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October 22, 2019:

AN AMERICAN IN SHERMAN OAKS LISTENS TO AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, our second What If rehearsal went very well.  We had our full cast, so that was fun.  We ran all the group numbers a few times, cleaned them up, put Peyton in the finale, and then ran all the solos.  Everyone is pretty solid on the solos and pretty solid on the group stuff, but not quite perfect yet, so a little more work and we’ll have those, too.  Just hearing everything last night pretty much told me that the show structure will work fine, but I’ll know that for sure after the stumble-through.  What a talented bunch of performers they are, and I was just laughing and smiling a whole lot.  It was Peyton’s first time doing Annie from Welcome to My World, and she just did great – it’s not as easy as it would appear – it’s very long and you’ve got to keep the storytelling interesting, compelling, and fun and funny – she came in great and all I had to do was give her a few notes.  We began at five and finished at around eight-fifteen.

Prior to that, I’d slept for eight-and-a-half hours, arising around noon o’clock.  I had lots of e-mails to answer, then did some work at the piano and on the computer.  Then I picked up no packages and went to Jerry’s Deli and had a chicken salad sandwich with added bacon.  It was really good, actually.  After that, I came home, shaved and showered, and listened to music until everyone arrived for rehearsal.

After rehearsal, since I’d only had the sandwich, I went to K’s Donuts and got a chocolate donut with whipped cream, and a small chocolate buttermilk bar, came home and ate those – they were both excellent and I don’t think I exceeded 1000 calories by too much.  Then I listened to more music, some Felix Slatkin Capitol stuff I got off YouTube.  He did great albums for Capitol and I think only about three or four ever made it to CD, which is shameful.  I did grab quite a bit but wish there were more – Mr. Slatkin (father of conductor Leonard) was a terrific conductor and superb musician and the band isn’t too shabby – the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, comprised of the cream of the crop LA musicians of the time, the ones who played on all those classic movie music scores.  One of the things I grabbed of the Tube of You was some Villa-Lobos Bachianas music with Slatkin conducting and Marni Nixon doing the vocal honors.  Wonderful stuff.  I never really had time to watch anything, nor did I really want to.  Then I had a long telephonic conversation, and then it was time to write these here notes, which, in case you haven’t noticed, is exactly what I’m doing whilst Ravel’s utterly stunning Pavane for a Dead Princess, simply one of the most sublime pieces of music ever written.

Today, I can sleep in again, then, once up, I’ll do the usual things one usually does – answer e-mails, catch up on things, and perhaps have some telephonic conversations.  Then I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, and then at seven we have our stumble-through – after we’re finished, I’ll give whatever notes I have, and we can run whatever needs running.  Then I can relax.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to just take it easy until it’s time to go to the theater.  Once there, Nick from Vitello’s will come and set up my wireless mic on our good stand, get everything working, set levels, and then the guy who’s running lights and sound will come and Nick will show him everything.  The cast will arrive at six, and we’ll work the group stuff, so they get used to the stage, and we’ll have a sound check for everyone.  And then at eight we play our show.  I still have no clew how many people will be in the audience, because most folks don’t reserve – they just show up.  But I’m hopeful we’ll have decent crowds, since that’s the entire idea of doing these two evenings, to raise money.  Thursday, I can relax during the day, although I have to start prepping two new releases, and then Friday I am having a complete ME day and then may go see a show that evening.  We shall see.  The weekend will be spent in preparing for The Man Who Came to Dinner rehearsals, which begin next week, and which I’m very much looking forward to.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, eat, hopefully pick up packages, get ready, have a stumble-through, give notes, and then maybe go get an evening snack if anyone feels like doing such a thing.  Today’s topic of discussion: What have been your favorite classical concert experiences?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as I, An American in Sherman Oaks listens to Felix Slatkin and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra do one of the best An American in Paris recordings ever – such fun, such life, and a bit raw, which suits the music just fine.

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