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August 10, 2020:

KRITZERLAND AT HOME 108

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, Kritzerland at Home 108 was quite the show and I really could not have been happier. First of all, between Facebook and YouTube it was our highest attended show.  We had up to 86 people on YouTube and Facebook we hovered at around 64 for most of the night.  It was not the easiest show to put together, but it all came out splendidly.  The large cast all did brilliantly, every single one.  There were many highlights, including Karen Ziemba’s heartfelt My Coloring Book, Debbie Gravitte’s life-affirming Life Is, Karen Mason’s knock your socks off Colored Lights, Brent Barrett’s delightful All I Care About is Love, and Kerry O’Malley and Jennifer Simard in the evening’s funniest and cleverest bit of legerdemain.  We had an early Zoom rehearsal for that one, to make sure everyone was on the exact same page.  Because Kerry was here and Jennifer was on the East Coast, we needed it to look like they were in the same space at the same time.  We had to make sure their eyelines matched perfectly.  We had to make sure they each knew exactly what the other was doing.  Once all that was in place, Jennifer shot her half first, in front of a green screen.  Then Kerry and her hubby Karl, who does all her marvelous backgrounds, shot Kerry’s half and Kerry was able to hear Jennifer’s performance in her earpiece.  She’d also seen it and so knew what her reactions had to be.  Then Karl had to find a kitchen “set” that worked spatially with what had been shot – that was harder than you might suppose.  But the result was fantastic.  When I first saw it, I yelped with surprise and pleasure and laughed from start to finish.  And until I revealed that they were in different cities, no one had a clew.  Other highlights from the core cast: Kerry’s So What, one of my favorite theater songs EVER, Robert’s beautiful performance of the put-together, Why Should I Wake Up and Sometimes a Day Goes By – I was very happy with the way they went together and he did a gorgeous job of it, as he did with his other songs.  Sami Staitman socking home Sing Happy, a really difficult song.  Adrienne Stiefel doing a stunning A Quiet Thing, Hartley Powers powerful Yes, and Peyton Kirkner opening the show with her irrepressible and wonderful Willkommen and then her Kander and Ebb What If.  But everything came off terrifically.  Richard Allen did a great job on piano, and we had some guest pianists, too – Michael Orland, Chris Denny, and Tom Griep.  Doug Haverty co-produced, as always, and Hartley did a stellar and unbelievable job putting everything together and making it all go without a hitch, which is what I’m most proud of with our shows.  And, of course, others who are attempting to do what we’re doing are now trying to do as we do – they figure out some, but not all of it.  I think we’re kind of the poster child for how to do these.

Prior to the show, I’d gotten over nine hours of sleep.  Once up, I did a few things on the computer, but mostly just relaxed right up to show time.  After the show, arriving perfectly at 7:00, I treated myself to a medium pepperoni pizza from a local jernt I hadn’t tried and it was pretty good, I thought, good enough to polish off the entire pizza.  That said, the slices were very small two-bite affairs, so hopefully it wasn’t too damaging, because the real damaging came later, which I’ll get to in a moment.  After pizza, I lumbered to the den area and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching the Body Heat extras, and then I began watching The Poseidon Adventure – don’t ask me why.  It looks great but the script is pretty poor, and the poor actors all have one-beat characters and no variety in their scenes, which is always the problem with these Irwin Allen-type things.  Still, it’s enjoyable and I’ll finish it up tonight.

After that, I did a quick Gelson’s run but to the Studio City branch, hoping they had their excellent rice pudding.  They did not.  So, instead I got some Entenmann’s chocolate donuts and some Swiss Vanilla Almond ice cream, came home and had a donut with some ice cream on top and it was great.  If the pizza wasn’t TOO damaging, this put the damage over the top.  I’ll be a good boy this entire upcoming week.

Then I relaxed and listened to music, mostly John Barry’s Body Heat and two compilation albums of his themes.

Today, no time for a ME day, I must be up by eleven, continue choosing songs and gathering music and getting it to singers, I have to find out whether two of the guest asks are going to happen or not so I can move on to others if they aren’t, although I’m hoping they will.  I just have to assign the songs for our core cast and get that out of the way.  It’s daunting always, especially for the anniversary show, which, this time around, is going to have some highlights from past shows and some new stuff – the highlights are easy and some of those are already chosen, but it’s the new stuff that’s hard.  I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something light, I’ll probably have to deal with some unpleasantness, and then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week will be more of the same, just trying, like everybody else, to hang on and survive during this crazy time.  I’m hoping to get the 24-bit Sandy Bainum tracks and then we’ll figure out how that’s all going to work.  But mostly it’s all figuring out the anniversary show, and I do have to settle on the date – the first Sunday is Labor Day and I’d kind of like to do that, but the second Sunday may be better and easier.  We shall see.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by eleven, continue choosing songs and trying to lock down the rest of our guests, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, hope that the unpleasantness isn’t too unpleasant, then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What were your favorite things in last night’s Kritzerland show?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a wonderful Kritzerland at Home 108.

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