ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Patti LuPone Makes Dreams Come True and Getting Sexy With Megan Mullally

By Seth Rudetsky
03 Sep 2013

Speaking of Sweeney, someone asked the succinct question, "Why the tuba?" (Patti played tuba in Sweeney.) Patti told us that in high school she wanted to go to band camp, because the boys were "sexy," so she learned the tuba. She definitely had a sassy streak, and she wound up being in a bunk where the girls made an "obscene" mobile! Most of them were sent home, but Patti was spared being fully evicted. Instead, she was "quarantined" to an isolated cabin away from everyone else. Later on, when the female head of the camp came to check on Patti's isolation, Patti was in trouble yet again because her cabin was filled with boys.

Before my weekend of Patti shows, I had three shows with Megan Mullally, who was fantastic. She brought her singing partner, Stephanie Hunt, to do a few songs from their girl group called Nancy and Beth. She claims the name of their group is completely arbitrary, but it happens to be the names of my two sisters. Hmm... see you in court? Megan and Stephanie sing in such cool harmony, and all their songs have really interesting choreography. I took a photo of us in one of their final poses. Look! They also love to dress in vintage outfits, but Stephanie had bought something in Provincetown during the day that Megan convinced her to wear in the show that night because Stephanie is incredibly young, with an amazing body: a tiny bikini made out of scuba diving material. Anybody? Everybody. After their first song, Megan said the reason they're so close is because they were both born the same year. 1988. Everyone laughed up a storm, and then Stephanie interrupted and gave her real birth year: 1989. Silence.

I asked Megan about doing Young Frankenstein and she remembered one time when Mel Brooks came to a tech rehearsal after being gone for a few days. He beckoned Megan to the edge of the stage. Uh-oh. She didn't know what was up. Was she in trouble? Was a song being cut? She got to the edge of the stage, knelt down and Mel said, full volume; "Your t*ts look great!" Megan then thought, "You know what? They do look great!"

Seth with "Nancy and Beth"