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February 25, 2020:

THE AFTERNOON REHEARSAL THAT WAS A MORNING REHEARSAL

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, isn’t it fun when you think a rehearsal is at three or four in the afternoon, so you stay up until four proofing, get in bed, and begin to think that, oops (spoo, spelled backwards), maybe the rehearsal is in the morning. So, you get up just to make sure, look at the schedule and realize, by gum and by golly and buy bonds, it IS in the morning, eleven in the morning to be exact.  So, to bed you go and get a whopping five hours of sleep.  Yes, that is what happened to the person who is writing these here notes, namely me aka BK.

So, I had to get up, get coherent, and have our first rehearsal, which, I must say, was a good deal of fun.  We had everyone but Brittney Bertier and Jason Graae, both of whom will be with us on Thursday.  First up was Kim Huber and we ran her three songs – I Never Said I Love You, Open a New Window/Before the Parade Passes By, and Time Heals Everything.  Then came Kerry O’Malley and we did HER three numbers – I Don’t Want to Know, Just Leave Everything to Me, and If He Walked into My Life.

After that, it was Daniel Bellusci, who did Your Good Morning, My Best Girl, and Put on Your Sunday Clothes/It Only Takes a Moment.  Finally, it was Robert Yacko, and he ran To Be Alone with You, I Won’t Send Roses, and I Am What I Am.  It was grand to hear all those wonderful Jerry Herman songs, and I’m really enjoying working with musical director, Jeff Rizzo.  We wrapped at about twelve-thirty, so that did leave me the rest of the day.

I looked at our orders and they were pretty good but not what I was hoping for.  However, a lot of that is Facebook’s dreaded algorithms, so I’m hoping people eventually see these three releases and snap them up.  Then I did some work on the computer, answered and wrote e-mails, and then went and picked up a package, after which I went to Jerry’s Deli and had a chicken salad sandwich and a few fries.  Then I came home.

Once home, I ascertained that Grant and I will do the final entering of fixes today at some point – there really aren’t all that many and it shouldn’t really take more than thirty to forty-five minutes.  I heard from Rupert Holmes, who is hoping he can have a blurb to me by tomorrow, which would be great.  After all that, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled The Professionals.  It was the second movie I purchased on Blu-ray back in 2008 when I got my then-new TV and Blu-ray player. I watched the first ten minutes and thought it looked fantastic.  However, I never did finish watching it, so twelve years later I have finally done so.  I was attending LACC when the film came out in November o 1966.  I probably saw it within a day of its opening and I absolutely loved it, as did the audience.  It was a huge hit and I saw it at least fifteen times back then, including frequent visits when it came to the very cheap World Theater on Hollywood Blvd.  The dialogue was incredible, you couldn’t have a better cast, and the direction was great and it looked great, thanks to the photography of Conrad Hall.

I’m happy to say that it’s as great as ever, even greater, due to the fact that no one knows how to write great dialogue like that, no one knows how to let scenes play out these days, no one knows how to write a propulsive score like Maurice Jarre’s (one of his best), but most of all you cannot name a single actor working today who has the star power and screen presence and screen acting chops of Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance, and Claudia Cardinale.  You watch these people and it’s just baffling what they call screen acting today.  It’s worse than baffling, actually, it’s downright inept, at least for me a lot of it is.  The transfer is interesting – back then it seemed absolutely perfect.  What remains perfect is the color and look of it. What could be bettered is the technology of today’s transfers and I do hope it gets revisited, as long as they color match to this Blu-ray.

After that, I began watching some Amazon thing called Hunters, which has gotten VERY mixed reviews.  I always enjoy a good hunting down the Nazis movie, but this one, due to horrible direction, tried my patience from the first shot.  And then they opened their mouths and terrible dialogue poured forth.  I mean, I’d just watched the damn The Professionals, with all that perfect dialogue.  And then we had kind of a version of a Marathon Man scene, where someone recognizes a Nazi living in the US in 1977.  It’s very violent, and we’re told there will be nudity.  We’re not told that the nudity involves and eighty-year-old woman, and probably with good reason.  And what I learned is that I had no idea that eighty-year-old women also groom themselves to look like pre-pubescent children, a “thing” that I wish would go away, frankly and that goes for the men who do it, too.  But, I digress.  Then we meet the young hero of the piece, hear more wretched dialogue, and meet his grandmother.  The minute I heard the voice I thought to myself, “Myself, what is Elaine May doing in this thing?”  But it wasn’t Ms. May it was Jeannie Berlin, who I’m not sure I’ve seen in anything since The Heartbreak Kid in the early 1970s – of course, she’s Ms. May’s daughter.  Al Pacino is in it, doing his Old Jew routine, and I can’t say I’m loving it, but I also can’t say I’ve turned it off.  We’ll see how long I last.

Today, I’ll be up by eleven, hopefully we’ll enter the final fixes (there may be a handful more after that, but I can just send those via e-mail and Grant can input them), then Grant and I will lunch, and then I’ll hopefully pick up some packages.  Since I finished writing the commentary yesterday, the only writing left that I need to do is the dust jacket flap copy.  I’m still hoping we can get everything to the publisher by next Monday.  Then I can relax and watch something.

Tomorrow I think I may just be able to have a ME day, Thursday is our second Kritzerland rehearsal, Friday we resume performances at the Group Rep, Saturday we have an early stumble-through and I’m sure some of us will grab a bite afterwards, then I’ll relax and rest my voice.  Sunday, I can relax until I get ready, and then we do sound check, after which we do our show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by eleven, enter fixes, lunch, hopefully pick up packages, write flap copy, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite Jerry Herman songs? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have realized on time that the afternoon rehearsal was a morning rehearsal.

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