ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: A Carnegie Hall Celebration and Chatting With the Heathers

By Seth Rudetsky
05 May 2014

Andrea Martin performs at the New York Pops gala
Andrea Martin performs at the New York Pops gala
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.

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You know what's fun? Writing this column every week. I get to relive all the fun moments from the past week and write them up in a creative way. You know what's not fun? Re-writing this column. What do I mean? How about the fact that writing this week's column took me a big chunk of Sunday afternoon (four hours!) and after saving it, it completely disappeared from my computer. Nothing.

Yes, I did all the search and recovery stuff you're supposed to do. After being in denial for an hour, I've accepted that it's gone, and it's time to start the whole thing over. Yay?



OK, here goes. Last Monday night, Andrea Martin invited James and me to see her perform at Carnegie Hall where the NY Pops was saluting the songs of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It was so fantastic, with amazing talent onstage, and the two of them have such an incredible body of work. Andrea performed "Blame Canada" from the film "South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut" and there is an Anne Murray reference in the song that reminded me of her hilarious Anne Murray imitation on "SCTV." Watch!

Patti LuPone was fantastic and belted so high in "Grin and Bear It," a sassy song from "Smash." I love it so much that I'm going to have her sing it at our Detroit show May 31. (Info/tix here.) Here's a video of Megan Hilty doing the song originally.

Throughout the show, Martin Short made lots of appearances (a highlight was his rendition of "Simply Second Nature" from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory). At one point, he came out as Irving Cohen (the elderly Jewish composer) and was doing a string of vaudevile-style jokes that I loved! My fave was (said Irving Cohen style... very slow with an old-school Jewish accent) "Kim Kardashian is so dumb, she thinks soy milk... is Spanish... for 'I am milk.'" Suddenly, Capathia Jenkins stormed onstage and launched into "Stop The Show" which was written for Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and highlights the trend on Broadway of large black women bringing down the house at the end of Act Two. My favorite lyric is "Now, if old Julie Andrews had a black maid in that play, well, then My Fair Lady would be still running today!" Her voice was incredible. She sustained an F that was clear as a bell and held forever! I deconstructed that song years ago because I'm obsessed.

As James and I left the concert, he asked me how I would have felt as a little boy on Long Island if I were told that one day I'd be at Carnegie Hall and know basically everyone on that stage. That leads me to right after the concert; we hightailed it to the Marriot because there was the Actors Fund annual fundraiser which, this year, was a salute to Disney's 20 years on Broadway. There was a show (put together by Thomas Schumacher) that featured hits from all Broadway Disney shows, including a reunion of the three Aida stars; Heather Headley, Sherie Rene Scott and Adam Pascal. We couldn't make the show because we were at Carnegie Hall but we wanted to be there for the after party where I ran into Adam. We chatted and we're both excited to do a show this summer together at the Art House in Provincetown.

 Continued...