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June 3, 2020:

FINDING PEOPLE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music and starting to write these here notes.  You are now completely up to date on the current happenings.  I suppose I could rant about something, but why bother?  I suppose I could tell you about a funny thing that happened yesterday.  Yes, why don’t I tell you that because otherwise I’ll just sit here, aimlessly typing words and sentences that even as I type them have put me to sleep three times already.  So, here’s the funny thing that happened yesterday.  First, a little backstory.  My first original musical was called Start at the Top, written and first performed in 1971.  I won’t go on about it, as it’s all in the new book, but there were ultimately three productions of the show.  For the third, I expanded the one-act musical into two acts and wrote a new ballad for the leading lady, as I wasn’t that thrilled with her original song, and frankly I’d have to find and look at the program to see if she even had a song – I think she did, though.  The new song was called You Said and was introduced by Linda Urrea, who played the role.  That song has remained one of my favorites of all I’ve written. For the past decade I’ve tried to find Linda, just to reacquaint, say hi, and see what she’s up to.  I have not seen her since 1972.  I’m pretty good at these searches, but a handful of folks have eluded me, and Linda was certainly one of those.  I could literally find nothing on her, save for a couple of things from the late 1960s.  Recently, I tried again when I took the free thirty-day trial on Been Verified.  Again, not a thing came up.  Dead ends everywhere.

So, as you know, I posted that screed about that weird woman on Facebook – many comments about it, and a couple of PMs confirming she’s a weird person.  So, today I get another PM but it goes to my “message request” folder.  So, I open it and it’s another confirmation about the weird woman, but also it says we have mutual friends and that we all knew each other, followed by “and I rolled out on a bed in Start at the Top.”  So, after all these years, she found me, Linda did.  I think at some point she changed her last name to Lyons because I think that’s how she was billed in one of those Grease tours, which she happened to do with a fellow named Steve Yudson, who was one of the Dancing Dildos.  I’ve responded and hope to catch up whenever she responds.

Yesterday was a day.  I got seven-and-a-half hours of sleep, realized the helper wasn’t going to get to me until two and therefore that the books probably wouldn’t go out as I wished, so I went to the mail place to pick up the package that came yesterday, then I decided to have a dining adventure, called Casa Vega, ordered a beef taco and two cheese enchiladas, and ten minutes later picked them up and then came right home and ate it all up and boy was it great.  Nobody makes a better beef taco and frankly I don’t know that I’ve ever had a better cheese enchilada.

After that, I did Kritzerland show stuff – we’re playing things by ear now but still hope that things are calm enough by Sunday to do the show – I really don’t want to push it because I think people could use a little ninety-minute break, but we’ll just have to see.  Two of the three events that were also happening night are not doing it, so we’d be it.  But if it doesn’t feel right, we’ll push it to the following Thursday or Friday but not beyond that.  If you have thoughts on this, please share.

I had some telephonic conversations, got a refund for one of several errant and truant packages, the helper came and took all the signed books, and then I just did some work on the computer and at the piano.  Oh, and I DoorDashed Baskin-Robbins – two hand-packed small things – pistachio almond and Rocky Road.  I had a little of both and I must say the pistachio almond was amazing.  Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a bit of the new transfer of When a Stranger Calls – the older Blu-ray wasn’t very good – old transfer and sharing a disc with another movie.  This new transfer is fantastic looking and a major improvement in every way.  The disc also contains the sequel, done many years later in 1993, reuniting Carol Kane and Charles Durning, and also starring Jill Schoelen, who I adore.  For those who don’t remember, she did a Kritzerland show when we were at The Federal.  Same director, too, and same composer.  The first twenty minutes plays similarly to the original film – new babysitter tormented and that’s pretty good.  Then we flash forward a few years and basically get the Kane and Durning show, since the sitter, now older, is being tormented again.  But sadly, it just gets sillier and sillier and dissolves into nothingness.  One of the things that makes the original work so well is that the villain is interesting.  Here, the villain is just laughable, and it basically kills the movie dead in its tracks.  But I’m glad to have seen it.  There was a 2006 remake of the original film that sounds absolutely dreadful.

After that, I finally got around to watching the Blu-ray of Disney’s Return to Oz.  When this film was released, it received bad reviews and did no business at all.  But I really liked it back then.  I found the first twenty or twenty-five minutes very moving – what followed was a little weird, but it redeemed itself by the end, and the fact that it had a brilliant musical score by David Shire really helped disguise many problems.  I haven’t seen it all the way through since – I usually just watch that first twenty minutes or so.  The transfer is terrific as is the sound.  Of course, we released the soundtrack on Bay Cities back in the day and it was quite successful. The first part is as good as ever.  But once the fantasy or dream section begins it really does get tedious because the characters just don’t have the impact of the tin man, the scarecrow, and the cowardly lion – in fact, they’re quite annoying.  Jean Marsh is fun and so is Nicol Williamson, but there are moments that are way too scary for kids, and the whole thing just goes on to long.  Once Dorothy returns to Kansas the film gets back on sure footing for its final ten minutes.  But oh that score – magnificent.

After that, I had a long telephonic conversation, then listened to music, and here we are.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, hopefully all the books will ship out (I will stay on top of it until I know they have), I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, then do Kritzerland show stuff and whatever else needs doing.  Then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same. If we feel that Sunday is going to work, then on Thursday we’ll do the first of our three live tests on Facebook Live.  I’m really hoping we don’t have to push the show for the reasons you know.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, make sure the books have all shipped, eat, hopefully pick up packages, do Kritzerland show stuff, then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have finally found – well, been found – by Linda.

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