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Showing posts from October, 2012

DVDs Sold Out.

The Kickstarter sold out in a single day. There are no more limited edition DVDs of The Last Session/London.

Thanks to all the creative team for making this possible.

There will be a cast album on JAY Records. Look for it around February.


Jim and I are okay.

The black-out did not affect us. Missed us by nine blocks. The grocery stores were still picked clean today. Luckily, I stocked up on soups and other canned food. Not sure when the stores will get new supplies. Have friends who lost power completely. Water is safe.

Skyping the London Cast Recording of The Last Session.

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A hurricane was bearing down up on us when I got a call from TLS producer Rob Harris in London. He was there with the adorable Huw Allen, his associate producer. They were in Angel recording studios with John Yap, who is producing the JAY Records release of the original cast. Huw had just snapped a pic of them at their mics. 
Also, he had Skype. So, we started chatting. And by the time it was over, I had attended the entire session, listening to the various takes, correcting a few lyrics and cheering them on. Since they had just finished their month-long run, they were a tight unit, and the fans will be able to hear the show they saw and heard sung on stage, with all the vocalizations and harmony intact.
Our goal was not to gussy it up, but to let them sing from the heart just like they had been doing all month.
And that means getting them in all their raggedy glory. 
The Last Session is supposed to be a bit messy. Unlike a lot of the hulking musicals one might see today, where the sc…

I've been somewhat immobile for two days.

Tests. Tests to find out why these kidney stones keep recurring. But they won't keep me down. Yes, sometimes you have to stay still, or be confined to an area, or be too weak to think. And when you do, you surrender to it and do nothing. Let the process of healing take its time. Otherwise, if you go too fast, you just end up back in bed, anyway.

Overseas in London, they're approaching the final weekend of the run of The Last Session. There are only a few tickets left. They will immediately go into the studio to make the cast recording. This will be hot. They know each other so well, and love each other so much. I can't wait to hear them now that they've connected as true band mates.

There is also talk of what might happen next. It's bad luck, they say, to discuss any possibilities out loud until it's all said and done. But there are several options. What we do know is that this show is playing to standing room audiences who are also standing ovation audiences.…

TLS-London Original Cast Album Announced.

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Today, Playbill.com announced that JAY Records will record an original cast album of the terrific London production of The Last Session.
The London production of Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu's musical The Last Session, starring Darren Day as a songwriter battling AIDS, will be recorded by JAY Records in late October. Producer John Yap told Playbill.com that the London cast album will be recorded Oct. 29 and 30. A spring 2013 release is expected. The cast consists of Darren Day as Gideon. Simone Craddock as Vicki, AJ Dean as Buddy, Lucy Vandi as Tryshia and Ron Emslie as Jim.

I was there for the opening and they are a powerhouse together. Every review, whether they liked the musical or not, went out of their way to rave about this spectacular cast.

A note: The reason this happened is because, long ago, I joined an email list called CAST RECORDINGS. Since I wasn't really from the world of musical theater, a lot of it went over my head. But most of the people on there are e…

The Beethoven Humiliation.

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I finished my Credo. I had spent months on it. Note by precious note. And as it unfurled, it seemed to write itself.  Birth, death, God, crucifixion, resurrection, judgment, heaven, eternity.

The most complex piece I’ve ever attempted. Lots of words. No “verses.” No song format. Just a seemingly endless flow of words. But I had done it. Climbed Mount Everest and planted my flag.

I told Jim that it was “the greatest piece of music ever written.” Because every time I finish anything, it's the greatest piece of music ever written. But this was different! This really WAS!

I couldn’t even remotely IMAGINE musicalizing the text in any other way. This was the final word on the subject.

Over and over, I listened to the wordless mp3 I had created with my music writing program. It was just breathtaking.

Then, I had the single worst idea of my life. I decided I wanted to hear Beethoven’s Credo. Just to prove that I could defeat the best. Beat Beethoven. After all, music is a blood sport.…

La Parisienne and The French Tickle.

Been too icky feeling to write in this diary until yesterday. As you know, I’ve been mostly in pain from these stones. But I was feeling slightly better and had decided to just stop putting my life aside, and get out and do something. First choice would have been drive out with Jim and Jeramiah to Jersey. They got a Zip Car, except it’s more like a Zip Truck. At least, that’s what they’ve been telling me. The half-hour to hour ride, depending on traffic, with the bumping on the road? Too much. But I was so jealous of both of them! For a late birthday present, Mark Janas asked if I would join him and David with several other of our friends to La Pariesienne for dinner and then to see our friend, Kalle, play a concert at Carnegie Hall with his sister. What? Carnegie Hall? Kalle plays organ in our choir. I knew he was from Finland. I knew that people came from all over the area just to hear him improvise music before the service and after. He’s got long hair and he’s very cute. And…

Guzzling.

The ultrasound on Saturday morning indicated a blocked kidney. Doc sent me to ER for a CAT scan. The doctor there just told me to take pain pills and drink a lot of fluids.

Same old, same old.

But the mystery remains. Why so many? And why now?

He did mention salt. And I laughed, telling him I'm from the South, where salt is a food group.

So, I've been watching my salt intake. Guzzling homemade lemonade. He said citrus helps.

The pain is not the worst I've felt -- maybe that's ahead -- but it's hard to function, especially sleep, unless I take something.

And now, I wait it out.

And guzzle.

Birthday Health Update

Today, I spent my birthday at a new doctor's office. A nephrologist, or kidney specialist referred by my beloved Dr. Tony. The goal: to chase down why I'm having all these kidney stones. Since I'm physically depleted and still in a little pain, I walked very slowly to the 8th avenue subway, down to 14th street, then the L train to 6th avenue.

I got there an hour early and, within five minutes, Dr. Andrew came into the waiting room, shook my hand and brought me back to his office. I asked him how new knew Dr. Tony and he said they both trained at St. Vincent's, ground zero for the AIDS epidemic -- a hospital that tragically closed a few years ago.

(EDIT: The first thing I said to him, in his office, was "I'm Dr. Tony's favorite patient.")

I brought my list of medications and the results of my previous blood tests. He asked about my history with stone, my diet and was very happy that I drink a lot of homemade fresh-squeezed lemonade -- I squeeze it mys…