ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Seth Is a "Bunhead" Plus Lisa Lampanelli and Andrea McArdle

By Seth Rudetsky
21 Jan 2013

Andrea McArdle
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

I spent Saturday night at the fabulous 54 Below to see Andrea McArdle’s show called 70’s and Sunny, which highlighted her 1970’s life and musical influences. First of all, her voice sounded amazing. She’s always in good voice, but this is the first time where I heard her sing tons of songs that were all in consistent high, belty keys. Brava! Secondly, her song choices were so much fun. She began with that 70’s hit "Native New Yorker" and sang it while walking through the audience in crazy high heels working her tight, sexy dress. As she sang, she walked over to various people and sang segments of the song to them. When she saw me, I was thrilled she decided to dedicate a verse to me; however, the lyrics she chose to sing while pointing her finger right at me were “You're no tramp, but you're no lady…” Compliment? Insult? Get back to me. She sounded phenomenal on “Got To Be There” and “Meadowlark," but I was most obsessed when she sang “Wherever He Ain’t,” which she first performed in Jerry’s Girls when she was 18 years old. I’ve always been obsessed with that record (yes, record — I first got the album from the Oberlin Library), and she sounded exactly like the recording. I’ve done so many deconstructions at this point that I can’t remember them all, but I know that the Andrea McArdle one was one of my very firsts. Watch!

54 Below is right underneath Studio 54, and Andrea said that we were in what used to be called the “Naughty Room." She would know since she used to actually go to Studio 54 when she was a teenager. She admitted that she never did anything naughty, but she bragged about her experiences. She was very proud of the fact that she met Peter Allen upstairs. “When I was 13!” she said proudly. And then added, slowly, “on a school night.” Wow! At the end of the show she mentioned that Alec Baldwin used to be a busboy at Studio 54 and reminded everyone to tip the waitstaff because “one day we’ll all be working for them!”

Tonight, I’m hosting The Concert at Second Stage which celebrates new musical theatre songwriters. There are a ton of songwriters represented including Peter Mills, Jeff Blumenkrantz and John Bucchino, and there are so many amazing singers like Mary Testa, Robin De Jesus, Bryce Ryness and Darius de Haas. Here’s one of the great songs that will be performed tonight.  Tix are available here

And, finally, Juli’s 11-year-old friend Annabelle was visiting over the weekend and told us about her recent experience with the iPhone’s so-called Siri. Annabelle asked Siri, “Where is Zabars?” and Siri replied (in robot voice) “I-have-found-14-gay-bars." Brava!

(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.)