“Round About Midnite” — TODAY, 2 p.m. – LACMA

7:45 a.m.

Linda and I will be heading off soon to LACMA to start a last-minute (the one and only, in fact) run-through of Stuart Z. Perkoff’s “Round About Midnite,” which will have a staged reading at the Bing Auditorium this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The event is free and features the Eric Reed Trio. The play, written in the late 1950s and last presented in public in 1960 in Venice, CA, was written as a homage to Thelonius Monk, and in the printed version of Stuart Perkoff’s Voices of the Lady: Collected Poems, it is dedicated to Tony Scibella, Charley Newman, as well as Monk. Newman was a poet and painter who came up with the term “Venice West” to distinguish their “community in transition.” 

I am pleased that S.A. Griffin has joined this project during the past two weeks. Any chance that this presentation has of becoming memorable in the slightest degree will owe itself to the hard work he has put into it the past week. He consented to help out on a moment’s notice and has proven himself once again to be a stalwart member of the extraordinary clusters of poets in Los Angeles. I have yet to meet in person the majority of the actors in the cast, so this presentation will certainly partake of the improvisatory quality that characterizes jazz.

A special note of thanks goes out to Rachel DiPaola, Stuart Z. Perkoff’s daughter, for her permission to present the play, and to Perkoff’s brother, Si, a jazz musician who works in the Bay Area. I wish LACMA’s budget would have allowed him to come down and play the music today.

The event is free. If you attend, plan to linger at the museum afterwards.