Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to the Hollywood String Quartet play Brahms quartets and quintets and why shouldn’t I be? After all, I am the boss of me, and I don’t care who the HELL knows it. The thing of it is, I don’t love chamber music at ALL, and yet every time I play a CD of the Hollywood String Quartet I suddenly like chamber music very much. I was very surprised that one of the movements I heard was very much known to me – pretty sure it was used in the film Monsieur Hire. Aimez-vous Brahms? I do, I do. Aimez-vous Brahms was and is, of course, the name of a short novel by Miss Francoise Sagan, which was turned into the film Goodbye Again, starring Miss Ingrid Bergman. And I had the soundtrack of that very film when I was a young teen, and that, dear readers, is where I first heard the music of Brahms. The theme used in the film is one of my all-time favorites. In any case, this three-CD set of the Hollywood String Quartet doing Brahms (and one Robert Schumann piece) is just a delight. Aimez-vous Brahms? If you don’t know his music, you might just. Did you know that Miss Francoise Sagan published her first novel when she was eighteen and it became a huge hit and was filmed by Mr. Otto Preminger? Yes, that was Bonjour Tristesse. Miss Sagan had quite a bit of luck with her novels being turned into films – in addition to the two already mentioned, her second novel, Un Certain Sourire became the film, A Certain Smile. There were others, mostly French films from France, and several films from her plays. Why the HELL am I talking about Francoise Sagan when I should be writing these here notes whilst listening to Brahms?
Yesterday was a fascinating day, but not really. I got seven hours of sleep, got up, did the usual morning things, then got ready for my first meeting. This nice fellow has been after me for over a year to come see his wonderful theater and maybe do a show there. He saw Levi and loved it and thought it would be perfect for his theater. So, I finally went. It’s in a horrible part of North Hollywood. I arrive and walk into this wonderful theater – a former barber shop – not too wide and VERY long. At the end of the very long is a little wooden thing that I’m guessing is the stage. There are two rows of two seats each, totaling about twenty seats. I couldn’t believe it, really. Then everyone was late and they didn’t start the meeting until forty minutes after it was supposed to start. And it was a board meeting, with minutes read and business discussed. I couldn’t believe it, really. I was asked about Levi and I said with a straight face that there were more people in the cast than there were seats in the house and that it was a seven piece band and that it required a rather large set and that I didn’t think it was for them. I said I had smaller shows. And then they went back to old and new business. I sat there for about five more minutes, got up, said I had another meeting, and left. It was a total waste of time and I wish them well, but man, after close to fifty years of doing LA theater, I would never do anything in a theater like that. The guy who invited me is certainly nice and certainly well meaning, but, never again.
Then I went right to my second meeting, this one at The Federal. I had their excellent mac-and-cheese, and Adryan Russ and I figured out a three-part montage section – just the bones of it. Then I went to the mail place and picked up some packages, then came home.
I had a lot to catch up on and then it was already time to mosey on over to the theater. We ran the rest of the act two review – and I got a little frustrated because people were not remembering their blocking and my assistant wasn’t with us the night it was blocked and the gal who was writing it down didn’t get everything. It should have taken twenty minutes and took an hour. Then we went back to act one and began that and it was the same story, so I had a chat about the necessity of everyone having their blocking down, as I’m not fond of having to reblock because people haven’t written it down and somehow certain things were not written in the bible. So, we should have gotten through the entire act and only got through half of it. Then I came right home.
Since I’d only had the mac-and-cheese, I ate some peanuts, a piece of matzoh with butter, and a few Halloween candies. And then it was time to write these here notes.
Today, I have to be up by ten-thirty. I have a noon o’clock lunch meeting at a favorite local eatery, then I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, come home, and relax until it’s time for rehearsal. Tonight, we’ll finish act one, and go right into act two, which will hopefully run smoother, and then right into act three and we really need to run act three.
Tomorrow is a ME day. Saturday, we’re without our leading man (the last time that happens), so I’ll work any scenes in which he doesn’t appear and there are a few. Then on Sunday we’ll have our first run-through, which I’m sure will be rough, but I want everyone to get through it without stopping to try to remember where they’re supposed to be. After that, I’ll work problem scenes. We’re off Monday night, and then we work the next six days in a row and that’s when this thing has to really come together and get smooth, so that when we move downstairs to our real theater, everyone will be ready and it won’t throw us behind.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a lunch meeting, hopefully pick up packages, relax, rehearse, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: Who were your favorite comedy teams? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall fall asleep to the lilting strains of Brahms.