ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Seth's Adventures With Marissa Jaret Winokur, Debbie Reynolds and Megan Mullally

By Seth Rudetsky
08 Apr 2013

Marissa Jaret Winokur

P.S., speaking of writing lyrics, I just finished writing the opening number for the upcoming Easter Bonnet Competition! Michael Graziano from Broadway Cares wrote a version of "It's Today" and asked me to sass it up. I was crazily overwhelmed and put it off for weeks, right up until I realized I had to do it or someone else would. I wrote the whole thing in an hour. Chris Gattelli and I used to put together all the Easter Bonnet opening numbers for years, until we began to have too many conflicts and we both had to stop. I'm so, so happy to do it again! Go get tickets at BroadwayCares.org to see it on April 22 and 23, and yes, we know that it's many weeks past Easter. Believe me, that will be addressed in the opening number.

Anyhoo, back to Marissa. We were talking about her time starring in Hairspray and the crazy pressure she was under. One producer flat out told her, "You have a $10,000,000 musical riding on you!" Yay! That relaxed her. The flip side of that pressure was how much fun it was to do the show and how crazily popular it was. She told us that one day her agent called and said, "I know you won't want to do this, but I need to tell you that you were offered [a ton of money] to sing three songs at a boy's bar mitzvah." Marissa said to him that if she ever turned down that kind of money, he should fire her as a client. She gave an emphatic yes, but told him that she didn't have three Hairspray songs to sing. Only "Good Morning Baltimore" and "I Can Hear The Bells," so she offered Matt Morrison some money to come with her and sing "You Can't Stop the Beat," "Without Love" and a couple of random things like "Summer Nights." She said she made so much money that she bought her parents a house! Of course, now she thinks it's hilarious that Matt is so famous, because the bar mitzvah boy probably shows everyone pictures of his party and says, "I had Matt Morrison from 'Glee' at my bar mitzvah! Look!" Followed with, "He was singing with some girl!" P.S., you can watch the entire Chatterbox at SethTV.com. Just $5 a month! Much less than what Marissa was paid for that bar mitzvah.

Marissa's most recent television show was "Retired at 35," where she played George Segal and Jessica Walter's daughter. She said that when people asked if it was renewed she responds, "Put it this way; my mother would forget to watch it." She claims she'd post a cute picture of her son on Facebook and get a plethora of comments and 300 "likes" on Facebook, then she'd post "Watch ‘Retired at 35' tonight" and receive crickets. Literally nary a comment or like.