ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Seth Is On Demand as Andrea Martin Opens a New Window

By Seth Rudetsky
02 Jul 2012

Seth and Marissa Jaret Winokur
This week I saw Peter and the Starcatcher and loved, loved, loved the theatricality. It makes me so happy to see an audience break into laughter and applaud for something as simple as an actor wearing a rubber glove and flapping around like a bird. Or Celia Keenan-Bolger "flying" by being on a board that tilts upwards. I tried to analyze why audience reaction is so extreme to things like that, and I think it's because people appreciate cleverness on a very deep level. And they identify with the people onstage. Meaning they think, "Wow! Someone just like me achieved a really cool special effect by being smart!" and it makes them feel connected to the people onstage and the people around them. As opposed to them appreciating technology, which makes them think, "Wow. A computer and/or machine just did a special effect. Cool, but I'm not that surprised. Machines can do anything." To me, the reaction the audience had at Peter and the Starcatcher is the essence of theatre. There's nothing like seeing people in the flesh doing something magical, right in front of you. Go see the show!

On Seth Speaks this week, I interviewed Marissa Jaret Winokur, who just started Season Two of "Retired at 35" as the daughter of Jessica Walter and George Segal. She told us that doing Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl last year reminded her how much she wanted to be an actress instead of what she was turning into: a TV personality. In the past, she wouldn't memorize lines for TV auditions because other actors told her it looked needy, but she decided she was needy and was going to try as hard as possible to get the "Retired at 35" gig. She's most proud that the character breakdown was simply for a woman under the age of 40. AKA, anybody. The people running the show told her that as soon as she walked in, they knew she was perfect. Of course, that theory has some holes in it since they made her come back eight times. Regardless, watch it on TV Land and check out the picture on the side where I use her extensions to give her a "Heil."

Andrea Martin tends to the windows

Andrea Martin is almost finished redecorating our apartment. She's completely transformed it, and whenever people come over they think we bought tons of new stuff when the reality is we just bought a few things, cleared things away (AKA, Andrea threw them out), and rearranged the rest. She also could not be working harder on it, simply to help us. I've never seen someone run around town more. She's constantly texting me from some home furnishings store. She transported a new rug from ABC Carpet, laid it out in our living room, and let us keep it for a few days to decide whether we liked it. Finally we said no, so she took it back for us and picked out three rugs from Pottery Barn! We brought them back to our apartment, she laid them out and we all chose one. After another day, we decided it wasn't 100% perfect, so we returned them, and she got another one from all the way downtown from ABC Carpet. This one looks amazing and brightens up the whole room.

PS, she's been doing all of this while recuperating from her sickness that made her cancel her 54 Below performance. She has an insane amount of energy. And OCD. She had a breakdown that our windows looked dirty, so she hauled herself up on the ledge in our bedroom and started cleaning. And, she did the outside as well by climbing onto the storage unit in the backyard, keeping one hand on the window gates and spraying window cleaner and wiping. You must look at the pictures. We're most obsessed with the fact that her "cleaning outfit" is a pure white dress. Excellent for not showing dirt. PS, she could not be funnier. We were out to eat at a fairly sleazy diner, and as she looked around the room, she surreptitiously pointed to the various waiters and asked, "Why is that it every waiter has a lovely selection of herpes above their lips?"  Continued...