ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: How Lena Hall Kept Dancing, Even After She Was Hurt Onstage

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17 Jun 2014

Seth at the gym
Seth at the gym

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


OK! There is still Tony Award night stuff I haven't covered. First, let me say that a few days before the Tony Awards I was texting with Audra McDonald, and it was early in the morning. I was standing on the stair climber waiting to start and finally had to ixnay on the texting so I could begin my annoying workout. I told Audra I was at the gym and sent her a photo of myself, looking unshowered and horrific. She then, without comment, sent me a photo of herself. The unsaid subtext being, "I, too, am at the gym. Look how horrible I look in the morning." I thought it was hilarious. Literally, the most beautiful hair and makeup ever.

At the Tony Awards, I did so many interviews on the red carpet that weren't put on "Entertertainment Tonight" but they were put on "Entertainment Tonight" online! Look! Susan Stroman was there, and I asked her if it was true that Bullets Over Broadway nominee Nick Cordero, who tapped up a storm in "T'ain't Nobody's Business," couldn't tap when he got the gig. Stroman confirmed that, indeed, he could not tap when rehearsals began. "But," she said, "he got a private tap lesson every morning for an hour." I then asked her if "tap lesson" was a euphemism. She laughed really hard but didn't confirm or deny. I then called her a "cougar." PS, That was not put on "Entertainment Tonight." TV or online.

On "Seth Speaks," my SiriusXM talk show, I had Daphne Rubin-Vega, who was starring in the all-Spanish Vagina Monologues. First of all, whenever I hear about that show, I always think of the amazing opening number Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote for Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. It's all about the plethora of one-person shows on Broadway.

Texting with Audra

First Brooks Ashmanskas says: "I yelled 'I need a drink!' when I saw Elaine Stritch."

Then Capathia sings "When I caught Chita Rivera, I yelled, 'Dance, bitch!'"

Then everyone: "We got from theatre to theatre, we're in such a fog! 'Cause everyone's vagina's got a monologue!"

Hi-larious! I asked her about any onstage mistakes and Daphne segued by saying "Speaking of vaginas..." and she proceeded to say while she was doing Rent, she was in the middle of "Light My Candle" when she felt like she was about to forget the lyrics. She got to the section where she sings that she dropped her "stash" and she suddenly forgot the word. She then "saved it" by singing something relatively close to the word. Yes, instead of "I think I dropped my stash" she sang that she "dropped her sn*tch." She was moritified but finished the number. As soon as she stepped offstage, she told us that the backstage peeps gave her a "merkin." Yes, from the time she sang the word "sn*tch" and the end of the number, her backstage friends found an old wig, cut it up and fashioned into what Mimi claimed she dropped. Not since a "Project Runway" challenge has anything been sewn so fast.


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