ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Chatting With Tony Award Winners Cyndi Lauper and Rob Howell and Andrea Martin's Decorating Tips

By Seth Rudetsky
11 Jun 2013

Seth and Cyndi

During the Tony Awards, I was watching the ceremony on a TV and then the winners were brought to me so I could interview them for "omg Insider." I spoke to Cyndi Lauper and asked if girls her age still wanted to have fun. She said, "Whaddya mean girls my age?" I qualified it and said, "You know, girls…over 30." She said, "I was over 30 when I wrote it." Then came silence. I had to interview all the winners, including the categories that I knew nothing about (set, lighting, etc!). When I had Rob Howell, who designed the Matilda set, I first asked where he was from. He said Broccoli, England. I asked if the town was known for its broccoli and he then told me he wasn't from "broccoli," he was from broccoli. I told him I heard him the first time. He then clearly said, "No, not broccoli, I'm from Broccoli." This went on for a solid two minutes, and by the end I claimed I understood what he meant, but mainly all it made me want to do is cancel my trip to England next week.

Finally, I had time to Google today and finally found out there's a town in England called Brackley. Who knew? I haven't been so mystified/irritated by the name of a town since I was in Canada and found out that they pronounce Regina "ReGIna". Actually, scratch that. The worst was when Andrea Martin asked if I wanted to do her show in London. I was so excited and told I would cancel a conflicting gig so I could come with her. She was surprised that I loved London so much, and I was surprised she was surprised. Who doesn't love Big Ben, seeing shows on the West End and riding the London Eye? I then found out that question was irrelevant when I cancelled my gig and received my plane ticket to London, Ontario.

Seth shows off his red carpet pass.

Speaking of Andrea, I was, of course, so incredibly happy that she won! James and I first saw her do Pippin in Boston, and as soon as her number was over, James turned to me and said, "If this comes to Broadway, she's going to win her second Tony Award." Brava Jeanne (James) Dixon! Andrea told me that Scott Wittman texted her and said, "Every single article I've seen written said that your category was locked. Everyone wrote there was no way you weren't going to win. I then have never seen anyone more surprised to win a Tony." I wrote last year about Andrea redecorating our apartment and how completely obsessed she became. Last Saturday she was over again, because she insisted we have our carpet cleaned. When it came back from the cleaner, it had shrunk a bit, and the rug liner underneath has to be cut to fit. Well, right after Andrea won her Tony, she came to the winners' room, and I asked her if she was relieved it was over. She said, "100%. I'm coming over at 10 AM tomorrow with an exacto knife to cut that rug liner." Of course, she was exaggerating…she actually came over at 4 PM. (Not joking.)

Speaking of coming over, this weekend Andrea made a series of video promos for Unbroken Circle. They're super-short and super-funny. Watch them here. And speaking of Unbroken Circle, this Wednesday is our Off-Broadway transfer party. At 8 PM, we're going to have a party after the show at the restaurant "Southern Hospitality," which is perfect since the show takes place in Galveston, TX. We have celebrities coming to both the matinee and night shows so we can get a bunch of pictures taken to keep up the publicity for the show. If you're a celeb fan (i.e. stalker) come to either show this Wednesday! And use our Tony Award Celebration code: Buy one, get one free! Go to BroadwayOffers.com and use code UCREP13. Thankfully, the audience response so far has been amazing! There are some big reveals in Act Two and the theatre-wide gasps are crazy loud. Here's a video of Eden Espinosa after she saw the show discussing the gasping. Not surprisingly, the video ends with her singing "Defying Gravity."

OK, I have to stop because Andrea Martin is here! And the carpet must be cut.

(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.)