Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday, January 23rd

The feedback on 'Fiddler' has been uniformally positive so I guess it's a pretty good show. It's always hard to judge from the stage. I just know that after a few performances, I'm getting comfortable with it and it's starting to hit its groove. It's selling extremely well and they're getting to their feet on the first call so the audiences are eating it up. I hope someone sends me some photos so I can post them.

The script materials for this year's 'Politically Incorrect' are nearly done other than my banter scenes with the serenissimus. Much of that has to come out of improv anyway so I will get together with Aaron in the next week or so to begin riffing and fleshing some things out. It's a good group of singers this year so the music, at least, should be strong.

Not much new on the work front. No disasters this last few weeks so that's at least some good news. I have to give a couple of talks this next week including my talk on Alzheimer's and the Arts I wrote a couple of years ago. I have tomorrow afternoon to get that in shape before giving it on Thursday.

Tap classes have started back up. So far it looks like I'm being a greaser, Barfee from 'Spelling Bee' and a nun. Par for the course.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday, January 19th

'Fiddler on the Roof' opened last night. I think it's a pretty decent show. Most of the problem spots came together without too much difficulty and I try not to think about the fact that I have to sing a duet with the reigning musical theater king of Birmingham too much. How am I? I'm the wrong person to ask but no one seems to be avoiding me or any of the other tell tale things that happen when things just don't work right. Have to continue to work on the Yiddish dialect though.

Nothing much else to report. Everything has been Fiddler for the last week. Now I can start working on Politically Incorrect...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday, January 11th

'Fiddler on the Roof' rehearsals are in high gear. It looks like it will be a good show if everyone can keep all their lines and lyrics straight. I think I have mine all down now so I can stop worrying about blocking and words and start thinking more about connecting on stage with others and performance nuances to enrich the show. We have six more rehearsals to get it right so I think we will be just fine.

The customary post holiday rush is on in clinic. The kids come home for Christmas, take a good look at mom, and then the phone rings off the hook in January. It's not been quite as bad this year as in some years past but we are getting a lot of 'help me' calls from harried daughters. Nothing we can't handle so far.

The School of Medicine is completely revamping its curriculum starting with this next year's class. We got the initial design this last week. Everything is being integrated around organ systems and there's more small group stuff. Looks, however, like the same basic scientists are responsible for content so I expect the students will continue to get lots of lectures about their research that has only minimal clinical relevance.

Most of the lyrics for 'Politically Incorrect Cabaret 2007: Berlin to Birmingham' are done. Just have a couple more which I should finish this weekend. Then I can relax a bit about that project as the individual acts work on their numbers. I'm doing the old standard, 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' as Donald Rumsfeld pondering Iraq. Should be fun - and a lot easier to sing than last year's German art song.

We caught 'Dreamgirls' at the movies last weekend. We liked it. Jennifer Hudson looks like she has quite a career ahead of her if she chooses her projects carefully.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tuesday, January 2nd

Happy New Year! The holidays are now officially over and its time to get back to all of the various grinds that dominate life. The rest of the Seattle trip went quite smoothly. Much of it was spent in doing as little as possible such as napping, storing up energy for what promises to be a crazy few months down here as all the various projects gear up. Christmas was a family affair. Everyone turned up at some point. Tommy and I made stockings with his usual flair for everyone (including one for my sister in an elbow glove) - if we ever move to Seattle we will have to keep him away from Display Supply. He's dangerous in that place...

We returned home in time to prep for our annual holiday open house. Had 80-100 people stop by sometime over New Years eve - an eclectic bunch from our various social circles. The food and ambience were a hit. Tommy makes a good chili and hot apple cider. We're also working on installing rope lighting along the length of our front bridge for decoration and safety. I think it will look quite nice when it is finished.

'Fiddler' is in full swing. I'm supposed to be off book as of tonight. I think I know my lines more or less. There's a couple of harmony parts where I am unsure of notes still so I will have to pound piano keys this week. It promises to be a good show and we have a couple of weeks still to get it all ready. Tommy is in rehearsal for 'La Cenerentola' and boning up on his Italian diction. He performs in mid-January as well. Then I have to get the rest of the Politically Incorrect lyrics written in the next week or so. Better get on the stick.