ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Shooting "Bunheads"; Plus, My Entrepreneurial Life

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04 Feb 2013

Seth and Sutton on set at
Seth and Sutton on set at "Bunheads."

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

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As Tony says in The Most Happy Fella, "I wanna make a beeeg announcement!," and here goes: James and I are renting a small theatre for the entire month of March and we're running four plays that we've written in rep! That's right, we are now entrepreneurs, producers, playwrights, actors and quite possible soon-to-be stage hands.

Let me qualify it all: by "small theatre" I mean a theatre that literally seats 30 people. That means everyone feels like they're in a front row seat. And by four "plays," I mean three plays and one comedy act starring me and the hi-larious Kristine Zbornik. My other play is a caper and it's called The Daring Duo. It stars me ('natch!), John Bolton (see this column for more on him) and David Turner (we worked together on Barry Manilow's Harmony, The Ritz with Rosie Perez and last year he starred in On a Clear Day…). James has two plays he's written: the first one is called Unbroken Circle and it's an old-school family drama with a multi-generational cast including Anika Larsen (Xanadu), Eve Plumb (yes, that Eve Plumb) and Juli (our 12-year-old!). The other one is a two-hander called Art and Science starring two Tony award nominees Tony Sheldon (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and John Tartaglia (Avenue Q and Shrek). Tickets for all four plays (AKA three plays and a comedy act) just went on sale today and you can read about each one right here on the Playbill.com news section

I am now back in NYC after taking Hollywood by storm. And by "Hollywood," I mean the Hollywood Presbyterian Church where I appeared as a guest star on "Bunheads." The episode (which is the final one of this current season on ABC Family!) features Michelle (Sutton Foster) going to an open call for a musical version of Dark Victory and I'm the pianist who gives her some sassy advice (my first scene) and then delivers some bad news about how the business works (my second scene). In true L.A. fashion, my second scene was filmed first. And in true L.A. fashion, I was either doing nothing for hours or literally had five seconds to get ready and film.

I'll start from the beginning: On Sunday I got to L.A. and had a great get-together with my friend Marco Pennette and his partner Steve Rabiner. Marco and I met at the Jerry Lewis telethon back in the mid-'90s when I was playing for his friend Tia Riebling (Tia was playing Rizzo in Grease when I was the pit pianist). At that time, Marco was about to start filming "Caroline in the City," which he also created. Suffice it to say, we had our get-together in what he called his house but what I call a Beverly Hills manse. He and Steve have three daughters who were sweet but non-plussed to meet me yet went into a state of giddy excitement when Kevin Chamberlin came over. Why? Because he's Bertram on the Disney channel's "Jessie"! Hmph. Don't they remember my five-episode arc as Rudy on "All My Children" 10 years ago? What? No one does? *Silence*



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