ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Saving Cats (Not the Musical), Plus Craig Bierko

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14 Nov 2011

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


It finally happened. Juli has been begging for years to get a cat, but we already have two dogs and didn't think they would want a cat in their midst — except as a delicious dinner. Cut to: Juli's grandmother lives next door to a farm in Washington Heights (really!) and suddenly has a mouse infestation. We read that cats give off a smell that make mice wanna take a hike so we told Juli she could have a cat at her grandmother's apartment. I was out of town, so they all went without me to New York Animal Care and Control. That's a shelter where the animals are held for a few days and then euthanized. P.S., I hate that term because it's actually a euphemism; euthanizing an animal is supposed to happen when it's in too much pain to stay alive. These animals are killed because no one wants to adopt them. It's devastating. So many animals are young and healthy, but are given up because of financial problems or a landlord suddenly not allowing animals. One woman had to give up her dog for some reason and spent a half hour in the waiting room hugging him. James said it was heartbreaking. After hanging out in the cat room, Juli found a gray cat she really wanted. However, a young boy who was behind her in line also wanted the gray cat. There was a black cat that Juli liked as well and the shelter woman told her that because black cats are considered bad luck they are rarely adopted. Seriously? Yay. It's fun living during The Crucible. James told Juli that if she adopted the black cat she'd be doing a mitzvah because she'd be saving the lives of both cats. While I was silently in a rage that James, who grew up going to a Unitarian Church in Texas, thinks he can use the word "mitzvah," I nonetheless appreciated James' point and give Juli a brava for adopting the little black cat now known as Princess Penelope Panther. In conclusion, please be like Bernadette Peters and adopt some animals. Even if you're not 100 percent interested, go to www.petfinder.com. It's so fun to look at all the different cute animals!

Juli and Andrea Martin as Edith and Edith Jr.

And speaking of cats, I was hanging out with Andrea Martin (she just performed at the Hangar Theater) and we were talking about career low points. She remembered going in to audition for the voice of a cat for a pet food commercial. When she got there, she saw the role actually specified "Senior Cat." Devastating. Regardless, Andrea read the commercial with her version of an old cat voice. Halfway through her audition, they cut her off and told her that the old cat voice was not necessary and that her regular voice was perfect. For a senior cat. And thus, the low point got lower.

Back to Andrea Martin, I'm doing her show in Provincetown at the Art House Dec. 3-4. We decided to do an online promo for it and I went to her apartment with Juli to film it. Andrea played Edith Prickley and Juli wound up being written into the script as Edith Jr! Will post the video soon but take a look at how hilarious they look together.

At the Hangar Theater in Ithaca this past weekend was Tim Pinckney, whose play Ever So Humble was a big hit there this summer. Tim also works at the Actors Fund where he produces their big concerts. He was talking about the upcoming concert of The Visit starring Chita Rivera and John Cullum. Chita told him, "I haven't worked with John since 1492." I laughed when he told me because I thought she was joking about how old they are. Turns out, there was a flop musical called 1492. Who knew? And speaking of dates, we somehow segued the conversation to be about Gregg Edelman, and Andrea asked, "Wasn't he in 1774?" 1774? We were all obsessed with the fact that she could get that title wrong. Doesn't every American know that date? Is 1774 a little-known musical about the fascinating two years before 1776?


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