By Seth Rudetsky
07 Jun 2011
Welcome to June! We are getting so close to Tony Award time and, quite literally, the Tony Awards are so close to me. "Meaning what," you ask? Well, this year they're being held at the Beacon Theater which is down the block from my apartment! I literally walk my dog, Maggie, past where the red carpet will be. P.S., if Maggie had access to that red carpet it would soon have a lovely yellow tinge. That's right, there's nothing she loves more that peeing on any object on the street: plastic bags, scraps of fabric and, perhaps soon, right near the nicely polished shoes of a Tony nominee. I decided to go to
|Listen to Seth's Podcast: Brian Bedford, Nicole Parker, Those Mormon Kids|
The thing that actors all adore is simply the…Tony
But there's one thing that I want more than winning a …Tony
I wanna be a Diva, I wish there was someway I could learn.
I try to sing like Patti LuPone but I sound like Rhoda Morgenstern.
|photo by Robb Johnston|
Speaking of Tony Awards, I had all four Tony-nominated Book of Mormon actors at my Sirius/XM "Live on Broadway" show: Andrew Rannells, Rory O'Malley, Josh Gad and Nikki M. James. They're all really funny and so excited about their show being such a hit. By the way, I feel so old-school because I keep calling it The Mormon Musical which is what it was called before people officially knew the name. It reminds me of right when I got out of college and Jerome Robbins' Broadway was running but I always called it The Robbins Project because that's what people called it when it first began rehearsals. As a matter of fact, I still think of "The Triad" as "Paulssons" which is what it was called when Forbidden Broadway was there in the '80s. In other words, I live in the past and I'm unyielding. Anyhoo, Rory told us that his role was literally ensemble but throughout the various readings and workshops he'd get more and more lines thrown his way. It wasn't considered a principal role 'til the Broadway contracts were signed. He told us that his mom was the first person he called when he found out he got a Tony nomination. Even though it was before 9 AM, she was already at work. When he told her he got a Tony nomination, the first thing she said, in a Midwest twang, was "Are you sure???" He told her that it had been announced on TV. Then she responded, nervously, "Well, somebody ought to double check!" She'll see proof soon enough because he's taking her to the Tony Awards!
In the show, Nikki's character name is Nabalungi. In rehearsal, Josh started calling her by any other name that began with an N and now it's in the show. But nothing is actually set. He changes it all the time. He calls her Noxema, Nutrigena and lately he said he's made the name more season-appropriate because he's added Nasonex. He also gave a shout-out to fellow Broadway lovers when one night he called her Next to Normal. Hilarious. The creators usually let him go wherever he wants. Although, one night they ixnayed one of his name choices from being used again when, instead of calling her Nabalungi or a variant beginning with N, he called her "Sharon." Too far.
I asked the four actors if they were going to do a big group number on the Tony Awards, or a medley that featured their greatest hits, but turns out they're doing "I Believe," which is Andrew's big 11-o'clock number. I asked if that song was completely a solo and Nikki said, "Yes. We're all really happy about that." Brava on keeping the subtext sub. Brava to Andrew, though!!
|photo by Robb Johnston|