ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Joan Rivers, Matthew Broderick, The Tony Awards

By Seth Rudetsky
11 Jun 2012

Will Swenson and Audra McDonald walk the red carpet
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Tony Awards night, June 10, began as a plan for a major Tony party at my apartment and ended with me not even being in my apartment. As I've mentioned, Andrea Martin has been overseeing/bossing around the entire redecoration/painting/de-cluttering of our place. I was excited to debut it on Sunday to a gaggle of friends. Slowly they began to fade out…one had to go to Ithaca, one had a migraine, one wanted to watch it in her apartment so she could turn it off whenever she wanted, one had a daughter who was too tired to stay up….finally, it was just Andrea Martin who was going to see our newly decorated apartment. Of course, we knew the reveal would be less exciting since she has seen it every day. Well, on Saturday she complained that her jaw hurt and I immediately knew what it was; a result from teeth grinding. My dentist told me I grind my teeth and I've periodically woken up with my jaw killing me. When James came home, I asked him if his jaw ever hurt from teeth grinding and he backed me up completely. Andrea asked why she'd suddenly start grinding her teeth later in life and we told her it can happen at any time. We told her to get a mouth guard and it would clear up. Cut to: Saturday night she couldn't sleep at all and by Sunday morning her entire left side of her face swelled up! She got an emergency appointment with a doctor and found out she has a raging infection and needs to be on antibiotics. So, the first thing we realized is that James and I are not qualified to do a medical diagnosis. Secondly, Andrea had to recuperate all day and therefore couldn't leave her apartment. So, my big party at my newly decorated apartment turned out to me, James and Juli taking a cab ride up to Andrea's apartment and then watching the Tonys with her lying prostrate on her couch. It did wind up being a lot of fun, though. And it was cool to watch the Tonys on her TV while seeing her actual Tony Award sitting right next to it (she won for My Favorite Year). It was also so great to see Audra McDonald win as Best Actress in a Musical. I've known her for so many years (I played her audition to get her an agent and her Juilliard Senior Recital) and now she has five Tony Awards! A few months ago, I asked Will Swenson (her fiancé) where Audra keeps her Tonys and he told me he could tell me where three of them are. I wanted to know why he couldn't tell me where the fourth one was and he said it's because Audra can't remember what she did with it. That's right, she has so many Tony Awards, she's actually misplaced one.

Christian Borle
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

I just did Julie Klausner's podcast called "How Was Your Tonys?" with Ana Gasteyer and we had a great time. We were saying how happy we were that Christian Borle won, and Ana remembered first meeting him at a reading of Shrek years ago. She thought it was going to be casual and take place in someone's living room while she read a variety of parts. Turns out, it was incredibly high-powered, took place in a fancy studio, Dreamworks execs were there, and it involved non-stop rehearsals. And since she had just starred in Wicked on Broadway, she thought she'd probably play one of the many funny roles. Instead, she was in the female ensemble. She wound up being seated on a stool against the back wall and all throughout rehearsals she kept leaning back and, by accident, turning off all the lights. Hilarious.

OK, t-minus one week 'til SethTV and two minus one week ago that my YA novel sequel was due. This is the week I have to actually put aside my ADD, stop being distracted, and finish it. Until then, I'm gonna check my email/facebook/twitter. Peace out!

(Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM. He has played piano for over 15 Broadway shows, was Grammy-nominated for his concert CD of Hair and Emmy-nominated for being a comedy writer on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." He has written two novels, "Broadway Nights" and "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan," which are also available at Audible.com. He recently launched SethTV.com, where you can contact him and view all of his videos and his sassy new reality show.)