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July 15, 2020:

MEATLESS NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to Toscanini have his way with Prokofiev’s first symphony, which I actually just typed as Prokofiev’s fist symphony – that would be a whole other kind of symphony and let’s just leave it at that, shall we?  It’s quite a performance and the mono sound, unlike many of the discs in this big set, is really excellent.  Otherwise, I’m just relaxing, after writing the first third of the August Kritzerland show commentary, so that’s coming along nicely.  What else can I tell you before I get into the meat of the notes?  The Meat of the Notes – that’s the title of my next novel.  So, what if one is a vegetarian?  One simply cannot get into the meat of the notes if one is a vegetarian, can one?  Maybe it would have to be getting into the impossible notes, or the beyond notes.  This is getting a little too obtuse for even me, frankly.  What, now we’re having vegetarian notes?  Certainly, that would make dear reader Jane happy.  I still have not had the inclination to try a beyond impossible burger – some swear by it, but I suspect I would swear AT it.  But enough about fist symphonies and meatless impossible beyond notes.

Yesterday was a perfectly innocuous day, with a few highlights and no real lowlights.  I got seven hours of sleep.  Once up, I answered e-mails, did stuff that needed doing, and then had a fun Zoom session with two of our performers who’ll be doing a duet. After that, the meal o’ the day arrived from a new jernt called Daughter’s Deli, which is owned by the daughter of the Langer’s owner.  I was originally going to order a pastrami with cole slaw and Russian dressing, but I changed my mind at the last minute and had the turkey version of the sandwich, which has turkey instead of pastrami, which is why it’s called the turkey version of that sandwich.  It’s turkey, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, and Russian dressing.  I also ordered potato pancakes.  The sandwich was, simply put, one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten – absolutely superb.  The potato pancakes were half the size of the Langer’s potato pancakes but were every bit as good – there were three, so it was like eating one and a quarter of what you’d have at Langer’s.  I was a very happy diner is what I was.

After that satisfying repast, I did some Kritzerland show stuff and was able to get the track for the first of the group numbers (already got them the track for the second), so that was good.  And I began writing the commentary, just getting the first part done.  Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching the Blu-ray of The Music Man.  And I just loved every minute of it.  Robert Preston is, of course, definitive, but I can’t really say enough how wonderful Shirley Jones is – so real, so warm, but tough and funny when she needs to be.  And I REALLY can’t say enough about Meredith Willson’s plot and dialogue – it’s just genius, actually.  There are so many great laughs and the cast lands every single one of them.  I so remember in the theater how huge the laughs were.  One of my favorites is after Marian has agreed to meet Harold at the footbridge.  She stands for a moment in the front yard, mesmerized, then realizes what she’s agreed to and cries out “Mama!”  Pert Kelton is out the front door like a shot, yelling, “What?”  She tells her she’s agreed to meet Harold at the footbridge, and mama thanks the saints and says, “I’ve been using the think system on you from the parlor.”  Of course, Pert Kelton delivers it flawlessly.  The ending is wonderful, and I especially love that director Morton Da Costa has a curtain call at the end – and everyone got applause at every showing of the film I attended, and I attended a LOT of showings.  The shame, of course, is the Blu-ray, which is terrible, and which got inexplicable rave reviews even while the reviewers were acknowledging it was brown.  It’s not only brown, it’s yellow and brown, as if everyone had jaundice.  This film, photographed by the great Robert Burks in Technirama, was eye-poppingly gorgeous in the IB Technicolor prints.  This thing is a pale reflection of what it should look like and if Warner Bros. has a lick of sense, they’ll restore this film from the Technirama negative – then every “reviewer” who gave it a rave should be forced to apologize for not having any idea what films should actually look like.  But that’s another story for another day.  Give this film, this crown jewel, the love and respect it deserves.

After that, I remembered I was supposed to watch a free streaming documentary about Kaye Ballard, so I came in about thirty minutes late.  The hour I saw was very entertaining and enjoyable, certainly, but it’s not a great documentary and it ends rather abruptly.  Still, I loved Kaye the few times we worked together, and we had a blast in the studio.  She was a real treasure.

After that, I sat on the couch again, this time watching the new Criterion Blu-ray of War of the Worlds, the original film, not the terrible remake.  This thing has gotten the raves of all time, so I was expecting the second coming.  Well, it wasn’t the second coming and one should learn to never have expectations when reading online comments and reviews.  It’s a bit step up from previous home video releases, yes, but while the color is fine, there’s little grain that I can see and believe me this film is filled with opticals and there would be grain.  So, for me, the image looks a bit flat and lifeless.  IB Tech prints popped right off the screen and this doesn’t quite achieve that.  I always enjoy the film, but it’s so obvious why Gene Barry never had much of a film career.  He was perfect for TV, but he’s just a stick on the big screen.  It was fun to see it again – it had been a very long time since the last time I watched it.

After that, I wrote commentary and the rest you know.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll eat, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll finish writing the commentary, do whatever needs doing, and then watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same and then on Friday I have three short Zoom sessions to do.  I’m not sure what the weekend holds – we shall see.

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, eat, hopefully pick up packages, finish writing the commentary, do whatever needs doing, and 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, where I shall dream of meatless notes.

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