ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Remembering Snow Days on Broadway and Talking Musicals With Steven Pasquale

By Seth Rudetsky
27 Jan 2014

When Steven was younger, he thought he'd be a football player, but he was injured in high school. He wound up focusing on theatre instead, and when he was in his first year of college, he tried out for the national tour of West Side Story and got the gig! His Anita was the amazing Natascia Diaz and his Riff was Christian Borle! Right after that tour ended, he tried out for the national tour of Miss Saigon and got the leading role of Chris! He did that for 18 months on the road and finally moved to New York. Since he had booked the very first two auditions he ever went on, he assumed that the acting life was a piece of cake.

Cut to, after more than a year in New York and literally getting no jobs, he had spent all of the money he saved from touring! Finally, he was cast in a show, Spinning Into Butter and he soon began to get play and TV work. He's happy he did "Rescue Me" because it was a great gig, but he remembered some headache-y things he had to deal with. Dennis Leary would often write himself as the hero in certain scripts, but when one episode featured the firefighters jumping into the East River, suddenly Dennis didn't do the heroic scene. Dennis wrote it for Steven and his co-star instead. Steven said the water tasted disgusting, and it was so gross that as soon as the scene ended, he co-star fled to the shore and threw up!

Speaking of "Chatterbox," this week we have two of the stars of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical: Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector, who play Carole's friends and rival songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. The show is Thursday at 5 PM at Don't Tell Mama on 46th Street, and then at 7 PM, right across the street is ye old Disaster!. See them both in one night... it's just the right amount of Seth (way too much).

This week Paul Shaffer came to Disaster! and after the show, he told us that he had actually played on one of the songs we use in the show! Yes, Paul is on keyboard for Daybreak! Not only a big hit in Act Two of Daybreak but also a big hit when I sang it in sophomore year high school chorus. Here's the original.

On Friday, one of my comedy heros came to the show: Joan Rivers! She loved the show and stayed afterwards taking pictures with everybody. It was so exciting! I remember listening to her record when I was in high school and obsession over so many jokes especially my favorite: "I don't do drugs... don't do drugs. But every once in a while…I put a little Fresca on a panty shield... perks me right up!" And on that note, peace out and perk up!

(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.)