ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Biking With Audra McDonald, "From Broadway With Love" and SNL Stars Visit Unbroken Circle

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22 Jul 2013

Seth and Audra get ready to bike
Seth and Audra get ready to bike

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


I'm back at the lovely Anchor Inn in Provincetown, sitting on my balcony. But this time, instead of facing Commercial Street, my room faces the back so I'm looking at the beautiful bay.

Audra McDonald and I arrived today after taking a JetBlue flight out of Newark and then hopping on Cape Air. I always feel I have to warn people before they take Cape Air because those planes are tiny, but Audra was completely comfortable. When she was a kid, her dad used to fly the whole family in a very similar plane. We got to Ptown around 11 AM and decided to rent bikes. Why? Because when you get on one of those small flights, they have to be very specific about what they're carrying, AKA, before we got on the flight, Audra and I both had to tell our weight! Out loud! We were so plummeted that we immediately had to do cardio, which was counteracted right afterwards at tech rehearsal because the Fudge Factory is directly next to the theatre.

I arrived at tech and offered Audra an enorous homemade chocolate peanut butter cup, or as she wrote on her Twitter account, I "forced her to eat it." Delish! The concert was amazing but Audra and I were obsessed with the amount of adult ADD on display (we both have it). First, a large part of the tech rehearsal was spent looking for Audra's iPhone (turns out, she had left it in her room), then that night the stage manager called "places" and we were late because I was still writing the list of songs we were doing. Afterwards, as we were leaving the concert, I couldn't find what I did with the big book of music, and then at dinner, Audra couldn't remember what she did with her driver's licence. Yay! It's fun to hang out with us!

Speaking of fun, Audra apparently had a lot of fun at Unbroken Circle. According to this video, she not only cried, but she also laughed off two major parts of her body. Take a look at this evidence: unbrokencircletheplay.com/celeb-testimonials. If you, too, want to lose your rack, come see the show this Wednesday or Sunday!

Linda Eder

This week on my SiriusXM show, "Seth Speaks," I had Linda Eder, who's performing July 22 at The Town Hall and then coming to my neck of the woods (Provincetown) in August! I asked her about the difficulty of raising a child while performing as a singer, and she remembered one night she came home after a long concert and found out her son hadn't done his chores. She said that she really let him have it, but her voice was fried so she wound up letting loose with a barrage of angry, raging words...in a very soothing whisper. He, of course, thought it was hilarious.

I also had Van Dean and Brian Stokes Mitchell on the show. Van and Brett Boles put together a huge concert called From Broadway With Love that was performed in Newtown, CT to help the town come together after the Sandy Hook shootings. The whole concert is now available on DVD/CD/Blu-Ray and features some amazing Broadway performances (Stokes, Michael Cerveris, Nikki Blonksy doing "Good Morning Baltimore", Capathia Jenkins, Richard Kind, Linda Eder and many more) and a full 40-piece orchestra! You can also watch it July 26 at 10 PM on WNET/13 and CPTV and July 30 at 10 PM on NJTV. The group that put it together is now rehearsing a production of Seussical that will run Aug. 9-11 in Newtown with 80 local kids and the amazing John Tartaglia as the Cat in the Hat! All the info about the concert and Seussical is at FromBroadwayWithLove.org.

On "Seth Speaks" I also had my young friend Maddy Ruff. Maddy is the stepdaughter of Ray Marchica, who I've known since the 90's because he was the drummer on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," and the daughter of Nina Hennesey. I've always been so impressed with Nina, because she was in a ballet company and also was in Les Misérables!  It's so rare to find people who can dance and sing at that level. Maddy is in her early 20's and when she was a teenager, she was a piano student of my ex-boyfriend Aaron. For a few months, she was complaining about a pain in her leg which she assumed was a muscle strain. When she began to limp a little she went to a doctor and found out she had a rare childhood cancer. She got a lot of chemotherapy, but there was a good chance the cancer could come back and if it did, it would certainly be fatal. Therefore, she and her doctors decided to amputate her leg.


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