ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Someone Else's Story — Sutton Foster's
04 Mar 2013
Seth and Sutton
A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.
Hello from good ol’ New York City!
I landed on Monday (from Australia) and then turned around on Friday to fly to New Orleans. I went there to do the Broadway Series at Nocca (upcoming guests are Megan Mullally, Audra McDonald, Betty Buckley), and this time my partner in belting was Sutton Foster! First of all, my episode of "Bunheads" had just aired last Monday, so even though we filmed it weeks ago, I felt like I had just hung out with her. In case you missed it, here’s the segment where she sings/sasses “If They Could See Me Now." It’s just a great little audition snippet. I’m obsessed with how she ends it small. Take a gander! PS, I did this little arrangement for her via iPhone. Literally. Juli had to go to the hospital for asthma a few weeks ago (she’s totally OK) and in the cab on the way home (at midnight), I thought of a cute 16-bar arrangement that would end on a nice C for Sutton. I got home, sang/played it and recorded on my iPhone. I emailed it to Sutton that night, she texted me the next day that Amy (Sherman-Pallidino, the creator/writer/director of the show) loved it and when I showed up on set, it was fully staged. Yay technology.
I was terrified to watch myself on the show, but, upon watching, I enjoyed it! Except for the part at the very end when I’m called back into the audition room. I scurry back to the room looking like I’m doing a ballet version of running. I guess it’s my homage to the show being called "Bunheads"? Sutton also noticed that I start my so-called run with a sniff to indicate I’m about to begin. If you DVR’d it, watch my “running” ASAP and make sure not to cast me in "Marathon Man."
Sutton was so great in New Orleans, and we’re going to do the show again this summer at the Art House in Provincetown. She let me choose tons of songs from her past that she hasn’t sung in years. For example, I first heard her sing when I was on loan from the Broadway company of Grease to play piano for one night at the national tour’s stop in Wilmington, DE. That was the moment I became obsessed with her, so we recreated it by singing “Summer Nights” as a duet, having the audience sing the Pink Ladies and the Burger Palace Boys. I also made her, I mean, requested her to sing “Someone Else’s Story” since she played Svetlana in my Actors Fund concert of Chess. Here she is way back when. And we closed the entire concert with “I’m The Greatest Star” which she had sung in my Funny Girl concert in 2002.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.