I used the Uber APP that I’ve had for years.  A driver arrived within two minutes, took me to the mail place, and it cost seven bucks.  But the big news was that it’s not two miles to the mail place, it’s THREE. Who knew?  So, I haven’t been doing four-mile walks, I’ve been doing six-mile walks.  No wonder it’s been so hard to do.  Once I’d gathered up the packages, save for one that was too big for me to deal with, I walked to Hugo’s and had some pasta papa and no Caesar salad.  The pasta papa was very good.  Then I walked home – three miles in all.  I was hot, sweaty, and pooped.

I had nothing from the car service guy, so I texted him saying it had been two full days and I really needed to know what was going on. He texted back about thirty minutes later, saying they were still doing the diagnostic.  He apologized for it taking so long, but he thought he’d have news for me today, so please keep sending your strongest most excellent vibes and xylophones that it won’t be too major or costly.  He also told me he’d try his best to have a loaner car for me, and that would be great.

Then I had a few telephonic conversations about The Creature Wasn’t Nice – we’re going to include a 24-bit version of the soundtrack as a DVD extra, so that will be fun. I’m going to do a solo commentary track and I’m hoping Cindy Williams will come in and do one with me.  I also ascertained that there’s nothing really to be done about sharpening the image.  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish, not having chosen a single song for the September Kritzerland – I’ve only got four songs chosen and I really need to pick the rest.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Obsessions, a 1969 film from 1969, made by a Dutch filmmaker, all in English.  Martin Scorsese is credited as a co-writer, but all he really did was give script notes and suggested dialogue changes – he’d made a short film, as had the director of this thing, and they’d met at a festival.  So, what do we have here?  Certainly, one of the worst films ever.  This director and his cohorts have obsessions all right – they are cineastes, film FANatics, and they clearly worship at the altar of Mr. Hitchcock.  There are so many Hitchcock references it borders on the pathetic.  However, I’m quite sure that one of Mr. Scorsese’s notes was to open the film with a huge shot of a peeping eye – right out of his favorite, Peeping Tom.  The story is incoherent, there’s no suspense, no pace, but there is quite a bit of nudity.  It’s all completely inept, and that ineptitude is exacerbated by the transfer. Whatever element was used is faded to a brown nothing – basically like watching a sepia-toned film.  There is no excuse for this.  They could have restored most of the color easily – this is 2019 and the tools are easily available.  And on top of that, it’s full frame and the film is so clearly framed for 1.85, so you get tons of useless head room, which ruins every single shot in the film.  So, why did I need to see it?  Simple: It’s the only Bernard Herrmann score I’ve never heard.  Well, it wasn’t Benny at his peak, let’s just say that.  Highly not recommended by the likes of me.

The other thing I did was to begin uploading more Dinah and Her New Best Friends clips.  So, first we have a topical (circa 1976) ditty called Everybody’s Got a Will But Howard Hughes.  I don’t remember who wrote it – since a lot of Laugh-In people worked on this show it could be Billy Barnes, but I think it would be wittier.  Which leads me to think maybe it was Ken and Mitzi Welch, who wrote for Carol Burnett, whose show we were replacing for the summer.  Who knows?  In this are the only three of us who could actually do a musical number – Diana Canova, Leland Palmer, and Li’l Ol’ Me.  Wardrobe by the great Donfeld.  Choreography by Mr. Hugh Lambert.

Now, here’s a movie medley number – why they thought this was a good idea is anyone’s guess, but as happened throughout the show, they had to make it comedic because the two Mikes – Neun and Preminger had no ability to move or do musical comedy – Mule Deer got by.  This was one of the final three shows, because they’d added DeeDee Rescher to the show for those three.

Finally, here I am, singing I Write the Songs.  From the start, I’d been after them to play to all our strengths, one of mine being that I wrote really good songs.  I played them a few, but they just kept skirting the issue. I kept bringing it up.  Then they gave me I Write the Songs.  I looked at them incredulously and said, “I DO write the songs.”  They told me this was a great way to ease into that and then we could do some.  And I have no idea whose brainy idea it was to have me sing with my back to the audience, so that visually you could see the audience AND me, but it was so ridiculous.  I wanted to see them, they wanted to see me – well, go know.  Under those circumstances, it’s not terrible. I wish I could remember who our musical director was and who did the charts.  If I find my box o’ scripts, it’s probably in there.

Today, I’ll get up when I get up, I’m praying for some good and reasonable car news and a loaner because I’m due an important envelope that I need to get.  And today I will damn well choose some damn songs.  I’ll eat something somewhere, and then at some point I’ll relax.

Tomorrow is our second Kritzerland rehearsals, not sure if I’ll be able to attend the Group Rep opening – depends on how I feel and if I have transportation.  Saturday is our stumble-through and Sunday is sound check and show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get up, pray for some good and reasonable car news and a loaner, eat, choose songs, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall continue with my Viennese waltzing.

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