ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Peter Gallagher Makes Music; Lonny Price Talks Company

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19 Nov 2012

Neil Patrick Harris in Company.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

I also interviewed Lonny Price who was promoting the DVD of the Company concert, which was just released. This is the all-star version (with the New York Philharmonic) that he directed, with Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby. Lonny also said he would never do something like that again! I thought he meant a one-night concert, but he more specifically meant a one-night concert where everyone had tons of other commitments. Everyone had to be rehearsed completely separately. It was essentially a rehearsal period for people with intimacy issues (just like Bobby!) P.S., just last week was the 32nd anniversary (!) of Merrily We Roll Along opening on Broadway. And a few days later was the anniversary of the closing. How crazy that a show with such a brilliant score would close after just a few performances. Can't people just ignore whatever didn't work and revel in what did? Hmph. I did a deconstruction of "Opening Doors," and I sent it to Lonny. He gave me some inside scoop on one of the things I pointed out: For some reason, in one section, Lonny says, "Yeah!" two octaves above his speaking voice. I thought it was simply an odd, random choice with no subtext. He informed me that, in actuality, it was his private homage to…Angela Lansbury! He loved her in Sweeney Todd and that was his (bizarre) way of paying tribute to her. He told me that he tried to make the "yeah" sound like the way she would do it (a la "Worst Pies in London") and he kept waiting for it to get cut. It stayed and became immortalized on the record! And now that 30 years have passed, the statute of limitations is off and the secret has been revealed: Lonny Price is Nelly Lovett

OK. I'm on a flight to New York from Las Vegas, where I was asked to be part of fancy and shmancy conference about young adult books! It was my very cool to walk around with my nametag that also said "Random House." I kept the whole "Almost kicked out of AP English in high school" thing under wraps. If you still haven't gotten an autographed copy of my youth novel "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan" or "Broadway Nights," get thee to my SethTV.com shop ASAP. Happy Thanksgiving!

(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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