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January 24, 2020:

DOIN’ IT FOR ELMER

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had our first full rehearsal for the Elmer Bernstein concert, which has its first of two performances this very evening.  The stage is even more crowded than it was last year, much more, actually.  This year we have nine musicians and an eight-person choir and two vocalists and li’l ol’ me.  The set-up is what it is and what it is is tight.  The musicians are all tops but there’s a whole of music in this concert and at the point I left they still hadn’t gone through about a third of it.  But it’s sounding good, the sound guy is doing a good job of it, and Robert Yacko and Maegan McConnell and the choir are also tops.  We made one tiny cut, removing a rather pointless one-minute thing from Animal House, and after hearing the suite from The Ten Commandments, I think we may make an internal cut in that one.  I have to get my opening remarks a little smoother, as I do those off book.

Prior to that, I got seven-and-a-half hours of sleep, have been fighting allergies, which has hurt my throat a bit – hoping I wake up feeling stronger vocally.  I proofed about fifty pages, had one English muffin, and then got ready for the concert rehearsal.  First, I moseyed on over to the mail place and picked up some packages, then it was directly to the Autry.

I left about six-fifteen and went directly to the theater.  Our designers showed up and we began our designer run-through.  I think they were all a bit surprised that a show that still has two weeks until it opens is in relatively smooth shape.  Line calls were very few, a few fumfered bits here and there and some tiny pacing issues, but the rest was pretty great.  I love the cast and they really bring out everything that’s in the script, without ever devolving into melodrama or treacle, two things I was determined to completely avoid.  Best of all, they’re all playing the same show.  My experience is you always have one or two players who don’t understand that they have to play the same show as the other actors, otherwise it just gets weird.  And adding lighting, music, and costumes, not to mention the set, and I’m hoping we make some real magic.

After that, I stopped at Subway, since I’d only had an English muffin.  I got a spicy Eyetalian sandwich that I hope I don’t regret, tummy-wise, and two of those tiny slider things.  I came home and ate them all up whilst listening to music.  I answered e-mails and began finessing the commentary.

Today, I’ll be up by eleven or so and will just relax, rest my voice, hope for no allergies and a stronger voice, proof, then shave and shower and mosey on over to the Autry around four.  I’ll hear the bits I didn’t hear, get everything the way I like it and, if there’s time, run the song I have to sing.  Then we’ll all relax until it’s show time at seven.

Tomorrow, I’ll be at the theater to run some stuff in the morning, but I will have to keep my mouth shut so my voice is okay for the concert matinee.  We don’t have Peyton, so we’ll work scenes she’s not in, mostly so everyone can get solid on the lines. After the concert, we’re all being taken out for a meal, so that will be nice.  Sunday, we’ll do a run-through and, if time, maybe even a second one.  Then I can finally relax.  Monday is off and I want to also be finished proofing the book by then.  I should also have one proofer’s notes back by then.  On Tuesday, we resume run-throughs and on Friday we dry tech, then have a run-through.  The weekend will be run-throughs and tech and Sunday is a dress/tech.  And then we push right through to opening night.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by eleven or so, relax, rest my voice, hope for no allergies, proof, shave and shower, hopefully pick up packages, and then be on my way to the Autry for our first performance.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, various new composer discoveries.  Blu-ray, The Raging Moon, another Bryan Forbes movie.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping for a fun concert performance because we’re doin’ it for Elmer.

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