ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Seth Gets "Smash"-ed; Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Get Hitched

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08 Oct 2012

Audra McDonald and Will Swenson
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
On Saturday I hiked it upstate to Audra McDonald and Will Swenson's house for their wedding. They hired a bus, and we wound up sitting next to Audra's sister Alison, who I've known for years, but I've never heard sing. Well, I happened to watch the preview reel for a really fun TV show she wrote (and just sold) and, turns out, she and Audra have such a similar voice (and face). It's cra-za-zy. Watch!

The wedding was outside, and Audra kept sending Facebook messages to the invitees warning us that there was tons of mud. Of course, I went into a panic and opted for dark jeans and black boots. Cut to, her backyard was dry as a bone, and we decided her "dress for mud" emails were simply so we'd all look horrible and she'd look stunning. Her version of a "dress for lots of mud" outfit was a stunning white dress. When I confronted her with my theory, she claimed that the backyard had been very muddy and that certain areas still were. She then pointed out a one-inch patch of moist dirt. When I asked her why she was allowed to look gorgeous and I was in seven-year-old boots, she lifted up her dress to reveal her shoes, which were indeed rickety-rackety mules. Regardless, the ceremony was beautiful, and she and Will read their own vows which were so moving and talked about their love and their promise of loving each other's children. Speaking of children, Will's sons (Bridger and Sawyer) and Audra's daughter (Zoe) sang an amazing version of "All You Need Is Love" with Zoe soloing on the alto sax! Then four friends who were in Hair (with Will) did a gorgeous arrangement of two folk songs, and I immediately booked them to do it on Seth Speaks. Afterwards, we all went to an outdoor tent for delish food. Andy Gale made a great toast and at one point asked, "Does anybody remember the film 'The Best Years Of Our Lives'?" I thought, "Boy…that's a really old film," and right at the moment I heard someone say, "I do!" Not surprisingly, it was Zoe Caldwell (age 79).

Lonny's faux pas

Speaking of Broadway stars, I saw Lonny Price before the meal, and he told us the wedding cake was delicious! How did he know considering the meal hadn't yet been served? Well, turns out the so-called wedding cake was created by Zac Young, a "Top Chef Desserts" winner and was, in actuality, an enormous structure of donuts. Lonny thought they were put out for noshing before the ceremony and grabbed one as soon as he arrived. It wasn't until after he was halfway through scarfing one down that someone told him he was eating the first slice of wedding cake. Lonny graciously re-created his devastating faux pas for a photo. Speaking of Lonny, he gave a great toast and joked that Audra had broken up with him in order to marry Will. He pointed to himself and then to Will (who's from Utah) and said, "Well…she could have had Fiddler on the Roof but instead she chose Book of Mormon."

If you're in NYC tonight, come up to Barnes and Noble and East 86th street to see me interview Betty Buckley, who'll be performing songs from her new CD "Ah Men!" Details here. 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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