ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Joan Rivers, Matthew Broderick, The Tony Awards

By Seth Rudetsky
11 Jun 2012

Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli
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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OK, I'll get to the Tony Awards after a little weekly re-cap. First of all, it's one week until my TV network launches on at SethTV.com! I filmed the opening to my reality show all around the Times Square area. My launch party is going to coincide with a benefit I'm doing next Monday called Not Since High School, where celebrities recreate roles they did in high school. I just had a rehearsal with Lisa Lampanelli who was a teen-aged Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. She told me that two weeks before the show opened, the director told her that he rethought the role and she needed to lose weight. How much? Twenty pounds! Her response? Deep-fried food at every meal. Not only wouldn't she lose weight, she was determined to gain it. Brava! Speaking of the benefit, I just added one more performer: Susan Blackwell who starred in [title of show] is going to recreate one of her high school roles. Was it appropriate casting you ask? Well, she's white, from Ohio and not trained as a dancer. Therefore, she starred in West Side Story as Anita. 'Natch! She will be doing a duet of "A Boy Like That" with a very unlikely Maria who had to spray her hair black until it looked like a shellacked shell. Norbert Leo Butz told me he was Harold Hill, (a short) Sky Masterson and Pappy Yokum (with a bald cap) in high school. I'm still trying to choose what number I must see him do. Get tix here

Joan Rivers

I interviewed the great Joan Rivers for my radio show "Seth Speaks" and couldn't stop quoting my favorite Joan lines to her. First I hauled out, "My body is falling so goddamned fast my gynecologist wears a hardhat." Then, I mentioned one of my favorite Royal Family bits where Joan makes fun of the Queen for not keeping herself up. "Listen! If you own England, and Scotland, and Ireland, for Christ's sake, shave your legs!" Hi-lar! What's crazy is that Joan is one of the very few Americans who was invited to the recent royal weddings. After those comments!?! Weren't people in England beheaded for less? Speaking of comments about Elizabeth, I did ask her about the Elizabeth Taylor jokes she used to make all throughout the '80s. This was after Elizabeth Taylor had gained a lot of weight and Joan would say things like, "She puts mayonnaise on an aspirin"….or that Elizabeth Taylor puts food in the microwave and then screams, "Hurry!!!" Turns out, she and Elizabeth Taylor were both friends with Roddy MacDowell and Joan told Roddy to ask Elizabeth if the jokes were too mean, and if Elizabeth wanted her to stop, she would. Well, Roddy asked and Elizabeth said, "Tell Joan that those jokes don't hurt me where I live." Joan thinks it's because Elizabeth had a very healthy ego and always thought of herself as beautiful. Of course, Joan always thought of herself as ugly. In her new book, "I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me!," she writes that she was so ugly when she was young that a rapist would grab her and say, "Can we just be friends?"

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