ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: A Musical Disaster Is Moving Off-Broadway

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16 Sep 2013

Emily Skinner
I've spent the last two weeks in auditions (most of the original Disaster cast have other jobs) and we're almost totally cast. I'm so happy with the leads we've announced so far: Michele Ragusa is playing the nightclub singer who has terrible taste in men, Jennifer Simard is the nun with the gambling addiction and Mary Testa is Shirley, the older Jewish woman with a terrible secret. Right after the press release went, out Donna Lynn Champlin wrote me on Facebook, saying, "Congrats on the funniest cast of character women EVER." I agree! We're having more auditions this week for the remaining roles and begin previews Oct. 14. Here's the video Jack and I made with B-roll from the last production. Watch! And then, go buy tix

Last week, James and I went to see Emily Skinner at 54 Below. She is so brilliant. Such an phenomenal actress... both dramatic and comedic. She introduced her Sondheim song saying that she had a request to sing it and first said, "I'm too young! That song is sung by a middle aged woman. (pause) Uh-oh." Then she did such an incredibly well-acted version of the song. She talked about being an out-of-control child who almost failed kindergarten. Seriously! However, before she had to go to summer school, her teacher told her that she could have 15 minutes per day to entertain the class. Whatever she wanted to do! But after that, she had to sit and be quiet. Emily was thrilled! She did comedy, lip-synching to Jackson 5 albums and tap dances without actual tap shoes, and it saved her academic career. I, however, was not afforded such an opportunity. Instead, in 10th grade I was so disruptive to the class that I forced to sit in my own row. And that's why my major in college was "piano."

This Thursday at Unbroken Circle is LGBT night! Go to www.BroadwayOffers.com, put in the code UCLGBT35 and you'll get $35 tix and a free drink after the show at Southern Hospitality. I'll be at the show with my date, Emily Skinner! For reals. AND next Sunday and Monday I'll be performing with the comedy genius, Varla Jean Merman, at 54 Below. Tix here: http://54below.com. If you've never seen Varla perform, watch this. Hilarious. Until then, 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.)

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