ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: How Anika Larsen's Xanadu Debut Almost Became a Zanna, DON'T!

By Seth Rudetsky
30 Jun 2014

Seth with Andrea Martin
Seth with Andrea Martin

A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.

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This summer I'm going to do something I haven't done before: a weekly master class. Yes, I've done master classes in many places (i.e. Montreal, New Orleans and other French-sounding cities) and yes, I've done events on a weekly basis (i.e. "Seth's Broadway Chatterbox," starting a new diet) but I've never done a weekly master class in New York City. They're happening every Tuesday and the exciting news (for me) is the first Tuesday (July 8) is already sold out! Get info and sign up here

Well, another summer, another Broadway series at the Art House in Provincetown! I'm, yet again, sitting on the deck on the beautiful Anchor Inn after having spent 20 minutes petting Ginger and Molly, the two labs that live here. This weekend featured Andrea Martin who was, of course, hilarious. As part of the show, I got to do one of the sketches I've always been obsessed with. I was the Catherine O'Hara part... watch! We talked about her time in Pippin and Andrea said that she first turned down the role of Pippin's Grandmother. She didn't want to play a little old lady singing the song vaudeville-style like it's been done before. Then she heard that Diane Paulus was going to be working with Les 7 Doigts de la Main, which is a Montreal circus troupe.



Andrea has always been fascinated by the circus and was very intrigued when she heard that. She decided to have a chat with Diane and listened to the song over and over again before her morning phone call. She told Diane her idea that the audience could go back in time with the grandmother and see what it was like when she was a young circus performer. Diane loved the idea and Andrea agreed to do the show. Andrea said she wanted to do an old-school circus act but didn't know exactly what it would be. One day Gypsy Snyder (the director of Les 7 Doigts de la Main) told Andrea she knew what would be perfect: a high flying trapeze act! Andrea was thrilled... and secretly devastated. Turns out, back in the '80's, when she was filming "Club Paradise," she brazenly decided to do her own stunts. One of them involved parasailing high above the ocean... and the rope broke! Ever since then, she's been terribly afraid of heights. Yet, she also knew that a trapeze act would be perfect in the middle of her song. So, she learned how to fly on the trapeze, high above the stage, with no net... and never told anyone that she is terrified of heights!

 Continued...