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November 6, 2020:

THE HARY JANOS SUITE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to more Szell, this time Kodaly’s marvelous Hary Janos Suite.  Very evocative and colorful, I must say and have said.  Otherwise, I’ve had just a handful of warm tortilla chips with melted cheese (and a few onions thrown in for good measure), very tasty and just to curb a little hunger pang.  Hunger pangs are very annoying until they are satisfied.  I tried a few little carrot things but that’s like eating nothing and the hunger pangs are having none of it.  They want things like a handful of chips, cheese, and onions.  I ask you, where else on all the Internet can you get such interesting factoids?  Nowhere, that’s where.  Next time I stay at a hotel I think I’ll ask for the Hary Janos Suite.  What else can I tell you?  Well, I can tell you that Doug Haverty called and asked me to direct a one-act for a Group Rep holiday festival. Of course, they will be on the Internet and therefore filmed.  He told me they were all written by company members, so I asked who wrote the one he wanted me to direct and he said he wrote it, so I said yes without even reading it.  He sent it to me, and it’s a sweet, short piece of about seventeen minutes.  The filming part interests me, of course, because I know how to do that and so that will be fun.  But it’s coming up very fast so I have to figure out my schedule so I can rehearse and block out filming days.  It comes right as we’re preparing the December Kritzerland show and in fact airs the night before we do.  But I’m trying to get a jump on Kritzerland and get as much of that done early as possible.  I still have several songs to choose and then we’ll start turning out the tracks.  As long as we get the rehearsals out of the way sooner than later, this will all be fine.  Casting, much to my surprise, is this Saturday.  So, that’s good in a way, as she of the Evil Eye will be here and there’s no Jerry’s Deli to go to.  It’s only a four-character playlet so it probably won’t be too hard to cast.  And during all this, Richard Allen will be creating charts and tracks for project one.  So, a busy end of November and December, for which I’m very grateful.

Yesterday was a completely fascinating day.  I was up at ten after seven hours of sleep, answered e-mails, re-recorded a song until I finally got the damn notes right, and then it was time for my noon o’clock telephonic call with Chris Gilmore aka Annette Ferra, who turned out to be a most delightful human and we had a wonderful hour-long chat about her involvement with Lolita, My Love, the real story about why she left the show after the one and only Philadelphia performance, some fun and colorful stories about the show and its creative team.  We’re going to do a Backstage at Kritzerland interview with her – that’s the umbrella title for this interview series I’m going to do – so, that will be fun.  We lamented that our release doesn’t have her on it, as she has nothing from the show at all.  And it turned out that we had many people in common.  It was a happy ninety minutes.

After that, I was hungry, so I pre-heated the oven to 400-degrees and made my second Regina pepperoni pizza.  It really only took six minutes to heat properly, I sliced it and ate it all up and it was every bit as good as the first one.  And 900 calories.  After that, I had to re-record another song because I’d neglected to print out all its pages and missed a little four-line verse.  Then I moseyed on over to the mail place and picked up one package, then came home.

I had a most delightful telephonic conversation with dear reader Jeanne, then I did some clean-up work on project one, catching typos and spacing problems and then I took a deep breath and sent it to someone who’ll be involved – I hope the reaction is good.  But re-reading it, I was still very pleased with all of it and that’s a good sign and we’ll take all the good signs we can.  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, for me one of his greatest films and one of my all-time favorite films ever.  It’s so beautifully written, with the best dialogue – brilliant, really – and so perfectly directed.  What Hitchcock knew better than any other director, I think, was how to INVOLVE the audience in the story and characters by camera placement, angles, and moves – it’s breathtaking to watch, actually.  Add to that an absolutely phenomenal performance by Joseph Cotton as Uncle Charlie and an equally winning performance by Teresa Wright, and then the spectacular other players, especially Patricia Collinge, who is heartbreaking, Henry Travers, a great character actor, Hume Cronyn, hilarious as a murder aficiando, the two young actors, and everyone else.  It’s simply a stunning achievement and I never tire of it.  And would you like to know how many Oscar nominations it received?  One.  One.  For story.  Not for the brilliant screenplay by Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, and Alma Reville (Mrs. Hitchock), no, for story.  That’s it.  How Joseph Cotton didn’t get a best actor nomination is, well, ridiculous. But Mickey Rooney got one for The Human Comedy.  Go know.  The transfer is mostly fine – not perfect, but almost nothing in this set was perfect.  Anyway, I loved seeing it again.

Then I made my tortilla chips, listened to music – now playing, Lieutenant Kije by Prokofiev, a great performance of it, I must say, maybe the best I’ve heard.  And now, the Bruckner eighth symphony.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll pray for light and sanity as I have since Tuesday, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll bank, I’ll eat – not sure what, though – could do two frozen dinner things, could do Casa Vega and if there’s anything to celebrate that’s probably what I’ll do, then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow will be a casting session that will probably take a few hours.  Since I’m in that neighborhood, I might just stop at the local Chinese jernt if it’s open and get some food to go.  I could also go to the Coral Café and have something fun or any number of other jernts around there, including the Smoke House.  We shall see.  Then I’ll come home and attend to the last minute details for Sunday’s Kritzerland show.

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, pray for light and sanity, do whatever needs doing, hopefully pick up packages, eat, then watch, listen, and relax.  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, the last of the Szell stuff, after which I move on to the complete orchestral works of Samuel Barber.  Blu-ray, will have to find something fun.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping to wake up to light and sanity and then immediately book a stay in the Hary Janos Suite.

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