ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Playing "Name That Tune" with Idina Menzel and Deconstructing Disney's "Into the Woods" Trailer

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04 Aug 2014

James and Seth on the River Walk
James and Seth on the River Walk

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


Apparently August is for traveling. Over the weekend I flew to San Antonio; this Wednesday I fly to England; and the day after I get back I fly to Provincetown for shows with Megan Hilty! Do the words swollen ankles mean anything to you? James and Juli came on the Texas trip, which happened because of Sherry and Kurt Wehner, who run San Antonio’s Woodlawn Theatre. We met them on the Playbill cruise to Russia and again on the Tahiti cruise, and they wanted their theatre to do the first regional production of James’ play, Unbroken Circle. Sherry and Kurt also asked me to do Deconstructing Broadway and a master class and we timed that to coincide with the same weekend as Unbroken Circle call backs. I sat in on some of the auditions, and it was so cool to hear the lines of the play, which takes place in Galveston, spoken with real Texan accents. Howdy! And, PS, I was so impressed with the talent in San Antonio! I was, however, not impressed with the heat. Of course, everyone there told me that it actually wasn’t that hot. As a matter of fact, one of them proudly showed me that she was wearing a sweater. Ok…I guess if I lived year round in an oven that was set on broil and one day it went down to bake, I would also layer on a sweater. James, Juli and I spent Friday at Six Flags going on tons of rides. Let me rephrase that: I spent Friday at Six Flags watching James and Juli go on tons of rides. The most fun part was when I got sunburned. But they had a great time. We especially loved the River Walk, which is beautiful, and I got to eat twice (!) at my favorite Texan restaurant “Black Eyed Pea." Obsessed!

Eating at the Black Eyed Pea

The week began with an email from "Entertainment Tonight" asking me to cover the trailer for the "Into the Woods" film on their show. We filmed it in the New York office, which is in a great location, but has central air that turns off arbitrarily and often. It would stay off just long enough for sweat to form on my upper lip and t-zone so I had to constantly keep wiping my face with blotting paper. The producer also asked me to demonstrate some music from the film and gave me a keyboard to play it on. I’m not saying the keyboard was crazily small/only suitable for a newborn, but let’s just say it basically fit in my palm. I had to play it while balancing it on my lap and trying to read the sheet music I copied at the last minute. After every song, I had to make way for the next one and threw the sheet music on the floor. The producer is hilarious and sent me a picture of the aftermath of my shoot. The photo simply consists of random Into the Woods sheet music strewn amongst used blotting paper. I love the way they edited the piece…especially the part where Meryl Streep glares at the end of my so-called rapping. Watch!

At the "Entertainment Tonight" office

The aftermath of Seth on "ET"


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