By Seth Rudetsky
15 Oct 2012
courtesy Studio 54
I had the cast from the current Forbidden Broadway (Natalie Charlé Ellis, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Lee Stern and Marcus Stevens) at Seth's Broadway Chatterbox (every Thursday at 5 PM at Don't Tell Mama) and they were so funny. They sang two medleys from the show featuring Elena Roger ("Just an utter lack of star quality"), Matthew Broderick ("Nice song if I could sing it…") and more. Before any singing, however, I confronted Natalie on her middle name "Charlé." Literally with an accent aigu over the e. Turns out, her mom named her after her grandfather (pronounced like "Charles" without the S) and Natalie always hated it. But when she was doing a beauty pageant as a 'tween, the announcer read her name wrong and called her "Charl-ay." Voila! Thus her middle name became a tip o' the hat for people who change "Target" to "Tar-jay." The other woman in the show, Jenny Lee Stern, is super-funny. When she told me that she and her husband (Broadway's Jeremy Kushnier) have two kids, I asked her, "How do you stay so thin?" She immediately answered, "Drinking and anorexia." She then followed that with "Hey, if it ain't broke…it's a tried and true combination." Brava!
|photo by Robb Johnston|
On my radio show "Seth Speaks" I had Jeffrey Roberson (aka Varla Jean Merman) who's starring in Carlo Menotti's The Medium which is opening at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater near Lincoln Center. Jeff told me, "My character is a medium who has a daughter and is also a conniving, drunken scam artist." He sighed. "It's a hard role for me to play…'cause I don't have children." Get tix to The Medium.
I also had Joey Mazzarino, the writer on "Sesame Street" who's spearheading all the new Elmo, the Musical on PBS. He's married to Kerry Butler. As a joke, I called him "Mr. Butler." He laughed and recalled being in Toronto when Kerry was opening as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Joey saw all the Disney top brass at the after-party and he felt very cool and like an insider. As a photo was about to be taken of everyone, the photographer walked over to Joey and asked, "Can you step out of the photo, please, Mr. Butler?" Joey was obsessed with the double bust: not only "step out of the photo," but "Mr. Butler."
(Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM. He has played piano for over 15 Broadway shows, was Grammy-nominated for his concert CD of Hair and Emmy-nominated for being a comedy writer on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." He has written two novels, "Broadway Nights" and "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan," which are also available at Audible.com. He recently launched SethTV.com, where you can contact him and view all of his videos and his sassy new reality show.)