ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Billy Elliot Beatboxes, Patti Does Eva and Ahrens and Flaherty Chat About Rocky
13 May 2013
A week in the life of actor, radio host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.
As May moves forward, we are getting closer and closer to the first preview of Unbroken Circle (the play James wrote that's transferring Off-Broadway on May 29). We finally agreed on the poster (take a gander on the left) and we put up the new website: UnbrokenCircleThePlay.com. More details as the date draws nearer and my ulcer grows larger.
Tonight (Monday) I'm playing piano for a fundraiser for the local public middle school in my ‘hood. So many great people are performing, including one of my favorite male singers ever, Norm Lewis. If you haven't seen me "kvell" over him, take a gander. He's planning on seeing Harry Belafonte at the 92nd Street Y at 8 PM, but time timing worked out deliciously because the benefit is at the (bizarre) time of 6:30 PM. One of the other performers is Giuseppe Bausilio who played Billy Elliot on tour and on Broadway. Here he is in action. He's from Switzerland and just started speaking English four years ago but crazily has no accent! He's doing the "Electricity" dance from Billy Elliot but since I only have a piano there, he's going to provide the percussion himself. That's right, he'll be doing that enormous ballet dance while beat boxing. Come see us tonight at 6:30 PM! Get your tickets here.
This week I rehearsed with Patti LuPone for our London shows. We had the best time working on new songs. First, she sang though a song she performed when she got her first Tony nomination: "Nothin' Up" from The Robber Bridegroom. So good! Then I asked her to relive her days as Nancy in Oliver (P.S. I do mean days…that revival closed super quick) and sing, "It's a Fine Life"! I decided to put it in a key where I could hear her belt high but didn't tell her it was a high key. I decided I didn't tell her it had a C sharp; how would she know? Cut to, after belting the high note, she ran to the piano and kept playing notes 'til she found the one she had just hit. When she realized it was a C sharp she then proceeded to call me names not suitable for a family newspaper. The good news is that she didn't ask me to change the key. Yay!
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.