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August 13, 2019:

THE ONE PARAGRAPH DAY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, new perks are up and we’re entering week two of our Creature Indiegogo campaign.  I shan’t be posting about it every day until the very end, but as we enter each week and should we reach a new plateau, I will mention it, of course, since such things need mentioning.  So, here’s the handy-dandy link.

https://igg.me/at/creaturecampaign/x/9165600#/

So, I must tell you in all honesty, yesterday was a Monday. That’s about all I can say given the rather lackluster day it was.  I got up at eleven after seven hours of sleep, I answered e-mails, put up some new perks but didn’t announce them, got a box of music from the garage, hunting for songs, ascertained there was no mail or packages to pick up, went to Taco Bell and brought home some foodstuffs, ate them all up, had a visit from Grant Geissman, and had a long telephonic conversation.  In all honesty, that was about it.  Oh, I did some work on the computer, did some work at the piano, played through some songs, chose a couple, but the day just sort of limped by and we had no Indiegogo action whatsoever – the first day that’s happened, actually.  But I decided to do an eBlast to Kritzerland customers, so that just went out as I started to write these here notes.  And that was the day.  Not even a damn second paragraph about it – it was a one paragraph day, that’s what it was. And then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I had a hankerin’ to watch Wait Until Dark again – a personal favorite of mine, as you dear readers know.  I’ve been reading reviews of the play and the film and I must say all the nitpicking about plot holes is most amusing.  These ninnies will accept the most absurd things in blockbuster movies, just dumb stuff, but in a superbly constructed thing like Wait Until Dark, they have to show how “smart” they are, except they’re not.  Everything they complain is a hole or that people act stupidly isn’t actually correct if they were paying attention.  They keep saying, “Why doesn’t she lock the door?” She does.  It is.  Gloria, the kid, has a key, the bad people press the unlock button when they come and go. Then they complain that she sends the kid to Port Authority instead of to the police.  Except, if they actually paid attention, she tells the kid to go to Port Authority to meet her husband and THEN says, before the kid leaves, “As soon as I know you’re safe (meaning safely on her way to Port Authority, as one of the bad guys is standing outside the apartment and once past him, Gloria signals Susy that she’s on her way), I’ll call the police.”  So, what IS the problem?  Every inch of it makes complete sense.  I never tire of watching it, the big scene ALWAYS gets me, I watch with ALL lights out, and I have such vivid memories of seeing this on opening day at the Egyptian Theater, where they turned off the exit lights for the last ten minutes, and the big scene got one of the biggest screams I’ve ever heard in a theater.  Henry Mancini’s score is one of his greatest – really perfection.  The cast is great.  In the original reviews, Alan Arkin got knocked – again, stupid reviewers simply not understanding what he was doing – but I thought he was brilliant then and it’s now patently obvious how great he is.  Richard Crenna and Jack Weston are perfect, too, and so is Terence Young’s direction.  The gal who played Gloria is the only one who did the show on Broadway.  That production starred Lee Remick, who must have been great, and Robert Duvall as Roat.  And it was directed by Arthur Penn just prior to him doing the film of Bonnie and Clyde. I would love to have seen it and seen how the big scene played in the theater.

And until the 1998 revival on Broadway, I still hadn’t seen it onstage.  But that revival was so ham-fistedly awful it was unbearable.  No one trusted the material, the direction was a sorry joke, filled with industrial-type low noises and junk like that, plus one of the most inept performances I’ve ever seen on the stage by Quentin Tarantino.  Marisa Tomei was game and fine, but no one else was. I hated it.  Now everyone says, “It’s too dated, no one cares” blah, blah, blah, to which I say BS.  Trust the material, cast it right, and it will work like gangbusters without a single change save ONE I would make to the ending, where husband Sam behaves like a pig and an idiot – easy adjustment.  But instead, the Geffen revives it a few years ago in a “new” “adaptation” by Jeffrey Hatcher, who now sets the show in the 1940s – why?  And he makes one huge plot change involving one of the bad guys, thinking that if we don’t KNOW he’s a bad guy that will be a great twist.  I don’t think Mr. Knott needed help with twists and it’s a classic example of Hitchcock’s thing about – which is better, suspense or surprise?  I believe the answer in this case is suspense.  WE know he’s a bad guy, Susy does not, and when she realizes he is it packs a real punch.  Having it be a surprise, well, hard to do in a play everyone knows very well.  But I’m actually interested to read the adaptation. It did NOT do well at the Geffen, which, of course, was advertised as pre-Broadway – it was going right to Broadway.  Sure it was.  Anyway, I love the movie and that’s all there is too it.  The Blu-ray looks nice.

After that, I relaxed, sent the eBlast, and yawned, not necessarily in that order.

Today I’ll be choosing songs, getting music to singers, hopefully picking up some packages, I’ll eat, maybe start the liner notes, and then relax.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals, two work sessions, making a show order, writing commentary, getting the motor car washed and sparkly clean, and whatever other stuff that needs doing.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, choose songs, send music, hopefully pick up packages, eat, maybe write some liner notes, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are  your favorite films of Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna and, of course, Miss Audrey Hepburn?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to be done with the one paragraph day.

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