K.L.'s Bog: A Diary of Artful Things

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NEW YEARS DAY
2020

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020 - This will be a critical year for Ev erything




WHAT I DIDN'T DO ON MY WINTER HOLIDAY BREAK:
My Music

There were a lot of things I had planned to take out over this long break from the rent-payer. There are several excursions from 2019 that still need recounting: the trip to New York City in May to see To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, as well as the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof, and my stop into The Met. There was Paul McCartney in Lexington a few weeks later, as well as some other cool things on that trip. There was my annual attendance at FutureFest at the Dayton Playhouse. And there was the Indianapolis Zoo toward the end of the summer. I also had plans to catch up on lots of TV. I still have to finish season 3 of Stranger Things and season 3 of Santa Clarita Diet. And now there's all of season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel that I want to watch; plus several other shows I've wanting to hook into. Of course, I also had plans to get back to the play manuscript. A small amount was done on the script, but not much. So, essentially, my plans for the break did not pan out, because I got distracted.

If you've followed this silly blog recently you'll know that last week I wrote and recorded a Christmas rock ballad, "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas," and that I decided after it was originally posted that I needed to re-record parts of it, to get the version linked in this paragraph. Being on a roll, I have began another song, a rocker that at this point I have all, or most, of the rhythm tracks recorded. I actually don't have lyrics yet, or even a melody for said song. I had a couple initial ideas for words but I abandoned them as the rhythm section took shape.

K.L. on Bass
The rocker, with the working title of "New Short Rocker," initiated something new for me as a bass player (which, of course, I am only now after a few decades in hiatus). I bought a capo, which is that little bar that you may have seen affixed across the fret board on the neck of a guitar. It changes the pitch of the open strings on the guitar. By using it I was able to fret some bass chords up high on the neck to do a really good job of impersonating a regular six-string rhythm guitar. I recorded two separate chorded bass parts that way.

There's also a song I wrote back in the late 70s that I can use the capo on. Back then I did something crazy; I tuned my D string up to an A, the A just a step up from the G string. I am surprised the damned D string didn't snap. With the capo I can get the same affect on the D string without risking damage. I only put the capo across the E, A, and D string, but not the G string (since I don't use the E and A strings in the song, those having the capo on them doesn't matter). I tried it when I got home from the music store the other day with the capo, and it works.

As for my "rhythm guitars" for the new rocker I'm working on, I am absolutely happy with the results. Along with the actual, regular bass line, the drum tracks, and the keyboards I've already laid down, I like what I have. I can't say when the song will be done, though I would guess it will be sooner rather than later. I'm also not sure that I will put this one out there as readily. I may hold off. I may not be publishing the new music so quickly on a regular basis. There are two new ones out there, right now. That may be it for a little while. I may share the new music privately, but not publicly, not until there's maybe a collection of, oh say, ten or so....... cool smile icon

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Sat, Jan 11, 2020

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My Music
Song number 3 in progress
I'm still working on the third new song. As I wrote in the last post, I have all, or most, of the rhythm backing done. Now I need to put in vocals, and for that I need lyrics. Last night I finally started the lyrics, though not much progress was made. I have already partially composed some of the melody lines in my head, especially for the chorus section, I just don't have many words, yet.

I also need to add the solo work and I have, again, composed some of it in my head; now let's see if I can translate that to my fingers. But I do have a strong direction for the solo work. Last night I did some production experimenting to see if I can get the sort of effects on the solo work that I want. I can, so that's good.


Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON
A new class series for the Ohio Playwrights Circle is in progress and I will be there as a reader. I have schedule myself for all sessions through the last on February 15, except for next week, where I have a scheduling conflict.

There will be a public reading on Sunday, February 16, at The Guild, and I will most likely be one of the actors. The reading will, of course, feature work from the just-concluded course.



Mon, Jan 13, 2020

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My Music
Song number 3 in progress
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The "studio" setup in the corner of a room in my little abode.
Last night I laid down harmonic solo work on the unfinished song with the working title of "New Short Rocker."

More production tricks were involved. I played a main solo on my bass, high up on the neck, still employing the capo for both this and then the harmonic counter solo that I also recorded. That was again high up on my bass neck. I migrated the tracks from my Tascam DP-03 digital 8-track recorder onto my new Macbook Pro and into Final Cut Pro X. There, besides adding some distortion type effects to both tracks, I also processed them up an octave so they now sound like regular electric guitar licks.

I still only have the barest of a beginning on lyrics, but I have some concepts materializing in my brain. My idea for melody, especially for the chorus, has not altered. I'm still shooting for words to match what has already been gestating.


Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON The Writer icon Final Draft 11 icon

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The "Dramatic" reader.
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Stuart Spencer on Skype.

Saturday, I did the dramatic reading for the playwrights in the latest session of playwriting classes by the Ohio Playwrights Circle. It's always nice to lend a voice to new words for a playwright. I only played a character in one work; for the others I read for, I was the narrator, i.e.: I slated thise scripts and read the necessary directions during the performance.

Also, during the class time there was a guest, via Skype, the playwright, Stuart Spencer, who is the author of The Playwright's Guidebook, which is the textbook Michael London has been using for playwriting classes for the last decade. Stuart spoke to the room for about a half hour. Of the things he shared, what stuck out to me was his discussion of how all the dialogue should have action -- which, I believe could be translated to that dialogue should be somehow connected to the characters' wants or needs. I do believe I'll be picking up Mr. Spencer's book.



Wed, Jan 15, 2020

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My Music
Song number 3 in progress
I hate to be redundant but I'm still working on that third new song. The big sticking point is lyrics. I have started three sets of lyrics but all have felt wrong. I think thematically I've been in the ballpark of what I feel needs to partner with the music, yet I've not been satisfied with what I've written thus far.

My last attempt started with a word game where I systematically scavenged a dictionary to get semi-random word choices for a list. Then I tried using that list to spark a set of lyrics. That sort of game has worked for me in the past, for both lyrics and for prose fiction; it did not work this time.


PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon
It's also time to break the hiatus and get back to work on the latest draft of my play manuscript. I haven't worked on it for a few weeks now. I should get back to it. The procrastination comes from being at a difficult spot in the ending with a problem I don't know how to solve. Rather than getting in there and trying things, I've been putting off getting in there.

But, I'd like to have another table read before spring, so I need to get a move on. Probably ought to set a date for the table read, or at least a deadline to finish this draft.



Sun, Jan 19, 2020

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MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo
NOPE ICON
Copyright © Symbol icon

Thus far, this season, my batting average for getting clearance to use dialogue from the scripts in the promocasts for the plays has been a gigantic 0. The losing streak continues with Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting. I never received a response from either the playwright nor his agent to multiple attempts to contact them requesting said permission. That clearly means that once again there will not be a need for a special shoot with the actors specifically acting chosen moments for the camera. Principal photography will again be shot during dress/tech rehearsals with me getting candid shots from the sidelines, which will then be used MOS (no sound) with music under the footage. Of course, that's not my favorite way to do it, but, what-a-ya-gonna-do?


My Music
Song number 3 in progress
"New Short Rocker" is such a simple little ditty, why the hell can't I write a decent set of lyrics to it? I've been making the attempts, but nothing that has come to me has fit.

I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for anything that will spark the right flame, whether it's a concept, or a strong title idea, or some catchy phrase, anything that will jumpstart inspiration.

I'm thinking I may want to put this in the background, still being vigilant about it, but meanwhile, move onto to song #4. I think I may be digging back into the past to a song I wrote with my old music collaborator, Rich Hisey, a song we wrote together over forty years ago.

Jesus!: "Over forty years ago!"

Lost Weekend No.1
VACATION: NEW YORK IN MAY
It's About Damn Time! -- with frowning eyes graphic

First things, first: let me point out that this is K.L.'s Blog: A Diary of Artful Things. This isn't a news blog, or any sort of news-oriented web page. The expedience of getting the information out as soon as possible doesn't have the same import here as it would were this a news-reporting site. On the other hand, it's difficult to argue that recounting now, in January of 2020, a weekend in May of 2019 might be pushing it greatly in the opposite direction from timeliness. It's taken more than a half year; what can I say? Then I also have just missed my last goal to post this on December 31, because I got caught up in making music over my winter holiday break (see the January 1 post, above.) But, here I am now.

Finally. So, let's get started.

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My seat at The Shubert: Right Orchestra, Row H, Seat 8.
The Sorkin Mockingbird, was the impetus for the trek to New York City last May. The other NYC events were add-ons. It was a year ago that I saw the significant ad for the Broadway production, I believe on facebook. I am a member of a couple of fan groups for The West Wing and I'm pretty sure one of the other members posted a promotion for the play with a "tickets are now available for May" message. A fellow Dayton theatre person had already gone to see it, in Previews, I believe. She raved about it. I'd also read a couple glowing reviews, both referred to from fan group members. I thought to myself, You keep telling yourself you should break your Broadway cherry; you might as well do it with this one. On January 6, 2019, I went on-line and bought the best seat available at the Shubert for the Saturday matinee on May 11: Right Orchestra, Row H, Seat 8. After fees and taxes, it was a $439.75 ticket.

Then, because it was much cheaper than I was anticipating it to be, I booked a room in the Theatre District at the Belvedere Hotel on 48th Street. It ended up being a $964 bill for three nights, tax, parking, and other fees. That was, seriously, less than I would have guessed for a down-town weekend stay in New York City.

Then, I started plotting other things to do, other shows to see. But first, let's deal with Mockingbird:

Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - a new play by Aaron Sorkin, starring Jeff Daniels, at The Shubert in New York City

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View out my window at the Belvedere
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The New York Professional Performing Arts School, right across the street from the Belvedere.
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Front of The Shubert
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Jeff Daniels: nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor
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Mockingbird attendees in Shubert Alley.
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The famous Sardi's, almost directly across 44th Street from the Shubert.
Mockingbird entrance.
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The Barriers set around the stage door at The Shubert.
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My playbill with cast autographs.
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The cerimonial vacation ice cream -- this time from Ben & Jerry's.
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My Blackbird actor's script, signed by Jeff Daniels.
The day after the performance, whilst still using my Belvedere hotel room as my base of operations, I wrote the following for the May 12, 2019 blog post:
In a nutshell, making the trip and spending the money to see this script performed by these actors was worth it. At curtain call the audience gave a standing ovation. Often when that happens, I don't stand. Such audience response needs to be earned, not by "good" work, but by extraordinary work. I stood. Sometimes the Standing O is appropriate.
I don't get to a lot of theatre productions with screenstars on stage. I have seen William Petersen on stage three times in Chicago, once at Victory Gardens (which we'll talk about later), then twice, after that, at steppenwolf. I also saw Sandra Oh at Victory Gardens, but must admit, I had not seen any of her screen work at the time, including Grey's Anatomy. I also saw Corbin Bleu in Michael Slades's Family Shots, here, locally, at the Human Race Theatre Company; but, again, I had not remembered seeing Corbin on screen, in the High School Musical franchise, which I definitely had not seen, nor in anything else from his screen résumé (though I'm betting I have seen some of his screenwork and just haven't made the connection). My point in mentioning this is that I have both read and have heard first hand accounts from those I know, of famous, fine screen actors who are not adept at stage work, and who have been disappointing in the latter. All the people I've mentioned here gave strong performances when I saw them on stage.

The Mockingbird Broadway cast was rife with screen veterans. Of course, there was Jeff Daniels in the role of Atticus. There were also other familiar faces to me, one of the other two most prominent to me being Frederick Weller, who's done a lot of great screen work, but will always have a fond spot in my heart as Mar. Marshall Mann on In Plain Sight. There was also Dakin Matthews, a fine veteran actor for decades who, unless you just don't watch TV or go to the movies, you have seen do some fine work. As much I've seen him over the years, I most associate him with his role of Headmaster Charleston in Gilmore Girls. In Mockingbird, Weller was Bob Ewell, Matthews was Judge Taylor.

Another actor who was quite familiar to me was Phyllis Somerville, who, again, has been on a lot of TV shows and in a lot of movies, but whom I remember the most for her performance as Det. Diane Russell's abused and fragile mother on a few episodes of NYPD Blue. Somerville played Mrs. Dubose in Mockingbird, the mean neighbor who riles Scout and Jem Finch, especially Jem.

Since this was a Broadway, Equity production, virtually, if not wholly, every actor in the playbill has an IMdB page. But these are all clearly actors equally skilled at stagework as they are at camera work. This was a strong cast, all the way around. Because of the controversial licensing debacle that hit not long after I had bought my B'Way ticket, the Dayton Playhouse had the limited opportunity to mount this Sorkin script, last fall, as a gesture from the Broadway producers who had instigated the blocking of DPH from mounting the orginal script in the late winter of 2019. Click here for more detailed writing by me on this particular fiasco. For the record, on the off chance you click and read that piece, I later came to believe that pretty much none of the blame falls on the Broadway producer, Scott Rudin, who was originally seen as the major bad guy in the story.

I mention the DPH Mockingbird here because I attended the local mounting of the Sorkin script and found it a worthy production that did the script justice. But several times I was asked to compare the Dayton Playhouse production to the Broadway one, a comparison I refused to give, because it would not be a fair fight between the two. There were several stellar performances in the DPH production, to be sure, but the Broadway production was a Class-A professional production where the producers had a rich pool of amazing career actors to cast from, and it was mounted by the highly skilled director Bartlett Sher, and utilized highly skilled designers, etc, etc.

Jeff Daniels was exactly as fantastic as one would expect him to be, so there was no surprise there. In case you haven't heard, however, the buzz has all been about the stand-out performance by Celia Keenan-Bolger in the role of Scout Finch. I am here to tell you that the buzz was dead-on correct. She was amazing! Hers was absolutely one of the best performances I have ever seen on a stage; it may be the best I've ever seen. And here's the part that I love, love, love:

I got to tell a Tony-award-winning actor that her Tony-award-winning performance was fantastic and amazing, before she won that Tony award for that performance!!

Keenan-Bolger was 41 years old when I saw her in May of last year, yet she spent the significant portion of the two-and-a-half hours as a twelve-year-old and she more than simply sold herself as the childhood Scout, she embodied the youthful Scout with such skill and acumen. It was a brilliant performance that will stay with me. I was in awe of her work, and am to this day. That she is a petite woman doesn't hurt, but it was her limber physicality and her savvy ability to exude youth in her persona that locked the performance.

LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who has a couple other impressive Broadway credits, was also quite strong as Calpurnia, a role that Sorkin has made more prominent than she was in the original playscript or in the screenplay. Sorkin made her the African-American voice of the story in a deeply relevant manner, and Ms. Jackson was up to the task, landing an impactful performance.

Dakin Matthews' Judge Taylor was fun, especially his bemusement at some of the ridiculousness from the young prosecuting attorney, (Stark Sands). Frederick Weller was disturbing as the ignorant, menacing, racist Bob Ewell; suffice to say that, that was not Marshall Mann on that stage. Just the whole cast was great. There was not a week performance in the Broadway production. So let's just repeat ourselves here:
In a nutshell, making the trip and spending the money to see this script performed by these actors was worth it.
Of course, I hung out at the stage door after the matinée to get my playbill signed. The very first actor out was Dakin Matthews, and, by-the-way, the only actor who signed my playbill with his full name, I might add. Dakin was quite nice. The rest gave autographs that were initials: Gbenga Akinnagbe (Tom Robinson), Stark Sands (Horace Gilmer), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Calpurnia), and Celia Keenan-Bolger (Scout). All of them were very gracious. Ms. Keenan-Bolger was especially gracious. She was so appreciative of the good words about her brilliant performance.

One actor who did not come out was Frederick Weller (Bob Ewell). I later was told by someone that they had read that he was not coming out because of the negative response to Ewell being such a bastard. But, that is the only account of that I have so, take it for what it's worth, though it could make sense. I would have loved to have met him and gave him some positive response on his work, because, his Ewell was a bastard, just as he was supposed to be.

The other actor who did not come out after the matinée performance was Mr. Daniels. Beyond the fact that it's Jeff Daniels, the other reason I was disappointed was that I had in mind getting his autograph on something other than the Mockingbird playbill.

In August of 2009, I went to Chicago to see the David Harrower play Blackbird at the Victory Gardens, with William Petersen in the role of Ray. It blew me away. Everything about it blew me away: Harrower's script, the performances by Petersen and his co-star Mattie Hawkinson. I left the theatre that day promising myself that I was going to do that show, one way or another. It took a couple years, but in April of 2011 Blackbird went up for a weekend at The Guild with myself in the role of Ray and Heather Atkinson opposite me in the role of Una. Natasha Randall directed. Thus far it has been one of my favorite theatre experiences, one of the best I've ever had.

On the Equity stage, the first actor to play Ray in America was Jeff Daniels. He's, in fact, been in two productions of Blackbird, both in New York. First in 2007 at the Manhatten Theatre Club with Alison Pill (The Newsroom). Nine years later in 2016 he did it on Broadway at the Belasco, opposite Michelle Williams. Daniels wrote an essay in the New York Times, titled "Jeff Daniels on the Terror of Returning to ‘Blackbird'" about returning to the role.

When I knew I was going to see him in Mockingbird and then found out that he did indeed come out of the stage door to sign autographs, I knew I was taking my Blackbird actor's script to have him sign -- so it went into the suitcase for the trip.

But then, after the May 11th matinée, Jeff didn't come out to give autographs. I decided I'd drop by after the matinée, the next day, to try again. Only one problem: I realized, I had another show to get to on Sunday with a 6:00 curtain. The Sunday Mockingbird wouldn't get to final curtain until just about 5:30. It would be at least another fifteen minutes before Jeff or anyone else even would come out of the stage door. The theatre I needed to get to was a ten-minute walk away. It was clear that I risked not making that 6:00 curtain. I didn't want to risk it.

I had a ticket to see Curse of the Starving Class, by Sam Shepard that evening of the 11th, at the Signature Theatre, (just a block down the street from where I would be 6:00 next evening). Though I really wanted to see Curse of the Starving Class, getting the Blackbird script signed by Jeff was more important to me. I sacrificed Curse for another chance at getting Jeff's autograph.

In the evening of the 11th, I walked back down to the Shubert Theatre area to be at the stage door in plenty of time before the evening performance ended. Time Square is just down the street; I had some time to kill before the evening Mockingbird was over, so I walked around Time Square. I also took the opportunity to get my cerimonial vacation ice cream at Ben & Jerry's, pretty much across 44th from the Shubert.

Around 9:30 or so, about an hour before the show would end, intermittent light spinkles of rain began. Ahh, shit! I thought, It's gonna be raining when the show let's out and none of the actors are going to want to come out and sign anything! This damn sporadic, tease of a threat of rain kept insinuating itself and agitating the hell out of me.

However, somewhere around 10:45, it wasn't raining as cast members started to come out. Once again, as in the afternoon, Dakin Matthews was the first actor out. When he came around to me and reached for my script, I said, "I actually got you this afternoon."

"Oh, okay."

"But, I'm sure you were just as brillant this evening as you were this afternoon."

Dakin chuckled, then softly said, "Well, I don't know, I'm pretty tired."

Finally, Mr. Jeff Daniels came out of the stage door. He was pretty reserved. I got the sense that perhaps he's a little uncomfortable with this autograph-giving thing.

When he got to me I handed him the Blackbird script and said, "You and I have a role in common."

Now, I didn't expect him to invite me out for coffee to discuss the journey of playing Ray, but I was hoping for a little bit of a reaction, of a recognition that we had both had the opportunity to play a difficult role with an odd sort of moral ambiguity to it. He did not acknowledge at all that he even recognized the script. I was a little disheartened. I had gotten my hopes up -- so that's on me. He certainly wasn't out of line. I'd just hoped for a little moment, a little connection that didn't happen.

But, hey! Jeff Daniels signed my Blackbird script!

So YaY!


FIDDLER ON THE ROOF in Yiddish - at Stage 42 in New York City

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Fiddler on the street.
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My Yiddish Fiddler seat: 5 rows back, 3 in from the aisle.
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Bruce Sabath and me, back stage after the show. Me, still wearing my Narrator's beard for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
As I was planning my trip, it occurred to me that my old cast mate, Bruce Sabath was playing Leyzer-Volf (Lazar Wolf) in the Off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, in Yiddish, and that he was also understudy for Tevya. I looked up that show; tickets ran about $100. I was already dropping well over $1500, so I messaged Bruce to say that if I could figure out how to work it into my budget, I was coming to see his show.

Bruce messaged back for me to hold off getting a ticket, that he could probably get me a staff discount ticket. So, despite the fact that I'd already scouted out a couple really sweet seats open on the 12th, I weighed that against the discount, which turned out to be a better discount than I'd anticipated. I went with the discount because, really, with only 499 seats, the venue, Stage 42, doesn't have a bad seat in the house. I would have to wait until closer to the date to secure the exact seat through the staff discount, but, as it turned out, the better of the two seats I'd scouted earlier was still available, only five rows back, and that's the one I got.

Only about a week or two before I made my trek to New York, Bruce stepped into the role of Tevye for about a week of performances while the principal, Steven Skybell, was on vacation. I was kind of bummed. As much as I knew I would enjoy Bruce as Lazar (or, Leyzer), it would have been lovely to see him as Tevye. Then, earlier the Sunday of the show, while I was at The Met, Bruce messaged me:
BRUCE: "You're seeing my Tevye after all!!"

K.L.: "Wow! Okay. So you'll have to fill me in! This is cool."

BRUCE: "Steve is just sick today!"

Fiddler in Yiddish was nothing less than excellent, all the way around. I was quite impressed with Bruce as Tevye. The cast in general, was impressive. The vocals were all lovely and the Bottle Dance was executed flawlessly. The rest of the choreography was enjoyable, too. This was a cast chalk full of tripple threats. The whole production was top-notch. Kudos to the cast, the designers, and to Joel Grey, the director. It was another stellar production to make my "vacation in New York in May" a great weekend.

I have another spotting of a screen actor I recognized. In the role of Yente was Jackie Hoffman, whom I recognize from quite a bit of TV. Most recently I remember her from the "Summer" and "Fall" episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

As for watching a production only spoken and sung in Yiddish, with some Russian, it was not a problem. First of all, I've been in the show twice myself; I've also seen it several times, either on stage or the movie; lastly, there were supertitles on both sides of the proscenium. But, honestly, I rarely looked at the supertitles; I pretty much knew what was going on all through the show.

Over the course of the run, Bruce has posted quite a few back-stage pics of him with heavy-hitter, A-list actors who have come to see the show. Two that immediately come to mind are Mandy Pitinkin and Alan Alda. There have been a lot of others, but, I'm not recalling them. Bruce wrote that Pitinkin was so moved that he was in tears. When Alda was there, not too long before my visit, Bruce said they talked for something like 45 minutes about the history of Fiddler as well as about the acting craft in general. What a great experience that must have been!

As I sat in the audience before the show, I looked around to see if I could spy anyone. I saw no big-leaguers in the audience. After show, when I was back stage, there was also a family that had won back stage passes. The daughter revealed that Jerry Seinfeld and his family was sitting the row in front of her and her family. The PSM confirmed that she had also became aware just befdore curtain, but didn't say anything to the cast because she was pretty sure Seinfeld was not going to come back afterward.

Had I seen him, I doubt I would have approached him, but, it would have been cool to have actually laid eyes on him. It was already pretty cool to know I saw the show with him -- celebrity is weird.


THE MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) - New York City

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As I asserted when I was blogging about planning this trip to New York, there was no way I was going to be in New York City, and in such close proximity to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) without paying it a visit. When I did the Google mapping of the Theatre District, where I'd be staying, I discovered that The Met was only a forty-five-minute walk from my hotel, through Central Park. There was my Sunday morning -- a stroll through Central Park to The Met and back, and I'd still have plenty of time to get to Fiddler by it's 6:00 curtain. There were some Central Park things I wanted to check out, Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial, being one of them.

I'd had tentative plans to meet up with a New York theatre colleague for brunch or lunch on Saturday, but, as it turned out, he had forgotten that he'd be out of town. So, fortunately I elected to go checkout Central Park Saturday morning, because Sunday it rained. I still walked to The Met on Sunday, but, going there, I walked up 5th Avenue, along side the park; though I did walk back through the park.

With my visit to The Met I ran into the same dilemma I had a few years back at The Art Institute of Chicago: I didn't have enough time to peruse and take in all that I wished to take in. In fact, with The Met, the ticket is good for three days, because you can utilize all three days and probably still miss something you'd rather not. I have plans to, at some point, go back to the Art Institute of Chicago when I can dedicate more time to a visit, and the same is now true for The Met.

I've set up a separate page to park the photos I took of Met artwork:

Photo Gallery of My Trip to The Met
click here


New York in May 2019 CENTRAL PARK
TIME SQUARE

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My view from my patio seat at Amarone.
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The sidewalk patio seating at Amarone Ristorante.
In between the two out of three shows that I did get to during my weekend, I did a few other touristy things.

I had a few good foodie experiences. Friday evening, upon the recommendation of the Belvedere desk clerk, I walked down to Amarone Ristorante around the corner from the hotel, on 9th Avenue, for dinner. Now that it's been more than a half-year, I'm not sure what I ordered. I do know that the meal was quite good, I just am not sure what I got. I probably got the Chicken Parmigiana.

If I ate lunch that Saturday, I didn't charge it to a card, and I have no memory of it. I am thinking I may have bought something from a vendor in or near Central Park, but I have no distinct memory of that. My Saturday dinner was at Ollie's Sichuan on West 42nd *(no pic of the spot). I got the Chicken with garlic sauce -- (Fingers tips to lips and then cascade them out while saying: "Mm-whah!")

Sunday lunch was at the Public Cafeteria at The Met, and who knows what I got, probably a chicken sandwich. But I do remember that I had a nice Massaman curry chicken dish for dinner at Yum Yum Too on 9th Ave., before I attended Fiddler on the Roof *(again, no pic of the location).

I have no idea why I find it relevant to recount my NYC trip cuisine, but, there you go....

The two big things, as this section suggests, were spending some time in Central Park and at The Met.

CENTRAL PARK

Since I wasn't able to arrange a breakfast, brunch, or lunch with any of my NYC theatre peeps, I decided to head over to Central Park, rather than just checking it out on my way to The Met the next morning. Workout well, too, because Saturday was a lovely, sunny day, but Sunday it was raining and chilly. But Saturday, I walked over and spent a couple hours strolling the park, people watching, checking out the buskers, and visiting a few featured sights. I actually thought about the Central Park Zoo, but I never made it in, mostly because I did need to get back to the hotel in time to get ready for the Mockingbird afternoon matinée.

Again, it's good that I went on Saturday. In fact, as I wrote above, Sunday, on the way to The Met, I didn't walk through the park, but rather walked around it and up 5th Avenue to the museum. But, as it was mostly only drizzling as I walked back to my hotel, I did walk back through the park, and there are a few photos below from that Sunday stroll.

So, here are photos of my time in Central Park over that weekend in May, some with captions and commentary:

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Some sort of workout session taking place by the fountain square, maybe Pilates?
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An attendee of that workout class, jogging the steps.
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The John Lennon memorial, Strawberry Fields.
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A busker sitting close by Strawberry Fields, doing Beatles songs.
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Susan Kesser, busking with her violin in the park
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A Tolkien wizard busker, with his dragon puppet.
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One of my Sunday, raining in Central Park, photos. I really like this one. I do believe I'll be finding a significant future use for it.

TIME SQUARE

Technically, these pics are more than just from the actual "Time Square"; some of them are from "Broadway Row" in the area of the Shubert all within close walking distance to Time Square, close enough that it's mention as a part of Time Square at the official website.

Most of these photos were taking Saturday evening as I was killing time around the Shubert, waiting for the evening performance of Mockingbird to get out so I could make that final attempt to get Jeff Daniels to sign my Blackbird actor's edition script, having sacrificed my ticket to Curse of the Starving Class, at the Signature Theatre to satisfy my autograph quest.

Here are some Time Square and Broadway District photos from my weekend:

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Another of my favorite photos from the trip -- dudes playing chess in Times Square.
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stay tuned for a link in this spot to the new K.L.'S FINE ARTS VITA
Meanwhile, click here for K.L.'s up-to-date résumé




Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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JAN-MAR, 2020



CLICK HERE TO GO TO OXFAM
AND DONATE TOWARD RELIEF EFFORTS FOR MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE NATURAL DISASSTERS THAT HAVE RECENTLY OCCURRED IN THE UNITED STATES AND ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD





Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

CLICK HERE FOR DR. KING'S SPEECH IN ITS ENTIRETY



TALKBACK AFTER THE FEB 1 MATINÉE:
MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING logo.
Showing weekends
Jan 24-Feb 9, 2020
Tickets still available...
DTG Buy Your Tickets Now

Director Rick Flynn has scheduled a talkback with the cast after the 5:00 performance on Saturday, February 1. It should start a little after 7:30.

DTG Promocast Production logo
More currently, I am shooting the principal footage for the promocast, tonight.





email me at KL_Storer@yahoo.com. And visit www.facebook.com/klstorer






Dayton Theatre Guild
forthcoming
AUDITION NOTICES
of the 2019/2020 season

MORNING'S AT SEVEN by Paul Osborn
THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON by Book/music/lyrics: Pigpen Theatre Co.

*Graphics art by Wendi Michael     








Morning's at Seven
by Paul Osborn
MORNING'S AT SEVEN by Paul Osborn

Audition Dates: Mon & Tue, Jan 27 & 28, 2020*, starting at 7:00 pm both nights.

The Dayton Theatre Guild at the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape
430 Wayne Ave, Dayton OH, 45410
937-278-5993    www.daytontheatreguild.org

Directed by Kathy Mola
Produced by Christina Tomazinis

Production Dates: Mar 20-Apr 5, 2020

This 1939 comedy tells the story of four aging sisters who live in a small mid-western town, and their long-standing sibling rivalries. Three of them -- Ida, Cora and Arry -- have lived next door to each other for fifty years, and Esther, the eldest, lives only a few blocks away. We quickly learn that living so close to one another has taken its toll. Some start to question their lives and decide to make some changes before it's too late. In 1980, Morning's At Seven was nominated for the Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.

Casting Requirements:

  • Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.
  • A résumé and headshot are not required but are appreciated.
  • Please bring all scheduling conflicts between Jan 29 and Apr 6, 2019.

Character breakdowns:
The director is looking for a strong ensemble cast.
There are 9 roles available as follows:

CHARACTER
      NOTES
Theodore Swanson
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Cora Swanson**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Aaronetta Gibbs**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Ida Bolton**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Carl Bolton
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Esther Crampton**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

David Crampton
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

**Sisters

Homer Bolton
      Son of Ida and Carl, appearing early to late 40s

Myrtle Brown
      Homer's fiancé, appearing late 30s to mid 40s

For more information please contact:
Director Kathy Mola via facebook message or at Kathy.Mola@daytontheatreguild.org





The Old Man and the Old Moon
Book/music/lyrics: Pigpen Theatre Co
THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON by Book/music/lyrics: Pigpen Theatre Co.

Audition Dates: Mon & Tue, Mar 23 & 24, 2020*, starting at 7:00 pm both nights.

The Dayton Theatre Guild at the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape
430 Wayne Ave, Dayton OH, 45410
937-278-5993    www.daytontheatreguild.org

Directed by Jeff Sams
Produced by Brian Buttrey & Debra Strauss

Production Dates: May 29-June 14, 2020

The Old Man tends to The Old Moon, refilling the light that spills out every night. When his wife unexpectedly leaves home, The Old Man abandons his post to find her and plunges the world into darkness. His eventful journey across land, air, and sea reminds them—and us—of the unwavering power of love. This is basic storytelling at its best and a lesson about the inevitability of change, reminding us of the magic of folktales that take place in a timeless land far, far away.

Casting Requirements:

  • Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.
  • A résumé and headshot are not required but are appreciated.
  • Please bring all scheduling conflicts, including weekends, between Mar 25 and June 14, 2020.

This is a movement play. The director is looking for a strong group of actors who are comfortable with physical movement and singing on stage. Experience as a puppeteer is a plus. All actors must be able to sit, stand, move, and lift objects easily.

This production will use 7 actors to play nearly 30 roles by changing costume pieces and using hand props. Actors never leave the stage and work as an ensemble to tell the story. Those auditioning may be asked to attempt a British, Scottish, or Irish dialect. There will also include some choreographed dance.

Please note that two roles have been precast due to the necessity of finding actor/musicians.

Those auditioning should dress comfortably for a movement audition and be prepared to learn and sing an excerpt from a song.

Be prepared to sing 16 Bars of a song in the style of the show.

CHARACTER
      NOTES
Actor 1 (Male)
      The Old Man *(This role has been precast)

Actor 2 (Male)
      Matheson, Patron *(This role has been precast)

Actor 3 (Female)
      Butcher, Ben, Callahan, Rebel Two, Perry

Actor 4 (Female)
      Mabelu, Fine Lady, Dog (puppet)

Actor 5 (Male)
      Boatswain One, Llewellyn, Ghost Singer

Actor 6 (Female)
      The Old Woman, Boatswain Two, Mickey, Captain, Bartley, Young Woman

Actor 7 (Male)
      Fishmonger, Clerk, Cookie, Rebel One, Bartender, Solomon

For more information please contact:
Director Jeff Sams at jeff.sams@daytontheatreguild.org


*ALL AUDITION DATES ABOVE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE



PROMOTIONS:

BE OR NOT, a movie by K.L.Storer. Starring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. Director of photography, Fred Boomer



Still for sale, 'STILL ME' on DVD, http://brookwoodfilms.com/buy.html
As an actor I was privileged to have a small roll in this multi-award winning, very touching, most poignant short film. I was further privileged to accept the award, on behalf of Beth McElhenny, for Best Family Film at the 2008 Secret City Film Festival in Oakridge, Tennessee. The film has won awards far more than that one time. Click on the image to go to the official site and see the successes, thus far.



AND NOW, TO PROMOTE SOME THEATRE....

THE COMING ATTRACTIONS AT MY HOME THEATRE, THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD

Continuing #75: the 2019/2020 Season:

MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING, by Ed Schmidt, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Directed by Rick Flynn
Produced by Deirdre Root

In a NYC hotel room, in the spring of 1947, Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, meets with four prominent African-Americans to discuss breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. He wants support from their community to help with the controversy he knows will ensue. Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, Paul Robeson, and Bill Robinson, aka Mr. Bojangles, attend the meeting, but it isn't an easy fix. Concern about loss of jobs, as well as suspicion about Branch Rickey's motives come into play. The 2012 revival was nominated for three Jeff Awards for Play Production, Direction, and Ensemble.

The Cast of Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting

(in order of appearance)

CHARACTER
      NOTES
Branch Rickey
      Saul Caplan

Jackie Robinson
      Shaun Diggs

Clancy Hope
      Robert Culpepper

Joe Louis
      Robert-Wayne Waldron

Paul Robeson
      Edward Hill

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
      Franklin Johnson

And following Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting at the Guild



MORNINGS AT SEVEN, by Paul Osborn, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Directed by Kathy Mola Produced by Christina Tomazinis

This 1939 comedy tells the story of four aging sisters who live in a small mid-western town, and their long-standing sibling rivalries. Three of them -- Ida, Cora and Arry -- have lived next door to each other for fifty years, and Esther, the eldest, lives only a few blocks away. We quickly learn that living so close to one another has taken its toll. Some start to question their lives and decide to make some changes before it's too late. In 1980, Morning's At Seven was nominated for the Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.

Character breakdowns:
The director is looking for a strong ensemble cast.
There are 9 roles available as follows:

CHARACTER
      NOTES
Theodore Swanson
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Cora Swanson**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Aaronetta Gibbs**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Ida Bolton**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Carl Bolton
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

Esther Crampton**
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

David Crampton
      Should appear between 60 and 75 years of age.

**Sisters

Homer Bolton
      Son of Ida and Carl, appearing early to late 40s

Myrtle Brown
      Homer's fiancé, appearing late 30s to mid 40s

For more information please contact:
Director Kathy Mola via facebook message or at Kathy.Mola@daytontheatreguild.org



Dayton Theatre Guild - TThe Stroeis We Tell - #75 - 2019-20 Season

the last show of the season....

THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON by Book/music/lyrics: Pigpen Theatre Co.
The Old Man and the Old Moon
Book/music/lyrics: Pigpen Theatre Co.

The Old Man tends to The Old Moon, refilling the light that spills out every night. When his wife unexpectedly leaves home, The Old Man abandons his post to find her and plunges the world into darkness. His eventful journey across land, air, and sea reminds them—and us—of the unwavering power of love. This is basic storytelling at its best and a lesson about the inevitability of change, reminding us of the magic of folktales that take place in a timeless land far, far away.

Directed by Jeff Sams
Produced by Brian Buttrey & Debra Strauss

Show runs May 29-June 14, 2020

Auditions will be held Mon & Tue, Mar 23 & 24, 2020*


*AUDITION DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE


DTG Buy Your Tickets Now click for information
on purchasing tickets


The Dayton Theatre Guild
at the
Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape
430 Wayne Ave.
Dayton, Ohio  45410
937-278-5993

www.daytontheatreguild.org

*Graphics art by Wendi Michael     




And, if you live close by or will be visiting soon, check out these other theatres in the greater Dayton Ohio area for their upcoming or current productions:

  • Beavercreek Community Theatre
  • Bespoke Theatre *(facebook page) -- Dayton
  • The Black Box Improv Theatre -- Dayton
  • Brookville Community Theatre
  • Caesar's Ford Theatre, Inc -- Xenia
  • Cedarville University -- Cedarville
  • Clark State Community College Theatre Program -- Springfield
  • Dare to Defy Productions -- Dayton
  • Dayton Playhouse
  • Encore Theater Company -- Dayton
  • Epiphany Players Drama Ministry -- Dayton
  • Human Race Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • Lebanon Theatre Company -- Lebanon
  • La Comedia Dinner Theatre -- Springboro
  • The Magnolia Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • The Playground Theatre -- Dayton
  • Sinclair Community College Theatre -- Dayton
  • Springboro Community Theatre
  • Springfield Civic Theatre
  • Springfield StageWorks
  • Tipp City Players Community Theatre
  • Town Hall Theatre -- Centerville
  • Troy Civic Theatre -- Troy
  • Undercroft Players -- Dayton
  • University of Dayton *U.D. link is here, but it seems difficult to find the season at the site
  • Victoria Theatre Association -- Dayton
  • Wright State University -- Beavercreek
  • X*ACT: Xenia Area Community Theater
  • Yellow Springs Center Stage -- Yellow Springs
  • Young at Heart Players -- Dayton
  • tHe Zoot Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • KNOW OF A LOCAL THEATRE COMPANY THAT SHOULD
    BE ADDED? LET ME KNOW AT KL_Storer@yahoo.com

    That is, one within a 60 minute
    drive from the Dayton, Ohio area




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