Sunset Superman
Volume 2  Book 1 Part 1 of
Living In The Bonus Round

December 1998. New Year 1999. Los Angeles.

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[ Vol. 1 Book 10 ] - [ Part 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ] [ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] - [ Book 2 ]

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The Last Session - Previews

December 3, 1998

"SCREAMINGLY FUNNY...   It is life taking hold again - hope rising on powerful wings."

"Best Bet" and "Pick of the Day" - LA Times

"Rousing gospel, R&B, Rock 'n' Roll & Pop - It will blow you away!" - Long Beach Press Telegram

"A joyous feel-good musical!" - Orange County Register

Opening Night L.A.
December 5, 1998

The Last Session opening night in L.A. was the first ever (we think) live webcast of this type.  We had a few delays and problems but thanks to Kibs & Mark for all their hard work, it was great.
We also had a chat going on simultaneoulsy with members of the mailing list who couldn't attend the show - everyone got connected one way or another!

From Ronda
December 5, 1998

First of all, it sounds like the frustration that you all had in dealing with the webcast and it's delays and problems made your emotions very much the same as mine in being there... so you really were there!!!  Kibs, you were magnificent and your efforts and those of everyone involved was truly superhuman I was proud of the attempt even if the result was not perfect, the idea was marvelous and it really did link us somewhat with those of you who couldn't be in the house.. I really did feel an energy coming from you guys!!! Thanks!!!

The evening started with the lottery and although the turnout of students was "lite" it was a major sweet group and Benjamin and Katie and Nicole were all real troupers.  Everyone to spread the word that there are tickets for each show available 1/2 hour before curtain and let's build this charity base!

The house was overflowing and we had some frayed nerves because there were not enough seats for everyone. Some of our investors even had to sit on the stairs! And a couple of people graciously volunteered to come back on another evening! (A group showed up at 8:15 with 6 people and were a little annoyed that they couldn't sit together... but we were pulling miracles just getting them seats!)   But by the end of the evening I think that anyone who was "miffed" got "smoothed out" due to the vibe and the major great performance of the cast.   Just when you think they can't get better they do!! They surprised us by calling Kim, Jimmy, Steve and Michael and me to the stage afterwards and giving US roses!  I was crying, as usual!

We had the Benjamin and Nicole from the nanny, a couple of the cast of the Profiles, a guy from a soap opera, Estelle Getty,  Doris Roberts, Richard Crenna, Gil Garcetti (DA from LA)  Beth Broadrick from Sabrina, David Sheehan (tv reviewer) several major press people (Times, Hollywood Reporter, Backstage) and some of our investors. The vibe I got was that everyone really enjoyed it (although I think 2 people left at intermission).

The after party was cramped, but Randy, the caterer outdid himself!  He had the most magnificent brownies (and you guys know what a sweet tooth I have)! The champagne flowed as did the congratulations. Katie introduced Gil Garcetti who said some very nice things and especially was cool about the message of TLS and how important it was.  Michael gave a wonderful thank you speech and introduced Jimmy, Steve and Kim and me.  I think I said something fairly coherent but I am always at a loss to talk about the meaning of TLS to me without totally dissolving into tears, so it was a challenge.  Then Jimmy did his traditional Broadway parody which includes everyone involved in this production the lyrics and is always great (written by the very talented Michael Alden, by the way).  At some point I will post the lyrics which you can sing to the music from Gypsy for your own amazement!!

We didn't hang after the party ... just went home and passed out!  But just got a call from Michael who is at the theatre and says the phones are ringing off the wall!!  Thanks to everyone who has been here all along with your support, and to the new TLS family members.  We love you everyone!!

From VJ
December 6, 1998

In my many years of being an observer of musical theater, "The Last Session" is simply somehting special and something brilliant. It has also been a special pleasure to get to know the creative team, those dymanic men of rhyme, Jim and Steve. After last nights webcast, I called them today to ask permission to reprint an article from the Laguna program that Jim wrote called "Coming Home." (

"The Last Session" was born in California and now it returns.

All the best to the cast, the creative team, and to the producers for giving us this little miracle of a show.


December 8, 1998

Variety gave the show a great review - "cathartic and often hilarious musical chronicle"

And from the Hollywood Reporter - "The Last Session may well be the best show yet about AIDS"

December 9, 1998

Dr. Peter called me today about the new blood tests and the results are

My tcells went back up to 380. Not as high as the 400 I had before I began taking the Norvir in combination with my Crixivan, but it's better than 260 which was the results of the last test.

My triglycerides were also lower. Normal is about 120, 190 is high. On the last test, they were at 2700. This time they went down to 1800 but that's still sky high.

My blood sugar was 180 which is too high and my cholesterol was 360, too high.

He thinks the Norvir is, indeed,  too toxic on my system.

So, as of tonight I am going back on my three times a day, three fasts a day Crixivan schedule without the Norvir. And so I bid adieu to the famed peppermint gasoline. At least we got one good story out of it with Mandy and Karen/Julie when they tasted it at the McDonald's where Lori pissed off the old ladies after picking me up at the airport.

I'm also going to go lowfat and low carbs, eating mostly meat and vegetables with an occasional piece of sugarless cherry pie which Roberta just gave me out of the goodness of her own heart.

On Friday, me and the gang are going over to Disney and singing for the gay employees (and any other Disney employee who wants to show up). I went to one a couple months ago and about 15 or 20 people attended. After Tuesday's rave review in the Daily Variety and the great review in Wednesday's "Hollywood Reporter" followed by the Times review on Thursday, by Friday everyone will have heard of us. I hope.

As Glen Close said in Fatal Attraction, "Surely you don't think you can just igNORE me??"

Anyway, Jimmy and I have stuff to do so I'm not getting total bedrest, but I did sleep really well last night. I think I'll come to the office on Thursday for a little bit because yesterday the lead story on the front page of the Times was about how the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles has voted against the international body and has voted to AFFIRM healthy gay relationships.

So, I think TLS would be a very good fit since this subject is so volatile. If anyone wants to research the churches in the L.A. area, I'll call them on Thursday myself inviting the music directors and ministers and their youth groups leaders.

I wonder if any of this info is on the net?

December 10, 1998

This wonderful letter came on the CB list. I HAD to share it with you guys.
First off, Steve it was great to meet you.   You give great hugs!

The Last Session, it was wonderful.  I haven't written a review yet because I don't know what to say really.  I describe it to people as 2  hours of looking into Steve's soul.  When you make something that personal its such a risk, I really respect you Steve for putting yourself out there like that.  The show to me, not only gave us a look  into someone's life that has AIDS, but it really focused on how the people who love that person the most live with it too.  It gave me a look into the soul and the struggle my friend is going through.   It was something I really needed to see.  It was something I need my soul to see to let me realize everything that this disease entails. The song that affected me the most were:

1)  Save me a Seat - Thats the song that makes you think of the friends  you have lost, the funerals you've attended, the way you memorialize someone.  It made me think I wasn't so alone on those days when I
think back.

2)  Going it alone - It voiced what I was feeling about my friend.  We both are here for each other, but we are dealing with this disease together, but alone.  The infected person doesn't want to always talk about it and the other doesn't get to discuss it all the time and its such a major thing they are both going through.  We really are going it together, alone.   There are so many times when I wished I had people to talk to who really understand whats going on with him.  He is very open to talking, but it can't be like "O.k. give me an update."  Everyone else does that to me.  I really feel like I'm alone  when I think of him dealing with it.  Once again, going it together alone.  Thank you Steve for writing that and realizing that the people  who love him the most are going through their own battles.

3)  Connected - This is when I just started bawling.  The imagery in the song was enough.  I don't think I really need to explain.

4)  Singer and the song - During the play/musical I was watching it thinking that the one thing I would hate would be that my friend  "surrender."  Then you start listening to the character and songs like "Friendly Fire" and you think, man, I really just never got it until this point.  How dare I be the one who tells him to keep suffering. Right before this song Gideon explains how he just keeps losing the  battle.  I felt at that moment, I think I would understand if my friend chose to surrender.  That is huge for me because I don't agree  with suicide at all but I don't want him to suffer.   This song comes on and she sings about how she understands that he's going through all of this but she will be there for him, holding his hand.  Thats how I would be.   Its, I don't know exactly how to put it into words.

I wanted to go up to you Steve afterwards and just hug you forever. There were too many people already surrounding you.  I'll probably go see it one more time, I say probably because right now its just really close to home and its really hard to watch.  I think you  understand.

Steve, thank you for showing us your soul.

December 11, 1998

Last night I got up out of my restbed and took a shower ready to go down to the theatre and be all social for the celebrities who were coming... but I just couldn't. The night before last, there was a big meeting of NARAS, the group that hands out the Grammys, so I thought it would be politic to at least make an appearance, but after about a half hour, my stomach started to hurt and I felt really tired, so I grabbed Jimmy and we went home.

And somehow I just felt that last night I would get down there and start feeling all terrible and then poop out the little party atmosphere (even though I'd die to see Maxwell Caulfield in person). So, I took my little shower and got all ready and then promptly put myself back in bed.

I did catch Martha, Gabi and Lyndsey in the chatroom just after 9pm, though, so it wasn't a total loss of an evening. And by the way, Martha sent Jimmy and me some steaks and chicken breasts all frozen in some big container. You should have seen Jimmy's face opening those steaks!!! (Thanks, Martha).

Lots of good protein for me to eat. And I am eating a lot despite the fact that I have these 3-hour fasts during day for me to take my Crixivan. But yes, I've dropped the Norvir and I'm back on the combo that was working for me. I just hope we didn't screw anything up by switching.

My heart was at the theatre last night but my body was in bed. AND THANKS Mandy and Michael for the great descriptions of the performances and the after-show festivities. Now I know what it feels like to be in another town while all this is going on. You just drink up every word trying to be there.

From Paul Beeman
National President of Parents Family
and Friends of Gays and Lesbians
Retired Methodist Minister
December 12, 1998

Great to hear from you. I'm a fan! The Last Session is a show every person of faith should see, laugh at, cry with, celebrate, and then go change their congregations and organizations to reflect the kind of love they are supposed to have learned from their Founder. But instead they get that love second hand, but like new through you.  The real bonus round will come when all our families, extended families and families of faith step up, march forth, and speak out.

In sensitive and convincing ways you are helping them/us to do just that. We are in your debt. The entire gay rights movement is moving significantly ahead to the cadence of your music and its message.

Wishing you rest, peace, and sending you much, much love.

December 12, 1998

Yesterday at Disney was fun. Bob's has a sinus infection which is giving him laryngitis and Joey has his day job at Jamba Juice, so it was just me and Amy and Maisey singing for the gay Disney employees.

We set up at the Hyperion bungalow on the lot and though the turnout was modest, they just loved the presentation. Actually, the first half featured Amy and Maisey. We sang "Preacher," "Somebody's Friend," and "The Group." Then they ran off across town to make it time to sing for a big Toys For Tots thing that was happening.

I continued singing a few more songs and answering questions, but the truth is that they didn't ask many. Like almost every audience I played for on my tour, they were kinda stunned into silence. I don't know why, but it seems to me that audience reactions to the songs are way stronger than they used to be a couple of years ago.

After the presentation, they all came up and hugged me and promised to buy tickets. I could tell they were genuinely moved, some to the point of speechlessness. They also praised Maisey and Amy!

Linda Delayen was my ride for the day so we zipped over the hill and arrived easily at the Beverly Hilton where I was immediately informed that I was to go on for Bob who was there but totally clogged up in the throat.

I sat down to a beautiful meal of turkey and dressing but before I got half of it eaten, they grabbed me and pulled me backstage -- obviously another attempt on their part to do away with me so we can get better publicity.

We rehearsed backstage while I gobbled up vegetables off the little platter and we sounded great. But Amy wasn't happy. She didn't like the stage manager who she felt was being patronizing when Amy, just before we went on, told him she didn't think her microphone was working.

Sure enough, when we got out on stage, her mic was dead so she and I shared my mic.

The event went well for all we could see, which wasn't much since we were on a big stage. But everyone said it went really well.

After that, Jimmy and I drove home and I fell promptly to sleep on the bed until he roused me for the evening performance which I attended with a script in hand. (But not before Lori took me out to dinner). Until we have an official understudy, I'm it. So I took notes about Bob's movements and watched his reactions to everything.

I felt pretty good as Jimmy and I drove home. So, I think I'm beginning to recover a bit but I'm still not even close to normal. I think the high blood sugar, the fatigue from the drugs and the tour have taken a toll that I haven't finished paying.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, reader. I can tell you that I am doing well even if I'm not completely back yet.

December 15, 1998

Sorry I've been such a poop lately. Thanks for all the kind letters of concern.

*friends would come around...*

Just wanted to let you know that I'm feeling way better today. This morning I sang with the cast at a breakfast of LA Women In Music. We knocked 'em dead. Maisie was incredible and Amy was incredible. And I gave a good little intro speech.

Since they were all creators, about 30 women and a few men around a big table, I just told them how incredible it is to have written something personal and from the heart -- against all the industry wisdom -- and to have seen this pay off.

I said, "You know how it is when you write something very personal. You don't know if anyone is going to care about it or not. You just put it out there and cross your fingers. I've been privileged to have written something very personal and to have seen it change other people's lives. How many times in a career do you get to do that??"

Then we sang "Preacher and the Nurse" and "Somebody's Friend" (using the TV tracks from a CD playing on a boom box) -- and knocked them out. It was beautiful.

And I think we -- mostly they -- 've all been working so hard, trying to diligently to get people to notice us, that we're all fatigued. We're kinda sniping at each other and poor Aunt Michael is coming apart. I had a nice talk with him today, though, and just said that we'd all do whatever we could to support him. He really is a hero even if he's a bit melodramatic. I see Susan Hayward in the part.

(A couple of days ago I spent the whole morning at the office on the phone calling churches and inviting youth leaders and music ministers. Maisey also comes in and answers phones along with the Sessionauts. It's really cool the way everyone is pitching in, by the way. I've done the least, to tell you the truth.)

Anyway, I also heard from the new manager of one of my favorite "discoveries" back in days of Acoustic Underground. They're called The Borrowers. ( and they have a new record which I can't wait to hear. We were talking about doing a little mini tour of LA together, maybe an Acoustic Underground reunion. Who knows.

At home, Jimmy has been feeding me well. The little cat gets turned from a rooster to a hen on Saturday morning. Life goes on. Jimmy and I love all of
you. You are the reason we are still alive.

You're the fans that give us life.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles production information is up on "The Last Session" site.

Gift certificates are available for $30.00 per ticket for any show in January just in case you haven't finished shopping for the holidays.  You can give the certificate and all the recipient has to do is call for reservations

*Note to out-of towners...the Tiffany is now selling tickets through the 14th of February. If you are planning a trip after that but before February 6th, you can email our office and we will take a reservation so that you can plan your trip -

[ Diary Index ]
[ Vol. 1 Book 10 ] - [ Part 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ] [ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] - [ Book 2 ]

Home | Diary | First time? | Pictures| Discussion Board | Tour Dates | CD
[ Hannah, Hospice Social Worker ] [ Shawn Decker's ]
[ Jimmy's Sunday Sermons ] [ My Lynchburg Diary: Meeting Jerry Falwell ]

© 1996 - 2001 by Steve Schalchlin. Please write me at
You have permission to print from this diary and distribute for use in support groups, schools, or to just give to a friend. You do not have permission to sell it.