Onstage & Backstage: What You Didn't Know About Alix Korey, and Disaster! on The Today Show!

Seth Rudetsky   Onstage & Backstage: What You Didn't Know About Alix Korey, and Disaster! on The Today Show!
 
Everything Seth loves about Fiddler's Alix Korey, plus behind the scenes of Disaster!'s appearance on morning television.
Disaster on The Today Show

“Rich, Famous and Powerful!” That’s what the fabulous Alix Korey belted twenty years on the recording of David Friedman’s “My Simple Xmas Wish,” and she’s still got it! She’s playing Yenta in Fiddler On The Roof, and if you don’t know that brilliant song I’m referring to, please watch my deconstruction ASAP.

Anyhoo, Alix has done tons of Broadway shows….and, according to her, they’ve all been flops! Some of her very short runs include Ain’t Broadway Grand and Neil Simon’s play 45 Seconds From Broadway. She was recently with a friend who had a bootleg of Ain’t Broadway Grand and after they watched Act One, Alix called her husband and said, “I just saw Act One of Ain’t Broadway Grand. Why didn’t you tell me how horrible it was?” He replied, “Wait ‘til you see act two.”

Back in the 1990s, Andrew Lippa told Alix that he wrote a fantastic song for her in his new musical Wild Party. She was so flattered that she immediately told him she’d do the show. P.S. He told me later that it was only after Alix said yes that he wrote the song…he just used the idea of it as bait! The good news is, he really did write her a great song in that fabulous show, and boy did she deliver it. Listen!

It was planned that the show would transfer from the Manhattan Theatre Club to Broadway, but right before the transfer was going to happen, the show closed. Everyone was upset, but Alix had been through things like that before and remained stoic—until she was onstage. She told us that she was in a freeze during a number and suddenly started crying. Thankfully, the characters were all supposed to be drunk at a party so it was fine that her make-up looked crazy. Still, the closing shows were starting to take their toll.

A few years later, she had a great role in All Shook Up, a show which I also loved not only for it’s really clever book, but all the amazing singing from her, Cheyenne Jackson and that high belting ensemble! Watch!

Well, that, too, didn’t last very long on Broadway. After the closing of All Shook Up, which really disappointed her, she called her friend, the brilliant Broadway belter, Karen Morrow. Karen is a phenomenal performer, but she, too, has never had a long-running Broadway show. If you haven’t heard of her, watch this incredible performance from I Had A Ball on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Anyhoo, Alix called and asked Karen how many flops she had done before she moved West. Karen told her six. Alix said, “Well, I’ve beat you with eight,” and she promptly moved to Palm Springs. The geographical location didn’t quite help in terms of her being flop prone; a few years ago, she was cast as Mrs. Strakosh in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl…and the show never made it to Broadway. Yes, she says, she was in a flop that never even opened! The fabulous news is she’s back East again and it looks Fiddler is a hit!

Speaking of old school shows like Fiddler, Alix also played Minnie Fay opposite Carol Channing in a revival of Hello Dolly! and because of that, we now have a great Equity clause. You see, Alix’s sister, with whom she is very close, planned her wedding for Alix’s day off. Suddenly, Hello Dolly! changed schedules and Alix had a show on the same day! The whole wedding had been planned around Alix’s day off, but Carol Channing’s husband (at the time) told her Carol does not do the show with understudies and Alix could not take the day off. Alix was, of course, very upset but had no choice but to do the show. However, she soon took action. She got on a committee for Actors’ Equity and told her story and soon found out there were many more stories like hers. Another woman told of having to do a show instead of going to her father’s funeral! And because of people like them, we now have “personal emergency leave”. Brava pioneers! If you like all these amazing Alix songs I’ve posted, get her fabulous CD from the Braodway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS concert she did called Alix Korey Belts The Sh** Out Of Broadway! Buy it here. Brava!

This ended our second week of previews and every day we’ve made great changes. It’s very exciting rehearsing something during the day and seeing the difference it makes at night. But, rehearsing during the day and doing a show at night is tiring…but not as tiring as doing The Today Show. Why so exhausting? Because they begin their show at 7 AM so nothing can be rehearsed on the set after that time…and when you perform on TV you have to do a “camera blocking” rehearsal where you perform it on set, and they practice the camera shots. Therefore, we had a show Thursday night and had to be on the Today Show set at 5 AM! Yowza! The good news is: We wound up having such a great time, especially because we appeared throughout the whole hour! It was crazy how many times we were on! Watch the opening where we had Jennifer Simard, who plays the nun (with the gambling addiction), singing “Daybreak.” The things to note are:

A. They showed video footage from the our show and it looks so good! The cast was so excited!
B. After we did the number, I made a joke to Rachel that I “peed in my pants”…and turns out, we were still being filmed! You can totally see me say it. Watch

Then, people from the show made “surprise” appearances…starting with the stunning Rachel York. Watch her belting…and her William Ivey Long skimpy gown.

Yes she will! Check out the stunning Rachel York on the Today Show yesterday morning singing "I Will Survive," featured in Disaster - On Broadway! #PrepareForDisaster DisasterMusical.com

Posted by Disaster - On Broadway on Saturday, February 27, 2016


And finally, here’s the medley we did that features everyone in the show. So fun! Watch on the left near the end of “Hot Stuff” where Max Crumm sings that he wants some hot stuff and out from behind him lurks the nun. I’m obsessed!

OK, next week I’ll write about my super fun birthday where I had a two-show day. Also! We got publicity shots from the show taken by Jeremy Daniel Photography. Here are three of my favorites: Me and Roger Bart after the earthquake where he’s blathering and I’m skeptical

Seth Rudetksy and Roger Bart in Disaster!

The “Knock On Wood” sequence where Travis Kent’s hair is aerodynamic.

"Knock on Wood" on The Today Show

And one of my favorite rescue scenes from Act Two where I’m wearing a skimpy white T-shirt. When Andrea Martin saw the show, her first comment to me was “How about that white shirt?”

Seth Rudetsky in Disaster!

Come see us with my discount! Get thee to Ticketmaster and use the code THM1 !

Peace out!

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