Saturday, August 21, 2010

Minnie the Moocher


Tomorrow at about two thirty in the afternoon, Jeeves and I will be having tea with many of the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's patrons. If it were entirely up to my Aunt Agatha we would solely be drinking "oolong" tea. She would also try her utmost to make sure that I get nowhere near the piano, or sing a song of any kind. Therefore, I will be doing just that. I have been fooling around with "Minnie the Moocher" - some 'Cab' fellow wrote it, or some chap wrote it in a cab... I can never be certain - either way, I will be playing that ditty. The words still don't make all that much sense to me, but I think I will get Jeeves to explain their meanings. I might even ask him to join in on the chorus. He's never been much of a musical person and it's nice to know that I can at least best him at one darned thing. Hopefully everything will turn out to be a smashing success.

See you then!
-- Bertie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One endeavors to give satisfaction, sir.

Although one takes great pride in executing one's duties faithfully, one is not often used to seeing one's praises enumerated in print. I had not considered the amount of fame I might incur by being a part of this production. I do not wish to alarm Sir Rupert or Mrs. Spencer-Gregson, however, it seems members of the press have not only been invited to our theatrical, but have written about it, effusively.

Our skit has become somewhat of a critical darling, and now, I fear I will never hear the end of it from Mr. Wooster.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Such Potential

Our little production of one of my exploits is finally open and ready for public viewing! It was ever so delightful to run around on stage in front of so many Americans. The show went off without a single hitch (even Bassy somehow managed to come away without a single blunder - his first time since we began this whole rigmarole) Even if something were to go wrong, I'm always assured knowing that Jeeves is right there with me. He certainly is quite the marvel. The audience was laughing the whole way through, and I think they rather enjoyed it! It's an honor to be working with my friends and family for the next few weeks (even though Aunt Agatha is a bit of a dreadful woman - always staring at me and judging my every move). This is only the very beginning of the process and I cannot wait to continue this romp. Unlike Bassy and myself, It has such potential.


- Bertie

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gad, what a time!!!

Dear Mr. Blog,

Tonight we previewed our theatrical endeavor for a real, live audience! I don't know why they call it a preview, because we did he whole thing for them. At any rate, they seemed to enjoy it almost as much as I did. I must say, it took me a few tics to relax and become comfortable, speaking infront of so many people (I'm told that even more people will be at the actual "run.") Once I settled in though, the show seemed almost to run itself. All that "rehearsing" really pays off, when you're a sweaty, panicky mess, grasping for your next "cue."

Speaking of sweat, I must say, one would have to travel to the jungles of South America to simulate the conditions on that blasted stage. The lamps used to illuminate us are quite powerful and give off considerable heat. That, coupled with woolen garments and our quite aerobic spectacle, turns me into bit of a mobile sauna. There is little relief upon leaving the theatre, as the outside conditions are very similar. I was told that if I didn't like the weather in Wisconsin, America, I would have only to wait, and it would change. Well, I'm waiting.

Dearest Mr. Blog, I am overflowing with excitement for your and the Mrs. attendance of our endeavor. If you do or do not have children, please do or do not bring them as our show is appropriate for the whole family, that you may or may not have. There is love, laughter and some pretty solid lessons. Above all, Mr. Blog, please remember that the only reason we are performing is to make you laugh. It really is a cure-all.


Eustace Bassington-Bassington

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You may rely on me, sir.

Last night we completed our final practice session for our theatrical. This evening we shall endeavour to give it the first public performance.

Over the last week we have smoothly integrated the technical elements of the production, including adding lighting effects, timing the sound of the wireless, acclimating to the three-walled representation of Mr. Wooster's flat, and learning to change clothes much faster than any human should, by right, have to do. Our intrepid team of director, designers, stage managers and crew agilely navigated through the, I am told, sometimes treacherous waters of technical rehearsals, and we seem to be quite ready to share our adventures with an audience.

It is my sincere hope that ill effects of the revelling in which Messrs. Wooster and Bassington-Bassington no doubt took part following the rehearsal will have subsided by the time doors open this evening. If not, it proves lucky that among the very first actions I take in the presentation is the handing of a refreshing glass of Gentlemen's Relief to Mr. Wooster.

Remarkably, some things never change.


Friday, August 6, 2010

I did think perhaps the circus was in town.

I must admit, my perception of Mr. Wooster's habits may have been forever altered by the event I just experienced.

Mr. Wooster gave me the morning off, and I have just returned from a sojourn to what seems to be an American tradition: the State Fair.

The fairgrounds are a strange mix of Picadilly Circus, Covent Garden, The Drones Club, and a barnyard, dotted with numerous livestock pavilions, carnival attractions, and food stands. I was taken aback at the simultaneous ingenuity and propensity to disgust exhibited by the myriad stands devoted to foods on a stick, which foods ranged from the ridiculous (Irish Stew?) to the sublime (Caramel apple). I was treated to the fair's official treat, the cream puff, and admit that I was quite taken by the silky pastry wonder. In fact, one imagines the entire culinary enterprise of the fair could have been devoted to dairy, pie, and various sausages without any sticks whatsoever, and still have been a success, without the humiliation of spaghetti-and-meatballs-on-a-stick. (I note that as an Englishman, I may not have much room to speak on this subject.)

I was able to watch the judging portion of some sort of bovine competition, although one would be hard pressed to elucidate what, exactly, the criteria were upon which the beasts were judged. There was rather a great deal of lowing and cud-masticating, but I do feel certain the animals were judged on other points, as well. Additionally, I took in the majestic splendour of the magnificent Clydesdale workhorses, and the somewhat silly attitudes of the braying goats and sheep. Although Mr. Bassington-Bassington encouraged me to find the poultry pavilion, I admit the task was daunting, and I was unable to comply.

I have never in my life been accosted by so many people in such unfortunate suits of clothing. If one did not know any better, one might infer that some of the gentry were completely blind when selecting their costumes from their closets, or, at the very least, were dressing as circus clowns to better enjoy the festivities.

There were a number of spectacular mechanized contraptions upon which patrons could enjoy wildly spinning out of control. This, combined with the odor of the livestock, the fried-cream-cheese-and-bacon-on-a-stick, the seemingly free-flowing taps of beer, and the omni-present flourescent T-shirts went, one imagines, a long way toward what must have been the intended goal of making oneself ill.

Certainly, nothing compares to this in England, nor do I expect anything ever shall.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Strange Air-tight Box of Room

On Tuesday the second of August, I was driven to a radio station to record an advertisement for our upcoming theatrical. It was a small building filled with even smaller cube-like structures that held people of all kinds - mostly using the telephone or small computron devices like I am using this very moment. We snaked our way through this office maze and they locked me inside a strange air-tight box of a room. The walls were padded, and for a brief moment I thought that I may have been coerced into admitting myself into a psychiatric hospital. (Something that Bassy has tried - and failed - to do to me on many occasions.) Luckily, all I was asked to do was read from a piece of paper through what appeared to be a silk stocking. I completed it satisfactorily in what a very kind gentleman with ear coverings called "one take." He could hear me perfectly well even though his ears were entirely blocked. He then complimented me on my "accent work," I thanked him kindly, then laughed knowingly that I never do any work of any kind.

Tune your dials to 93.3 FM beginning Monday the ninth of August to hear my voice over the waves. I do hope that they play it during The Champion Spark Plug Hour or The Clicquot Club Eskimos Show, as I will be listening at those times.


-- Bertie

Monday, August 2, 2010

It would seem a most daunting task, sir.

Yesterday we completed the first fortnight of our rehearsal process. The day was capped with what is termed as the "designer run," whereby all of the ladies and gentlemen who are recreating Mr. Wooster's flat and the lighting and musical effects therein gather to watch an entire "run-through" of our little story.

Knowing we would have to make this presentation, we spent the last several days rehearsing both acts, by running long segments and then repeating them, over and over, not unlike a polo or rugby team repeating plays out on the pitch. Also not unlike rugby, there was a great deal of grunting, falling over, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments. Fortunately, all of the furniture remained intact over those days, so we were able to continue using it for yesterdays presentation. When the rehearsal process has come to a close, I will certainly need to send it for reupholstering and repair. More likely, I shall just have it replaced altogether. Mr. Wooster will never notice the difference, I suspect.

The designer run, remarkably, was quite well received. I do believe it was the first time our full complement were able to recite our roles without the help of playscripts, though certainly we all required a little help now and again. There is a most curious habit in the theatre whereby a participant who has misremembered a segment may call out "Line!" in the middle of the showcase and it will be repeated to him by stage management. I wonder: if Mr. Wooster were able to call for "line" in his life, would I be able to more efficiently deliver him from trouble? Too often I am forced to rescue him (mainly from himself, might I add) by some sort of secreted means.

The designers, one hopes, were able to start to see how the entire production might look. I will admit it has been rather strange to rehearse in a facsimile of the flat which only represents Mr. Wooster's sitting room and hallway. It is my understanding that while that facsimile will gain more verisimilitude upon moving into the theatre, we will still be without the basic structures of bedrooms, dining room, parlor, foyer, and kitchen. Further, we shall be able to see the innards of the walls from the "offstage" at all times -- it is pure fa├žade, as if we are living inside-out. What a strange world this is. Although, as I think about it, no stranger than the life Mr. Wooster leads. One cannot help but marvel at the sheer volume of backward situations in which he finds himself.

Next week we shall continue running the play in its entirety to ferret out scenes in need of fine-tuning. At week's end, we move into the theatre proper. One can only imagine what Messrs. Wooster and Bassington-Bassington will turn topsy-turvy down there.