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November 14, 2019:

PUZZLE PIECES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, last night rather than doing a run-through, I instead ran only act two, which has to run twenty minutes shorter than it did at the run-through the night before.  Now, a lot of that length was stopping and going back and not knowing lines.  But as I watched it I realized that the shape of act two is very tricky and that a lot of dots have to connect to make it work.  It all has to do with a steady build to the end of the act and finding the rhythm within each of the long sequences that get us there.  What I was really doing was what I do a little later in the process, what I call vacuuming the play – cleaning up the staging and adding and subtracting stuff.  But as we did that, I also ran stuff multiple times so people could get used to everything.  And I really began directing the performances, too.  Usually, I let the actors alone for the first two weeks – that allows them to try things and allows me to see what they’re doing and what works and what doesn’t feel right.  So, I gave many performance notes, too, and they all seem to want that now and that’s what they’ll get every step of the way until all the puzzle pieces connect.  I think people felt better by the end of the rehearsal and we had twenty minutes left, so I let the three principals run lines, as that’s where the struggling is happening.

Prior to that, just as I was going to bed at two in the morning, I had a terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE, allergy attack.  I immediately took a Claritin-D but it took an hour to finally kick in – until that happened I was sneezing like crazy and miserable.  I finally fell asleep around three-thirty.  The alarm went off at eleven, but I stayed in bed and rested until noon – later than I wanted in terms of arising, but I felt I had to.  I did the usual things – answered e-mails, had telephonic conversations, and doing work at the piano and the computer.  Then I went and had a chicken salad sandwich and no fries or onion rings, and then picked up some packages and came home.  I listened to more Weinberg string quartets – almost finished with the five-CD set.  I don’t know what it is about the sound of a string quartet, but everything always feels gloomy and dark, even the sprightly movements.  In any case, these are enjoyable, but it probably would have been smarter not to listen to them all in a row.  Lesson learned.

Then I showered and got ready to mosey on over to the theater and the rest you know.  After rehearsal, I had to eat something since I’d only had the sandwich, so I got a regular In-N-Out cheeseburger and some animal fries, came home, and ate that up whilst listening to more string quartets.  Then it will be back to the symphonies, but this time in pure CD sound, rather than the compressed stuff you get from YouTube.

Today, I would like to be up by eleven, then I’ll do the usual morning things.  The helper will be picking up The Creature DVDs – she’ll bring me a batch of them – and then we’ll get those shipped out, and I’m expecting Shoestring Revue and Weill Revisited II maybe by the end of the week.  I’ll eat something, hopefully pick up packages, and then I’ll listen to music and relax until it’s time to go to the theater.  Then we vacuum act three – that one’s in better shape, time-wise, and the shape of the act is really easy, actually.  So, we’ll just be running sections multiple times until everyone has the timing and rhythm down.  The scenes with Banjo are especially important in terms of timing – as I have a lot of funny looks and takes that have to be very precise to work.  After that, I’ll come home and relax.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, then I get to the theater early to run a couple of blocking things in act one – I’ve already given the notes, so it’s just a matter of going directly to those pages.  Then we’ll be putting it together and doing a run-through, which I hope will be a lot smoother than the last one.  Saturday, we begin at ten and do another run-through, followed by two hours of vacuuming.  I think some of us may go out for a proper and fun meal after.  Sunday is the same thing.  Monday is off, and Tuesday we’re in the theater for the first time on this show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by eleven, do things, get the Creature DVDs on their merry way, eat, hopefully pick up packages, relax, work through act three, then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your must-see TV shows these days? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that puzzle pieces are finally beginning to connect.

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