ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Patti LuPone Saves the Day, Striking a Pose in St. Petersburg and Donald Trump's a Phantom Fan

By Seth Rudetsky
12 Aug 2013

Julie Andrews

Well, a few months later, Joe called me and asked if I could take off a night from Grease and come back to play one show. I said yes, even though I hadn't played it in months. For some reason, I thought I'd play it great without practicing the original Julie Andrews keys which I hadn't played in even more months. Cut to, I got to her big second act song, "Living in the Shadows," which begins with a huge piano solo. At the start of the song, she stands alone onstage as the piano plays a long, pensive passage. I started playing and soon hit so many clams I should have segued to "That Was a Real Nice Clambake." After the show, Joe checked in with Julie and asked how the show went for her. He mentioned "Living in the Shadows" and she immediately held her hand to her ear and said, "Oh! I thought I was living in the shadows!" To this day, I don't really know what she meant, but I know it wasn't good. It is a big bust on another person to call yourself the name of a song? If I had messed up in the pit of The Sound of Music would she have said, "I thought I was a lonely goatherd!"? Speaking of checking in with Julie, Joe said that after a few months of the show, he started to feel super comfortable with her so one night he said, "Hey, Jools! (Her nickname). How ya doin' and who ya doin'?" She looked at him and said, "Well! You're getting quite cheeky now, aren't you." Then she paused and finally said, "But, to answer your question; 'Fine' and 'Blake.'" Brava!

On that note, I have to go get ready for Norm Lewis' big show tonight. Before I go, let me remind you to watch my latest "Obsessed," with Donna Vivino, the first Young Cosette on Broadway who now belts up a storm in Wicked. I get back on Wednesday afternoon and immediately go to the SiriusXM Studios to record "Seth Speaks" followed by a special talk show called "Town Hall" with Rita Moreno! I'm sure I'll be fine even though it begins midnight Polish time (!). Then on Thursday at 7 PM, I'm going to see Unbroken Circle again right after my "Chatterbox." I can't wait to see Jennifer Simard, who just took over the role of Edna. Come join me! UnbrokenCircleThePlay.com. And we'll also see if Juli remembers her lines after 10 days away from the show.

Soon, by the way, I'm going to have big news about Disaster, the musical I co-wrote based on those amazing 1970's disaster movies. Until then, let me end with whatever the Polish is for "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.)