ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: A New Member Joins the Unbroken Circle Family and Flea Market Festivities

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24 Sep 2013

Marianne Tatum
Marianne Tatum

A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.

Ups and downs. This week has had plenty. First, we found out that Eve Plumb had to leave Unbroken Circle by Sept. 22. Not only were we sad to see her go (she's hilarious as Aunt June and has been with the show since the second reading in 2010), but we also had the pressure of finding a replacement in a matter of days! I started going through my contacts, Facebook friends and scouring IBDB (the Internet Broadway Data Base) until I found a group of women whom I thought would be great as Aunt June.

While on Facebook, I noticed a little alert pop up that said, "Marianne Tatum posted a comment on Emily Skinner's wall." I don't know Marianne, but I saw her in Barnum, playing Jenny Lind, back when I was in high school. I remembered what a splash she made on Broadway back in the '80's and thought she'd be around the right age for Aunt June. I did a little research and read that she left the business for many years to raise her daughter. The next day I saw Marianne Tatum's name pop up on Facebook again and did some more research, only to find out that she's from Houston! Not only is that where James is from, but the play takes place in Galveston, TX. Thirty miles away!

I decided to send a blind Facebook message saying that we'd never met, but I wanted to know if she was interested in replacing Eve in Unbroken Circle. She wrote back later on and agreed to come to the audition. I had to finish my auditions for Disaster! but I saw James afterwards. He told me that as soon as Marianne read her first lines, everyone knew she'd be perfect in the role. She was told the good news that she got the role... and the horrifying news that she had one week to learn it! Her first performance is this Wednesday's matinee and I can't wait to see her! Get thee to UnbrokenCircleThePlay.com and come on by, y'all!

That was the first up and down of the week. Yesterday was the BC/EFA Flea Market, which was an up in many ways. We had a booth featuring SethTV.com, Unbroken Circle and Disaster!. It was really fun to be there all day and meet so many nice fans. Then there was this conversation:

Broadway Fan: (approaches table and looks at me, mystified) You look familiar…
Me: (Pause. Points to all the merchandise around me that prominently features me) Well... this is me.
Broadway Fan: (still miffed) So... are you a choreographer?
And, I'm out.

So many people helped out at my booth and I'm super grateful to them. At one point Matt Farcher (Myths and Hymns) and Haven Burton (Legally Blonde and Shrek) came by. Haven brought her adorable baby and we all took a picture together. Every time I show it to people, they ask me if they're married. They're not, but they're soon to be heavily involved. Why, you ask? Because we just cast them as Chad and Marianne, the romantic leads of Disaster!!

Seth with Haven Burton, Matt Farcher and child


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