By Seth Rudetsky
21 Nov 2011
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Stephanie J. Block is crazily talented. And brave. James and I went to see the Sunday matinee of Anything Goes and she was faboo. If you don't know, Sutton Foster has taken off a few weeks to film a new TV pilot ("Bunheads") and Stephanie has taken over the role of Reno Sweeney (through Nov. 23). Stephanie had gone in for a meeting a while ago when they were looking for a replacement for sometime in the far future. Kathleen Marshall knew she could act/belt it, but wanted to know if she could dance it. She taught Stephanie some sections from the show and then gave her the thumbs up. Stephanie heard from her agent and assumed they were going to offer her something for 2012 or '13. Instead, they asked if she could learn the show in a week. What the — ? She was in the middle of doing a reading of a new musical with Sting (natch) and she had a solo concert to do in the Midwest. They worked around her schedule and she began sporadic rehearsals. All in all, she had 23 hours of actual rehearsal and then took over. The title song in Anything Goes in this revival is so freaking long, and yet I was amazed she was not at all winded for the last section of singing. And when she slid up to the belted D at the end of it, I literally started crying because it was so good. Brava!!!
On to SiriusXM radio.This week I had R.L. Stine on "Seth Speaks," and the show will air again Monday Nov. 21 from 7-9 PM and Tuesday morn from 11 AM-1 PM on Stars 107. For those of you without kids, R.L. Stine as in the author of the "Goosebumps" series. First of all, you may wonder how I know him. Well, I do a comedy bit in my Deconstructing Broadway show where I talk about my precious, precious subscription to Dynamite magazine I had back in the late '70s. For those of you pretending to be under 30, Dynamite was a magazine you could order through Scholastic. It was like People magazine for kids. They had stories on all the hottest stars of the day; JJ Walker, Lee Majors, Melissa Gilbert, Beth Howland (yes). When I was 11, I had a pen pal from Dynamite named Debbie who lived in Downingtown, PA. After she wrote me, I had a typical thought for an 11-year-old boy: "Why should I write her back a plain ol' letter, when instead I can make her a 45-minute tape of myself playing the piano and singing!"
Speaking of which, that's the amount of copies of "Broadway Nights" I'm aiming to sell. Yes, I've finally added a link to my website where you can get copies of the new edition (the one with the Audra McDonald intro) and I'll autograph it. Get thee to http://sethrudetsky.com/blog/books/ and make me change my name to S.D. Rudetsky.Continued...