ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Springing Forward With Disaster and Revisiting History With Andrea Martin

By Seth Rudetsky
10 Mar 2014

Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale
Photo by Joan Marcus
On my SiriusXM show, "Seth Speaks," I had two hunks: Steven Pasquale and Will Swenson. I want to make some kind of joke about their hunkiness and say that instead of calling the station W-K-R-P it should be called W-E-R-K, but I can't quite get it to make sense. But please know that I made the effort. I just saw Steve in The Bridges of Madison County and he and Kelli O'Hara were fantastic. I was super impressed with Kelli for finding so much humor in the role. The two of them sound great together, and my mother was in a state of lust for Steven throughout the show. I mentioned that he had been on the show "Rescue Me," and she said, "I guess I'll have to watch it... now that we're engaged." Will Swenson is playing Javert in Les Miserables and I asked him about the first preview. He said that there were hundreds of people at the stage door... and while they were waiting, the crowd broke into a rousing rendition of "Do You Hear The People Sing?"

Sometimes when there are lots of people expected at a stage door, a show will set up barricades. I remember the hilarious Don Richard and Jennifer Cody doing Officer Lockstock and Little Sally from Urinetown at an Easter Bonnet Competion years ago where they spoke about the decidedly not well-received Good Vibrations:
Officer Lockstock: I hear Good Vibrations has barricades set up outside the theatre.
Little Sally: That's to keep the audience in.

Speaking of Easter Bonnet, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS just announced the dates of this years show as April 21-22. The shows are always so great, and I've had so much fun writing opening numbers for both Easter Bonnet and Gypsy of the Year. Here's the opening number I wrote for the most recent Gypsy of the Year

There are some things that happened over the last few weeks I've forgotten to write about. First of all, when I was in Santa Monica doing a show with Megan Mullally, I went out to brunch with some fun peeps. Marissa Jaret Winokur drove down and not only brought an adorable bathing suit for Juli, but also regaled us with hilarious stories. I don't know how we got on the subject, but she mentioned that she did a benefit years ago and wound up sharing a dressing room with a big movie star. When they were getting ready, Marissa went into a panic trying to find something to talk about. She just had her son so she was trying to connect on a mother-to-mother basis. She decided to haul out the ol' "Isn't it exhausting being a mom" chestnut just to have some common ground. Marissa was babbling that it was so hard having a baby around the house because they wear you out, and it's so much work and thank goodness she has a night nurse to help out. Suddenly, the star looked up and told her she mustn't ever use a night nurse. As a matter of fact, the star told her she must raise the baby with no outside help.

Huh? Marissa was devastated. She was just trying to find something banal to talk about that most people would nod and go "I know! Tell me about it!" but instead she wound up becoming completely depressed and feeling like a horrible mother. That night she was in a tizzy and telling her husband, Judah, that she they needed to get rid of their night nurse because ye olde movie star doesn't have any outside help whatsoever. Judah googled said star and told Marissa that she had just done three movies in a row and there was no way she didn't have outside help. Marissa relaxed, kept her night nurse and now her son calls the night nurse "Mommy" and cries when Marissa picks him up. (That part's a lie.)