ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, King of the Desert; Plus Josh Groban and Andréa Burns

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11 Feb 2013

David Turner
Speaking of (auto) tuning, it's now one month before I begin performances of The Daring Duo which is one of the four plays James and I are doing in rep in Midtown March Medley. Why do I mention tuning? Let's start a new paragraph.

I mention tuning because The Daring Duo is about two touring classical musicians, and the first scene starts with my co-star David Turner (On a Clear Day…) playing piano for Kreissler's "Praeludium and Allegro" and me playing the violin part. Do I play the violin? Yes. Do I play it well? No. Not at all. That's supposed to be the "funny" part, but I'm nervous that it will go beyond funny and towards mass refunds. I have to start practicing ASAP. I don't begin official rehearsals for another two weeks, though. Why, you ask? Because David is doing Bertolt Brecht's Good Person of Szechwan right now at La Mama and next week I'll be unavailable unless we can Skype rehearsal from Down Under. That's right, I'm racking up the frequent-flyer miles by traveling to Australia for a week to do five shows with Megan Mullally. I'm hoping the 20-hour flight (!) gives me plenty of time to learn my lines. But even though my play is not rehearsing yet, we've officially begun rehearsal for Midtown March MedleyUnbroken Circle began rehearsals last week, on the day of the blizzard.

James and I thought we could get away with being cheapskates and have rehearsals at our apartment but it was the first and only time. Not only did the actors have to deal with the noise of construction happening next door (they're building a wine bar) but they also had to deal the noise of non-stop clicking. Yes, having two dogs and hardwood floors means having eight paws clicking non-stop. Unbroken Circle is now having rehearsals minus Scooby and Sonora.

Speaking of Scooby, James' mom called to make her a vet appointment. This was the conversation:

VET: Dog's name please.
JAMES' MOM: Scooby.
VET: Your last name?
JAMES' MOM: Hendrix.
VET: Hm….have you been in before?
JAMES' MOM: Yes.
VET: Hmm….I don't have any record.
JAMES' MOM: Really? Scooby Hendrix isn't listed at all.
VET: Nope.
JAMES' MOM: Nothing? First name Scooby, last name Hendrix?
VET: Nope.
JAMES' MOM: That's not possible. I'm sure we've been there before.
VET. Sorry. (Beat.) The only I have in my records is a "Miss" Scooby Hendrix.



Seriously. And I'm out. But before this paragraph ends, let me lead to our brand new website for our plays: When I was with Jack (Plotnick) in Palm Springs he said that building a website for me would be a great distraction from focusing on his own life. Yay! Sometimes people's therapy issues pay off for me in spades. There are brand-new videos, info about each show, photos and ticket info. Speaking of videos, Jack filmed me doing the intro video in our Palm Springs hotel room — and the yellow walls make the entire video look like it has advanced hepatitis. But I was too lazy to re-shoot. Take a gander!

And finally, speaking of videos, we just posted a new Playbill "Obsessed!" video with Andréa Burns re-creating her amazing (and mind-boggling) audition medley that she used at the open call for Jerome Robbins' Broadway. Watch her crash and burn!

 

And speaking of Andréa, tonight (Monday, Feb. 11) is the uptown reunion concert of one of my favorite Broadway shows everIn the Heights. Get tix here! I, sadly, cannot be there, but I'm very excited for what I'm doing instead. The Drama League is saluting my good friend and five time (!) Tony Award winner, Audra McDonald, and they asked me to deconstruct her during the performance. I'm now off to tech rehearsal so 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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