ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: "Ghosthunters," Ana Gasteyer and Getting Ready for Florida

Seth Rudetsky   ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: "Ghosthunters," Ana Gasteyer and Getting Ready for Florida
 
A week in the life of actor, radio host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.

Paul Nolan in Jesus Christ Superstar.
Paul Nolan in Jesus Christ Superstar. Photo by Joan Marcus

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It's Spring Break so I'm heading to Florida! Normally that means I'm a fun-loving college kid, heading to Miami to soak up the sun and drink from a keg with my fraternity. My version of heading to the white sandy beaches in Florida to party is actually going to Performing Arts Centers in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach where I'll spend every day in tech rehearsal and every night deconstructing '70s variety shows. And, my traveling companions are not my fun-loving pals from my fraternity but instead my soon-to-be 80-year-old mother. Yay? I'm heading out on Friday and what's annoying is I'm going from the Kravis Center to the Broward Center to Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Center so my days are spent traveling and then in tech rehearsal. And my Mom is always so much "fun" to travel with. When she was in San Diego before we got on an rFamily cruise, she was outraged that it was 11 AM and her hotel room hadn't been cleaned yet. She tracked down the maid who only spoke Spanish, but that didn't stop my mother who repeatedly pointed to her watch and said "mas tarde!" First of all, that doesn't mean "very late" it means "more late" so I'm sure her babbling was met with a blank stare. Made even more blank/confused by the fact that my mother hadn't yet changed her watch into the Pacific Time Zone so in fact it wasn't 11 AM, it was 8 AM. Mas moron. To come see my Florida extravaganzas. Get tix and info here

This week I took my sister Beth to see Jesus Christ Superstar. At first I was disappointed that Josh Young wasn't on for Judas, but then excited because Jeremy Kushnier went on instead. He was great and so was the whole cast. King Herod (Bruce Dow) added some great comedy moments and Jesus (Paul Nolan) had so many high notes that he could also be the matinee Evita. I think that score is so fantastic. To me, it's like Hair and Pippin, meaning every song is fantastic. There's no "Henry Street" to make you frantically run to your record player and pick up the needle to skip to something, anything. Beth actually wound up crying during the show because she was so moved. I cried because I didn't hear any of the amazing string section that sounds so thrilling on the original recording. Devastating.

Ana Gasteyer

Then I headed to SiriusXM to do "Seth Speaks" with Ana Gasteyer who is promoting her upcoming Joe's Pub performance of Elegant Songs from a Handsome Woman which plays twice on Monday April 2. Her show is so enjoyable…really funny and her song choices are so eclectic. Get tix ASAP. I happened to mention that I recently watched on old "Brady Bunch" episode and it was the one where the whole family (plus Alice, for some reason) went to the Grand Canyon. First of all, not only were three people proudly in the front seat not wearing seatbelts, but Cindy was in the middle! The lack of safety awareness we all had in the '70s is hilarious. Ana chimed in and told us that her friend recently told her his family's car in the '70s had seat sensors and it could tell when someone was sitting. The car then wouldn't start unless all seatbelts were on. His mother couldn't bear to wait for the sensor to detect if the people seated in the car were wearing seatbelts so she had a system for tricking it into thinking no one was in the car but the driver. The family would pile into the car and the Mom would immediately announce, "Asses up!," and they would all hover over the seat until she could start the car. I guess that was much easier than having to wait an extra five seconds. Then, Ana started talking about kids, and she told us that she just threw a birthday party for her four-year-old son, Ulysses. She lives in a hip, wealthy area of Brooklyn and was first trying to make it an enormous soiree. Her son wanted it to be "Star Wars-themed, so she started researching all these elaborate ways to push it to the level of the Liza/David Gest wedding. Then she decided there was no way she was going to pay $700 for a party for a four-year-old, and wound up getting cake and inflatable light sabers that all the kids hit each other with. One of the "I'm-a-rich-perfect-SuperMoms" walked over to her during the party, looked around and said, "This party is so old-school." Translation: Judgment.

Caprice Crane

Later, Ana and I delved into our love/hate relationship with Twitter. I told her I'm obsessed with this comic named Caprice Crane. Her tweets are hi-lar. First of all, she advised that if you are annoyed by a friend's email or text, it's fun to respond with "unsubscribe." Brava! And I so identified with this tweet: "If you ask for one of my friends, sure, I'll give you one. But don't think for a minute that I'm not FURIOUS about it." Yes!!! And "Few things can elicit the level of self-loathing I feel when I'm forced to say 'grande' or 'venti' at Starbucks." I agree 100 percent. Ana is fascinated by the following creepy aspect of Twitter: She recently tweeted that she had been shopping at Marshall's and it had brought up bully memories, "…as it is the store from whence I purchased my heavily-mocked Sassoon knock-offs." Immediately after posting that she received a tweet from @Marshalls. Literally the "store" tweeted her a reprimand! Essentially, it said that they did not sell knock-offs and demanded that she retweet the truth. How can an inanimate store scold you? It's like "1984," but the shallow version. It's not Big Brother who's watching, it's a chain store with a two-for-one sale on leggings.

Then I had Adam Berry on the show. I first heard him sing in Provincetown a few years when he was around 20. Amazing voice. Now, he's still pursuing musical theatre, but his "day job" is as a ghosthunter on…"Ghosthunters." I decided to watch an episode before interviewing him. Um…it was supposed to be an episode, but it seemed to me like footage they decided not to use. It was basically the ghosthunters in Alexandria, VA, checking out three different locales where there had been unexplainable activity. The bulk of the show was the ghosthunters walking in dark areas saying, "Did you see that?," and another ghosthunter saying "no." Then there was a lot of "Hello?"…. Hello!?" I confronted Adam on all of it and he invited me to come to an actual ghosthunting with them and then I'd see for myself that it's truly paranormal activity. I agreed, assuming it meant he was buying me tickets to Ghost.

"Scott Rudetsky" in the newspaper

I'm playing Moses again in Rachel Shukert's Everything's Coming Up Moses, which is the story of Passover as told through the story/songs of Gypsy. It's Wednesday April 4 at the 92nd Street Y, Tribeca location. My sister Nancy saw my last Jewish holiday musical (Don't Cry for Me, Achasveros) advertised in her weekly Jewish newspaper and immediately sent it to me. She's thinks it's hilarious because the top of the article says that it stars Jackie Hoffman and Seth Rudetsky and then there are two pictures of us and right underneath mine it says "Scott Rudetsky." Nancy is obsessed that literally four inches away from the photo it says "Seth," but it was apparently too far to make a lasting impression. So many people call me Scott by accident. There was also the awkward time right after my parents' divorce when my Mom brought her current beau to house and he said with fervor, "How ya doin', Shaun!" I glared. He moved in soon after.

OK, this week I'm seeing Newsies and Peter and the Starcatcher and tonight I'm off to Nothin' Like A Dame (tix at www.ActorsFund.org) and then a Disaster! cast party. If you wanna come see me in Florida, get info/tix here. And here's a fun interview I just did with Adam Rothenberg for his online blog, "Call Me Adam." Hope to see you in Florida this weekend and you can hang out with me and my Mom. Or better yet — my Mom! Peace out.

(Seth Rudetsky has played piano in the pits of many Broadway shows including Ragtime, Grease and The Phantom of the Opera. He was the artistic producer/conductor for the first five Actors Fund concerts including Dreamgirls and Hair, which were both recorded. As a performer, he appeared on Broadway in The Ritz and on TV in "All My Children," "Law and Order C.I." and on MTV's "Made" and "Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods." He has written the books "The Q Guide to Broadway" and "Broadway Nights," which was recorded as an audio book on Audible.com. He is currently the afternoon Broadway host on Sirius/XM radio and tours the country doing his comedy show, "Deconstructing Broadway." He can be contacted at his website SethRudetsky.com, where he has posted many video deconstructions.)

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